Reading Fluency

School-Wide Strategies for Managing... READING

The ability to read allows individuals access to the full range of a culture's artistic and scientific knowledge. Reading is a complex act.

Jim's Hints

Literacy Web: Reading Comprehension Links. Browse through a large and varied list of recommended reading-instruction links grouped into the following categories: (1) vocabulary instruction, (2) text comprehension instruction, (3) teacher preparation and comprehension strategies instruction, and (4) websites for comprehension practice. This page is a part of 'The Literacy Web', a wonderful cataloging of literacy links and Internet resources created by Dr. Donald J. Leu and Julie Coiro at the University of Connecticut.

Reading Interventions for K-1. Created by the Florida Center for Reading Research, this site contains short, research-based student reading activities suitable for grades K-1. The activities cover phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Reading Quest: Improving Comprehension of Textbook Material. Find ideas to help students to grapple with and better understand their textbook readings. Teachers can discover how to use a 'K-W-L' (Known-Want [to Learn]-Learned) chart to encourage students to engage prior knowledge of a topic, encourage students to take notes using a 'Power Thinking' approach, and many other ideas. The site was created by Raymond C. Jones, assistant professor of social studies education at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.

Reading Strategies: A-Z. Visit the site 'Reading Rockets' to discover many articles with intervention and instructional ideas to help struggling readers. Reading Rockets is supported by WETA, the Washington, D.C. public television and radio station and is funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Scaffolded Reading Comprehension Ideas. The Greece (NY) school district has posted 22 reading comprehension strategies to 'scaffold students' interactions with texts'. These strategies are organized according to the stage of the reading process (pre-reading, reading, post-reading) that they address. Each strategy write-up includes a brief introduction, steps to implement, and ideas to adapt or differentiate the strategy with different student groups or instructional objectives.

The Savvy Teacher's Guide: Reading Interventions That Work. This free 52-page manual (Adobe Acrobat format) contains 4 teacher intervention scripts to build student reading fluency and 10 scripts to boost comprehension. Strategies in the manual are based on practices recommended by the National Reading Panel.

Repeated Reading

The student reads through a passage repeatedly, silently or aloud, and receives help with reading errors.

Jim's Hints

Take Steps to Keep the Student Invested in the Activity. Repeated reading is effective as an intervention to build student reading fluency because it gives the student lots of reading practice. However, this activity could become dull and uninteresting for the student over time. If you find that the student is beginning to lose interest in repeated reading, consider:

  • Providing praise to the student in specific terms for good reading.
  • Allowing the student to pick out high-interest books or articles to use for repeated reading.
  • Using a stop-watch, monitor the student's reading rate during each repeated reading and chart the results on a graph.

Paired Reading

The student reads aloud in tandem with an accomplished reader. At a student signal, the helping reader stops reading, while the student continues on.

Jim's Hints

Consider Using Paired Reading for Peer Tutoring or as a Parent Strategy. Paired reading is a highly structured but simple strategy that can easily be taught to others-including to school-age children and youth. If you have a pool of responsible older students available you may want to create a cross-age peer tutoring program that uses paired reading as its central intervention. Or train parents to use this simple reading strategy when they read with their children at home.

Listening Passage Preview

The student follows along silently as an accomplished reader reads a passage aloud. Then the student reads the passage aloud, receiving corrective feedback as needed.

Jim's Hints

Ask Occasional Comprehension Questions. You can promote reading comprehension by pausing periodically to ask the student comprehension questions about the story (e.g., who, what, when, where, how) and to encourage the student to react to what you both have read (e.g., "Who is your favorite character so far? Why?").

Preview a Text Multiple Times as a Rehearsal Technique. In certain situations, you may wish to practice a particular text selection repeatedly with the student, using the listening passage preview approach. For example, if the student is placed in a reading book that is quite difficult for him or her to read independently, you might rehearse the next assigned story with the student several times so that he or she can read the story more fluently during reading group.

