Fluency is reading a text with sufficient rate (words per minute), accuracy (number of words correctly identified), and prosody (expression) to support comprehension.
Why is fluency important?
Fluent readers are better able to comprehend because they process information quickly (automaticity). A student who struggles to read individual words has little attention left for comprehending and remembering the text.
Fluent readers are able to able to decode without effort, which ensures that they are reading with accuracy and at an appropriate rate. Since they are reading with intent, focus can be on comprehension rather than decoding.
Fluency is a step that students need to become proficient readers.
Defining Fluency is an article by Tim Rasinksi from Scholastic that discusses the importance of reading fluency.
Reading Rockets provides information from different perspectives on fluency. This site allows you to see multiple ways a child might struggle and what the solution might be.
Practice at Home:
Read aloud with your child: If your child can hear examples of fluent reading they are more likely to understand how to apply fluency in their own reading.
Choral Reading: Choose a passage that your child can read independently, read the passage to your child as they listen and follow along, then have them reread with you trying to match your rate and expression.
Echo Reading: Choose a passage that your child can read independently, read the passage to your child as they listen and follow along, then have them reread it independently.
Education Corner provides more options for practicing fluency at home with your child, along with some useful information.