Fluency Matters!

As I spent all day testing yesterday, and I mean all day, I read some great articles from the International Reading Association.  Now that my membership works (They had the wrong email address.), I am enjoying it so much!  I read a really great article on fluency by Timothy Rasinski, you know the one who focuses on fluency. 
(Rasinski, T. V. (2012), Why Reading Fluency Should Be Hot!. The Reading Teacher, 65: 516–522. doi: 10.1002/TRTR.01077)

He had a lot of important things to say about fluency and the problems we face when trying to teach it.  Many teachers, students, and parents believe that fluency is "how fast we read".  There is sooo much more to it than that.  As a matter of fact, I tell students to "slow down" a lot because they read so fast that they don't remember what they even read.  Isn't the point of reading to comprehend the material?

When I teach fluency, I do focus on the reading rate ~ not too fast, not too slow, but just right.  I also focus on prosody and automaticity.  I work with the automaticity by conducting repeated readings, especially of poems and short stories.  Prosody is a little different.

Prosody is simply put, reading with expression.  One way to do this is by having the students read a certain word in a sentence and stressing it.  Another way to do this is to have students read a selected sentence, phrase, or passage with a certain emotion.  Many times in books, the author will say "John said happily" or "John said sadly".  When this is read with those emotions, the sentences take on an entirely different meaning.

After reading the article, I was inspired!  I was bored out of my skull and had nothing to do, so I created an activity that focuses on prosody.  It is up for grabs in my TPT store for half price through the weekend.  Click on the picture below to grab your copy.

It is a very simple activity that can be used in small groups and/or centers.  The students read the phrase in a normal tone and then choose a "star" emotion card and read it in that tone.  Some of the sentences will sound funny when read certain ways, which may cause some loud laughter!  The set includes 27 sentence cards and 18 different emotions, so there are many different combinations.

I hope you enjoy this fun set!

Until next time!


  1. Love it, Andrea! What a fabulous idea!

  2. What a great idea for fluency!! You did an excellent job!! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. I just found your blog, and I'm so glad I did!! This is great! It is sad how much emphasis is being put on speed. Like you, I'm constantly telling my kids to slow down. They were so confused at the beginning of the year because their past teachers had always had them race. We practice our fluency every morning by reading a paragraph in the board and I give out little treats to the student who can use the most expression :) Great packet, by the way. I added it to my wishlist on TpT. This poor teacher needs to hold off on purchases right now, haha.

    Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

  4. Timothy Rasinski is great! Have you read his book, The Fluent Reader? Very informative book. Thanks for coming by my blog so I could discover yours!
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. I actually found that book on my shelf in my closet as I was cleaning it out. It seems the reading specialist before me left it there. I have wanted to read it but just never purchased it. Now, I have some more summer reading! I read a lot of Rasinski's articles in my classes, so I know The Fluent Reader will not disappoint!


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