7 Tips for Developing Fluent, Reflective Reading

This list of tips provides concrete strategies teachers can use to develop fluent, reflective reading.

Help children learn to read fluently by requiring them to read new stories and reread old stories every day. Here are 7 strategies to try:

  • Help children extend their experience with the words, language, and ideas in books by interactively reading harder texts with them and to them every day.
  • Relate information in books to other events of interest to children, such as holidays, pets, siblings, and games. Engage children in discussion of the topics.
  • In both stories and informational texts, encourage wondering. For example, "I wonder what Pooh will do now?" "How do you think the father feels ?" or "I wonder what frogs do in the winter? Do you think that's a problem? Why?"
  • Model comprehension strategies and provide students with guided assistance.
  • Point out how titles and headings tell what a book is about. Help students identify the main ideas presented in the text, as well as the supporting detail. Graphics help to reveal main ideas, and the relationship between text and graphics helps students understand what they are reading.
  • Point out unfamiliar words and explore their meaning. Revisit these words frequently and encourage students to use them in their own conversations.
  • Show children how to analyze contextual clues to figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word. Research shows that most vocabulary growth comes from learning new words in reading.

Excerpted from: Learning to Read/Reading to Learn: Helping Children with Learning Disabilities to Succeed. (1996). National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Council for Exceptional Children.

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"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." — Austin Phelps