Improving Fluency & Comprehension
Struggling readers are working to decode word by word often missing the message of the passage in its entirety. When students are younger and just learning to read this doesn’t pose a problem since texts are often shorter and can be reread quickly until comprehended. Rereading a novel or textbook can get cumbersome as the student reaches upper elementary, middle school and high school.
For students in the upper grades, audiobooks can make a huge difference in encouraging fluency and comprehension in reading. There are plenty of sources to get audiobooks online, but my two favorite are Learning Ally and Book Share because they have student textbooks available as well.
I do not suggest just giving the student the audio and have them passively listen to it. In order for learning to take place the student must be taught how to interact with the text and audio together.
The great thing about listening to audio books on your computer is you can use your media player to control audio speed as well. You student can adjust the speed to where it is comfortable enough for them to be able to follow along and be an active reader.
Your student should be taught how to skim and scan a text. Then to read actively along with the text, whether out loud or using their “head voice.” They should underline vocabulary words that they learned how to pronounce correctly and other information they need for reading with a purpose. They can then stop and take book notes.
Students need to be taught how to learn. I hope to be sharing more tips on supporting students on their learning journey.