Improve Reading Achievement Through These 12 Benefits of Fluency Instruction

The better students can read orally, the more deeply they understand and enjoy what they read. This is because they have bridged meaning with automatic word recognition to develop fluency, which has allowed for a far deeper text connection to occur.

Reading fluency is a critical goal for reading success. Yet the approaches for teaching fluent reading are often missing supporting text or practical application exemplars. Poetry, songs, jokes, movie scripts, television scripts, famous speeches, and other such texts beg for expressive reading. Having students perform these develops fluency and brings deeper comprehension. 

The research of the past two decades demonstrates a robust correlation between automatic word recognition and expressive oral reading and silent reading comprehension. That is, students who practice reading orally with good expression are more likely to comprehend deeply when reading silently.

Students who are unable to develop fluency will likely have difficulty achieving necessary levels of comprehension when reading. Because fluency is a foundational competency, difficulties in fluency can also lead to later difficulties in content areas that rely heavily on reading.

Effective fluency instruction is essential to improving the overall reading achievement of all students, as well as to boosting their achievement in other content areas. That's what The Megabook of Fluency is all about. In our book, we offer more than 50 ready-to-use strategies to develop fluency in your classroom, plus 200 supporting student pages in a format that helps you find the material quickly and easily so that all the readers in your classroom can benefit from fluency instruction.

The top 12 benefits of authentic fluency instruction and activities are:

1. Improves word recognition accuracy.
2. Improves automatic word recognition.
3. Improves oral (and silent) reading expression.
4. Improves reading comprehension and overall reading proficiency.
5. Allows reading to be a joyful act through performance of texts.
6. Provides an authentic reason for repeated reading (rehearsal). 
7. Improves students' self-confidence as readers.
8. Allows even struggling readers to become reading stars.
9. Expands the variety of reading available for students. 
10. Unifies all types of learners in a community experience.
11. Increases reading time at school.
12. Can become a great home-school connection. 

We have created a book that promotes fluency to help you create students who use fluency for its intended purpose: to read meaningfully and with deep comprehension. 

About the authors of this post:

Timothy V. Rasinski, professor of literacy education at Kent State University, began his career as a classroom teacher. He has written and edited more than 50 books and 200 articles on reading education, including the seminal The Fluent Reader.

Melissa Cheesman Smith is an author of professional books and teacher at the elementary and college level, with a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

13 Jokes That Make Fluency Practice Fun

By Timothy V. Rasinski and Melissa Cheesman Smith

Research on fluency indicates that strong oral fluency translates to higher comprehension and authentic enjoyment. What better what to help students practice their reading fluency than to let them feel confident by eliciting giggles from their classmates? 

To help your students become budding comedians, first teach students how to tell a joke following the eight steps below. Next, copy and cut out the jokes on the list. Let each student choose a joke and practice reading it, focusing on delivering the punchline without hesitations. After students have practiced alone and developed confidence in their delivery, let them walk around the table and "trade jokes," getting better each time they read their joke aloud. Then have students read aloud their jokes to peers or parents and, if the audience can't guess it, deliver the punchline. 

How to Tell A Joke in Eight Steps:


    1. Read: and say it over and over.
    2: Memorize: say it fluently. 
    3. Practice: on family (or pets!)


    4. Deliver joke clearly/slowly.
    5. Give audience time to think.
    6. Deliver punchline when asked.
    7. Deliver slowly and evenly.
    8. Wait to laugh until your audience laughs.

Jokes that are perfect for your students to learn:

1. When do you go at red and stop at green? When you're eating a watermelon.
2. Why can't your nose be 12 inches long? Because then your nose would be a foot. 
3. Why did the math book look so sad? Because it had so many problems.
4. Why couldn't the pirate play cards? Because he was sitting on the deck.
5. What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear.
6. Why did the robber take a bath before he robbed the bank? Because he wanted to make a clean getaway.
7. Why do you go to bed every night? Because the bed won't come to you.
8. How did the barber win the race? He knew a short cut. 
9. What did one wall say to the other wall? I'll meet you at the corner.
10. How do you make a fire with two sticks? Make sure one of them is a match.
11. What stays on the ground but never gets dirty? A shadow.
12. What do you call a pig that knows karate? A pork chop.
13. What is a pretzel's favorite dance? The twist.

For 27 more kid jokes, 199 more student-facing activities, and more than 50 strategies to boost fluency, check out our book, The Megabook of Fluency