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Three ways to help students improve reading fl uency
Th e pandemic has created a lot of challenges
for students and achievement gaps
continue to grow, especially among the most
vulnerable learners. According to Amplify,
students - especially those in grades K-1 in
Black and Hispanic populations - have experienced
severe learning losses in the past two
years. Furthermore, without support, a child
that is a poor reader in fi rst grade has a 90%
chance of remaining a poor reader.
Reading fl uency, the ability to read with
speed, accuracy, and meaningful expression,
remains an integral component of academic success
and future outcomes. Encouraging students
to read in their free time, while admirable, does
not provide the necessary support for students
struggling with reading fl uency.
Th is month, as we celebrate Read Across
America Day it’s a good time to learn how
we can help create strong, confi dent readers.
Below are three strategies that can help support
students’ reading fl uency.
One of the best ways to increase children’s
reading fl uency is to model reading in oneon
one settings. In a classroom, it may not
always be possible to read with students
individually, but tutors and family members
can be enlisted to provide private reading
Whether the tutors are parents, older
elementary students or college students,
having a dedicated person to sit down and
read individually with a child can build the
student’s reading confi dence. Th e reading
tutor can model profi cient reading fl uency,
recognize what skills the child needs support
in advancing and make reading a fun,
Technology can be a powerful tool to engage
students and encourage reading fl uency. Teachers
can use these tools to assess reading fl uency
of more students at once and frees up time to
focus on the students’ academic and emotional
In an eff ort to improve literacy, Microsoft
Education has created two reading tools that
work in tandem to help educators support
students with reading fl uency.
Reading Coach is a reading practice tool
for students that automatically generates
individualized exercises based upon each
student’s specifi c needs. It identifi es words
that the student struggled with and provides
additional opportunities for practice and
guidance on correct pronunciation. Th is
tool engages students and encourages them
to want to read more.
Reading Progress measures and identifi es correct
words per minute, accuracy rates and challenging
words, providing teachers and students
with insightful data and benchmarks for progress.
Th e newest update will allow the program to autodetect
prosody, that is, the patterns of expression
and intonation in a language. Prosody is key to
reading fl uency and is linked to helping students
build a deeper understanding of the text.
Having students read the same text multiple times
in diff erent settings is a great strategy to improve fl uency.
For example, students can read a poem together
aloud as a class, read the same poem to themselves
and read together in small groups or pairs.
By reading a passage multiple times, students
become familiar with the text, fi x errors, and
increase text comprehension. Repeated reading
encourages independence and confi dence
in young readers.
All students deserve equitable opportunities
to develop strong literacy skills for success in
and beyond the classroom, and teachers deserve
more support in helping their students reach
these goals. Using the tips and tools above can
Photo via Getty Images
go a long way in creating confi dent readers
and increasing reading fl uency in and out of
To learn more about tools to support
teachers and students in reading fluency,
visit microsoft .com/en-us/education/educators/
— Courtesy of BPT