Mini Course #1 Fix Flimsy Fluency


Flimsy Fluency

Fixing flimsy fluency in reading means changing uneven reading to make it smoother. Kids with poor fluency read in a choppy way at varying speeds from slow to fast. On the other hand, kids who exhibit good fluency read smoothly at a steady speed. Reading researchers note that children read the same way silently as they read out loud. Therefore, strong fluency is important because much of school reading is done silently. Since we don’t hear them read in their heads, we hope kids read with good fluency. The importance of good fluency is noted below.

Many kids read with flimsy fluency which means they read:

  • Too fast
  • Leave out unknown words
  • Change or omit words
  • Skip punctuation

This kind of poor fluency impedes comprehension.  As a result of spending so much time and energy trying to read the words, kids become frustrated, tired, and unable to figure out the meaning of a text. So I designed this mini-course for parents to identify and fix poor fluency quickly. If kids know what they specifically need to fix, they will try to fix it. Besides, this is a fun way to learn, identify, and fix that flimsy fluency.

The 4 Parts of Fluency

  1. Word Accuracy
  2. Speed
  3. Expression
  4. Punctuation

Be Aware of Flimsy Fluency

As you listen to your child read during this activity, be aware of the warning signs of poor fluency. First, look for changes in word endings or their omission. Next, observe the speed at which your child reads. Reading should not be slow, choppy, or too fast. Rather, kids should read at a steady, moderate speed. In addition, fluent readers use expression when they read. Their voice goes up and down like it does when they talk. It should not sound monotone like a robot. Finally, punctuation matters. Skipping periods or reading through commas without a pause changes the meaning of a sentence.  All these signs of flimsy fluency will be fixed with this activity.

Your Homework to Fix Poor Fluency

First, explain the four parts of fluency and what makes it flimsy. Tell your kids that they will grade your reading using the above four parts of fluency so you can fix any flimsy parts. As you read, they will give you 1 point for each area of good fluency that you do correctly (a total of 4).

Next, read a short paragraph out loud a few times while the kids read along to check your fluency. Say a few words incorrectly. Then adjust your speed. For example, read very slow and choppy or very fast. Read right through periods. Your children will laugh out loud as they grade your poor reading and tell you what you did wrong. Tell them you want to try one more time.

Finally, read the same paragraph again very fluently. Notice that the kids are usually dead-on with their observations. This time they will notice how you fixed your mistakes. They understand what good reading fluency sounds like because you modeled it to them. They also know how to fix flimsy fluency. Ask them to read the same paragraph and give themselves and each other a grade.

Your fluency lesson was perfect. You earned an A+ on fixing flimsy fluency!

I would love to hear how your fluency fixes worked.  Please subscribe to this Blog using the link to the right so you will be notified of each new post. Also please join us for my story time on You Tube @ Creating Smart Readers (link to the right) where I read my favorite stories to children.  “Happy Reading!”