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Build Fluency

How to Build Fluency in Struggling Readers: Best Strategies

Build fluency in struggling readers with these ten strategies and tools. 

Read Aloud DailyEngaging storybooks, Text-to-speech software, Audiobooks
Use Fluency-Building ToolsReading apps with voice features, Text-to-speech software, Audiobooks
Choral ReadingFamiliar storybooks Poems or rhymes to read together
Repeated ReadingShort books or passages at a slightly lower reading level, Fluency-building websites
Phrased ReadingPhrase-cued reading materials, Leveled reading books
Sight Word PracticeSight word flashcards Online sight word practice games
Reader’s TheaterReader’s theater scripts Online reader’s theater resources
Echo ReadingShort sentences or passages to echo Leveled reading books
Monitor and Provide FeedbackBooks of interest at the appropriate reading level reading log or journal
Engage in Silent Sustained ReadingBooks of interest at the appropriate reading level reading log or journal
10 Strategies for Reading Fluency

These tools can support and enhance the implementation of each strategy, providing additional resources and opportunities for struggling readers to develop their reading fluency.

Developing fluency can be challenging for struggling readers, but with the right strategies and support, it can be achieved. In this blog post, we will explore ten effective strategies that you can use to help build reading fluency in your child. A few practical tips for implementation accompany each strategy.

Strategy 1: Read Aloud Daily

Reading aloud to your child regularly is a powerful way to model fluent reading and improve their fluency. Choose engaging books at their reading level and take turns reading paragraphs or pages. Encourage your child to follow along as you read and discuss challenging words or phrases to enhance comprehension.

Strategy 2: Use Fluency-Building Tools

Utilize tools such as audiobooks, text-to-speech software, or reading apps with built-in voice features. These tools provide auditory support and allow struggling readers to hear fluent reading while following the text. It helps them develop a sense of rhythm, intonation, and pacing.

Build Fluency

Strategy 3: Choral Reading

Engage in choral reading, where you and your child read a text simultaneously. This technique promotes synchronized reading, allowing struggling readers to mimic the fluency and expression of a more proficient reader. Start with shorter passages or poems and gradually increase the length and complexity as their fluency improves.

Strategy 4: Repeated Reading

Encourage your child to read the same text multiple times. Repeated reading builds familiarity, which leads to increased fluency. Choose books or passages that are slightly below their current reading level. Set the goal of reading the text several times, gradually increasing speed and accuracy.

Strategy 5: Phrased Reading

Teach your child to read in phrases rather than word by word. Help them identify natural breaks in the text and group words together to create meaningful phrases. This technique improves pacing, expression, and overall comprehension. Model phrased reading and provide guidance until they develop the skill independently.

Strategy 6: Sight Word Practice

Fluency relies on the automatic recognition of sight words. Create flashcards or use online resources to practice sight words regularly. Start with a few words and gradually increase the difficulty level. Encourage your child to read the terms quickly and accurately, reinforcing their visual recognition and fluency development.

Strategy 7: Reader’s Theater

Engage your struggling reader in reader’s theater activities. Choose short scripts or plays and assign different roles to family members or friends. Encourage expressive reading, emphasizing dialogue and character voices. Reader’s theater promotes fluency, expression, and comprehension, making reading a fun and interactive experience.

Strategy 8: Echo Reading

Practice echo reading by reading a sentence or short passage aloud and then have your child repeat after you. This technique helps struggling readers develop fluency by modeling appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression. Gradually increase the length and complexity of the passages, providing opportunities for independent reading.

Strategy 9: Monitor and Provide Feedback

While your child is reading, listen attentively and provide constructive feedback. Offer praise for fluency and accuracy and gently correct errors or hesitations. Provide specific feedback on areas that need improvement, such as expression or pacing. Regular monitoring and feedback help struggling readers track their progress and make necessary adjustments.

Strategy 10: Engage in Silent Sustained Reading

Encourage your child to engage in daily silent sustained reading (SSR). Set aside dedicated time for independent reading, where they can choose books of interest. SSR promotes reading fluency by providing regular practice and building reading stamina. Discuss the books they read to foster comprehension and encourage a love for reading.

Building reading fluency in struggling readers requires patience, consistency, and various effective strategies. By implementing these ten strategies, parents can support their children in developing the necessary skills to read with accuracy, speed, and expression. Continue to be patient; it will take time to see progress. Celebrate small achievements and provide a supportive and nurturing environment for your struggling reader. With dedication and the right strategies, your child will develop the fluency they need to succeed in their reading journey.