What is your understanding of the nature of reading fluency?

Reply to a classmate:
Discuss one point you like/agree with, and one point you dislike/disagree with, and why.
Length should be about 1/2 page in length (approximately 100 words).
Classmate’s post:
What is your understanding of the nature of reading fluency? Do you believe fluent reading can lead to enhanced comprehension? Why or Why not?
When I began my career in education, I thought reading fluency was just being able to read fast without making mistakes. I now realize that fluency is much more than that. Fluency refers to the rate of reading, accuracy, tone, expression and comprehension skills. However, most important aspect is that the students are able to read and understand what they are reading.
I believe that reading fluently does in fact support improved reading comprehension. When students can read fluently, with the correct rate, tone, and expression, they are better able to understand what they are reading because their focus can be on comprehending what they are reading and not sounding out or decoding words. Students that do not read fluently struggle with comprehension because they spend more time decoding and rereading mistakes that they’re not able to completely understand what they have read. When readers can minimize the cognitive resources needed to decode the words in front of them, they can devote those resources to comprehension (Scholastic, n.d.). Sometimes my classroom, when only focusing on comprehension skills, I will have students read the passage to practice their reading skills, but then myself or my aide will reread the passage to give the students a chance to listen while we model fluency, and prosody. This helps improve comprehension skills because the students can listen to what is being read and focus on understanding the meaning of the text. This chapter also highlights the need for students to read with automaticity, meaning, they recognize words quickly without hesitation or decoding. When readers are both accurate and automatic, they recognize or identify words accurately, rapidly, easily, and with little mental energy (Vacca et al., 2017). This again enables the reader to focus more on the content and meaning of what they are reading for improved understanding.
In this chapter we read about many different approaches to assist with improving fluency in young readers. In my classroom we use many of these techniques such as choral reading, echo reading, and repeated readings, however, silent reading is not a technique that I have used. Before reading this chapter, I was not so sure that silent reading was even something that I should consider doing. My concern for my students, are that I already have struggling readers, and many of my student struggle with on task skills, self-monitoring skills, self-regulation skills, and independent skills. I fear that I will spend most of this silent reading time, redirecting students to keep reading, sit quietly, and not talk to their peers. I am also concerned that when the students are reading silently they will be reading words incorrectly and then practicing words incorrectly. Will this then hinder their progress? These are my concerns, however, moving forward, I may attempt this technique with some of my stronger learners and focus on teaching them the skills of silent reading so that hopefully it will limit my concerns as mentioned above.
In conclusion my understanding of reading fluency has changed drastically since the beginning of my teaching career. This has occurred due to my increased understanding of what being a fluent reader means in addition to experiences with my own students in my classroom. This chapter has also shed additional light on techniques such as silent reading, that I don’t frequently use in my classroom, but it’s given me a new perspective on why this idea is beneficial.
Scholastic.(n.d.). Fluency is fundamental. https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/fluency-fundamental/
Vacca, Jo Anne L.; Vacca, Richard T.; Gove, Mary K.; Burkey, Linda C.; Lenhart, Lisa A.; McKeon, Christine A.. Reading and Learning to Read (2-download) (p. 191). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

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