Do you have students with poor oral reading fluency?
- Their reading is slow and labored.
- They frequently stop at unknown words.
- They lack expression.
- They struggle with decoding.
It’s no surprise, then, that they lack a good understanding of the text. After all, fluency is the bridge from decoding to comprehension.
The good news is that repeated reading has been shown to improve reading fluency.
There are many ways to do repeated reading (that’s coming in a future blog post), but today we’re focusing on improving oral reading fluency using poetry.
“Poetry has melody, rhythm, pacing and pitch that supports building fluency skills, especially prosody (expression, automaticity and comprehension)” (Hancock, 2018).
And of course … it’s fun!
If you’re concerned that not all students will be able to read the chosen poem because you have so many different reading levels in your classroom (who doesn’t?!), the Fluency Development Lesson will save the day.
Who created the Fluency Development Lesson?
The Fluency Development Lesson (FDL) was designed by Nancy Padak and Tim Rasinski as a way to improve the fluency of students who were receiving Title 1 Instruction. Rasinski (2010) noted that the “students read the connected text we gave them in such a slow, disjointed, and labored manner that we wondered how they could possibly understand any of it” (p. 145).
After implementing FDL for several months, Rasinski and his colleagues found that students made substantial gains in the reading fluency and overall reading. The success students had with FDL texts transferred to other texts.
And … both students and teachers enjoyed the lesson! (Rasinski, 2010)
Join the membership for fluency resources!Our membership includes fluency pyramids, fluency poems, partner plays, and so much more!
How does the Fluency Development Lesson work?
The following infographic is based on the model designed by Padak and Rasinski, with a few small tweaks.
This only takes about 15 minutes per day!
Where to find poems for the Fluency Development Lesson
- The Children’s Poetry Archive has a wonderful collection of poems that are read out loud; you can also get the text.
- Poets.org has a set of poems for kids. You’ll just need to copy and paste them into a document and make the font larger.
- This will take a little more leg work, but you can get children’s poetry anthologies from the library and type up your favorites. Imagination Soup has a great list of anthologies.
- Copy and paste the poems from poet Ken Nesbitt’s website. These are silly and fun, and many would work for younger readers.
- Poetry Minute is great! Each poem can be read in under a minute. At first glance I saw a number of poems that would work for beginners.
- If you’re a member of The Measured Mom Plus, our affordable membership for PreK-third grade, check out our growing collection of fluency poems! (Not a member yet? Learn more here!)
Stay tuned for the rest of our fluency series!
Hancock, L. (2018, April 27). The Dynamic Duo: Poetry and Fluency. Literacy Junkie. https://www.literacyjunkie.com/blog/2018/4/27/the-dynamic-duo-poetry-and-fluency
Rasinski, T. (2010). The Fluent Reader. Scholastic.