Kids as Reading Helpers: A Peer Tutor Training Manual

Perhaps the most pressing challenge that schools face is that of ensuring that all children become competent readers.

Jim's Hints

Peer Tutor Manual: Contents at a Glance...

  • Kids as Reading Helpers: A Peer Tutor Training Manual. The complete manual is designed as an outof-the-box peer-tutoring start-up program. It includes instructions to prepare for and launch a school-based peer tutoring program in reading. The manual also contains a scripted 4-lesson tutor training curriculum. [58 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:1.5MB]
  • Chapter 1: Peer Tutor Training Kit: An Introduction. The first chapter gives a rationale for peer tutoring. [3 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:132KB]
  • Chapter 2: Peer Tutoring: Assembling the Pieces.  School-wide peer tutoring depends on thoughtful advance preparation. This chapter provides a clear sequence for setting up a peer tutoring program. It includes helpful forms and sample teacher & parent letters. [16 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:220KB]
  • Chapter 3: Launching. This section highlights the tasks necessary to 'kick off' peer tutoring. It discusses how to train peer tutors, match tutors to tutees, monitor the quality of peer tutoring, and monitor student progress over time. The chapter includes forms to match tutors to tutees and to conduct observations of tutoring sessions. [7 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:183KB]
  • Lesson 1: Peer Tutoring. Students are taught the behavioral expectations for serving as a peer tutor, including how to pass quietly through hallways, enter classrooms to pick up students, and address tutee misbehavior. [9 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:335KB]
  • Lesson 2: How to Give Praise to Tutees. Giving praise does not come naturally to most elementary students! In this lesson, tutors-in-training get lots of practice in recognzing when and how to praise their tutees. [8 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:209KB]
  • Lesson 3: How to Do Paired Reading or 'Listening While Reading'. The academic strategies at the heart of this peer tutoring program are paired reading and 'listening while reading'. This lesson teaches peer tutors to be reliable and consistent in carrying out these fluency building techniques. [4 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:170KB]
  • Lesson 4: Peer Tutoring: Graduation Day! In this training session, tutors get to feel good about 'graduating' from their training while the trainer conducts a final evaluation of their skills. [7 Pages/File Type:PDF/File Size:301KB]
  • Sample Teacher Letters.  Download the sample teacher and parent letters included in Chapter 2 of the manual as a single Microsoft Word file . Customize the letters in minutes for your school and send them out! [8 Pages/File Type:MS Word/File Size:78KB]


  • Ehly, S. (1986). Peer Tutoring: A guide for school psychologists. Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Garcia-Vazquez, E., & Ehly, S. (1995). Best practices in  facilitating peer tutoring programs. In A. Thomas & J.Grimes (Eds.),  Best Practices in School Psychology-III (pp.403-411). Washington, DC:  National Association of School Psychologists.Stanovich, K.E. (1986). Matthew effects in reading: Some  consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy.  Reading Research Quarterly, 21, 360-407.Topping, K. (1987). Paired reading: A powerful technique for parent use. Reading Teacher, 40, 608-614.
  • Wright, J. (1992). Curriculum-based measurement: A manual for  teachers. Available online at:

Error Correction & Word Drill Techniques

Below are several error-correction techniques and one procedure for vocabulary drill-and-practice that teachers, tutors, or parents can use with developing readers.

Jim's Hints

Pair Error Correction With Reading Fluency Interventions. Students who are just learning to read or have delayed reading skills often benefit from having a more accomplished reader listen to their reading and correct any reading mistakes immediately. Make use of one of these error correction or word drill approaches whenever you use an intervention to promote reading fluency.

Reading Practice

In this very simple but effective intervention, the student reads aloud while an accomplished reader follows along silently.

Jim's Hints

Train Parents to Use This Strategy. Assisted reading is an easy method to learn and gives students valuable practice that can really boost their reading fluency. You can train parents to read with their children on a regular basis using assisted reading practice.

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