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Reading (fluency type) practice ?


sbgrace
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My six year old is working on reading fluency. He reads simple chapter books like Frog and Toad, Little Bear, the Wind in the

Willows, etc. right now (occasionally needing to slow a little "say the sounds" for a new word but rarely needing any help). I've been having him read one chapter a day in longer books or two in short books. I used some site linked here the other day to look up the reading levels of the books we've been reading and they were all averaged the 2.5 level--some 3 and a few closer to 2. I'm trying to pick things I think he will enjoy.

 

Last night before bed he told me that he likes stories still but he doesn't like reading himself at all. He likes everything else about school and he's not generally a complaining and negative child. I'm discouraged about this and wondering what I'm doing wrong or should do differently. I want my kids to love reading. They love being read to. Clearly he needs to practice reading to get fluent. I guess he dislikes it. Help?

Edited by sbgrace
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Perhaps just more read-aloud time with mom, reminding him to follow along with the words an not just the pictures? Books on tape might help too- just to have him flow along at read-aloud pace without pressure or frustration.

 

He's still quite young! Let him enjoy books- the speed will increase with time :)

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I had mine reading just a short time a day to me at grade level, and them reading a short while under grade level. The under grade level reading really helped them become more sure of themselves and enjoy their reading more. We used different readers for it than for the at grade level reading. It gave them confidence since they weren't always struggling with reading. HTH!

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Try buddy-reading with him. You read a page then he reads a page. I did this with my older two, and I kept reading lessons very short until they got to where they were reading more fluently. There's a point, about the same time they start playing silently with their toys and imagining the story of their play in their heads when reading really clicks into gear and they are "fluent".

 

I love Dr. Suess for fluency practice. The invented words help to eliminate guessing. We will read the same stories many times. RIght now,my 9yo who has a super high reading level has been racing her dad in reading Fox in Sox because they think that is fun. Their best time is 4 minutes with no mistakes. Tongue Twisters and knock-knock joke books are great for building fluency too.

 

The idea is to gently encourage reading for pleasure by finding interesting things that he will want to read.

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I have dd read a chapter a day to me. I pick this book to be a bit of a challenge, one she wouldn't read on her own, but one I think she will like. I will even give her a choice between two books.

 

I work REALLY hard to find books that she will WANT to read on her own. I have some limits on content, but this category is much wider open and is usually at an easier level. It also tends to still have frequent pictures. Things like Pony Crazed Princess, etc... She spent the summer devouring a fairy series that, while twaddlish, doesn't have objectionable content. She was reading a full book a day and trading books with friends. This improved her fluency tremendously. I also have her pick one book from the library each week on a science topic and one on a history topic. This can be anything, but she will read it on her own. This week, it was a picture book on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and a Magic School Bus picture book on coral reefs.

 

Last, I still read out loud a LOT. We keep an audio book going in the van. I pick some books as educational, but I pick a lot that are just plain fun. But this category is much more limited, quality wise. This is where I get in the classics, rich language, etc..

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I've actually found that working until 100% of the phonics knowledge needed to sound out anything and reinforcing phonics is more beneficial to fluency than reading.

 

This would mean that all the phonograms have been taught and are known instantly, that he knows all the syllable division rules and can divide words. Some children also need practice reading divided words with a Speller. For an older child that already knows phonics, it should only take a month or two to work through all the words in the Speller, and then reading books will be easy and will not be work! A bit of spelling work to reinforce the sounds is also helpful.

 

After this, for some of my students for whom reading is still a bit of hard work, I have them read through the 1879 McGuffey Readers for a while. They get the work of sounding out the tough words out of the way before the reading selection, allowing them to just enjoy reading the story. The gradual progression in difficulty of the stories is also helpful.

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My concern is entirely that by requiring him to read I'm killing his love of reading. I did the buddy reading and he seemed to like that better. I'll try having him pick out books on his own too. I was just concerned he would pick something too hard and get discouraged.

 

Thank you all for your thoughts and ideas.

 

 

Elizabeth--that's interesting! Ok. He does know all the phonograms backwards and forwards. Those "slow down" words aren't phonetically regular--I think that's the way to describe them. He does not know syllable division rules nor have I used the speller. Do you think I should go ahead and do that now?

 

I tried those McGuffey Readers initially when we began reading books after the phonograms and he didn't like them. I thought (still think) it was because the stories--at least for as far as we got in the first book--were not really stories at all. I thought some high interest stuff would be better. Maybe not though.

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Elizabeth--that's interesting! Ok. He does know all the phonograms backwards and forwards. Those "slow down" words aren't phonetically regular--I think that's the way to describe them. He does not know syllable division rules nor have I used the speller. Do you think I should go ahead and do that now?

Yes, I would. My syllable division rules and exercises are on my how to tutor page, the links at the end. I would also make sure you have covered all the sight words phonetically.

 

 

I tried those McGuffey Readers initially when we began reading books after the phonograms and he didn't like them. I thought (still think) it was because the stories--at least for as far as we got in the first book--were not really stories at all. I thought some high interest stuff would be better. Maybe not though.

 

The stories do get a bit better, but they are not great. High interest material is better for most students, but you really need to have the basics down and be able to sound out anything quickly and easily before reading can become enjoyable.

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