Incorporating More Fluency

Happy Wednesday Literacy Land friends! It is Em from Curious Firsties to talk about some quick tips to boost reading fluency in our students---at any age!

Working with first graders that are currently reading at a lower level than peers, I am always searching for more ways to get print into their lives.  I am always looking for more ways to incorporate more "time on text" for them.

After attending a Literacy Conference this winter, I walked away with some fluency tips that I wanted to explore and implement.  Here are some of them:

1. Closed Captions at home
I don't think this is a new tip.  There is research to support the benefits that closed captions do have on reading.  I found many research articles listed on Zane Education.  In the fall, we asked our parents to start turning on the closed captions (with child-appropriate TV shows); however, my own little preschoolers watch PBS without the closed captions on because I never remember to turn them on.  It made me wonder...if I'm not doing it, how many other families are not doing it?

My school had conferences last week and we decided that we would make the closed captioning suggestion again, but this time we would use magnets.  My hope is that families will go home and remember this tip when they put their magnet on the fridge!

Thanks to 3AM Teacher for frame and KG fonts.
You can grab these magnets for free, print them off, cut them out, laminate them (if you would like), and stick a little magnet on the back.

2. Neurological Impress Method
Tim Rasinski introduced me to this type of paired reading when I saw him speak at the Ohio Literacy Conference in December.  Since then I have done some more reading and research on the method.  It is very similar to paired reading but there are some slight differences.

*Choose a book at the student's instructional level (for the first few sessions, I would use an independent text until the student understands the technique).
*Sit next to and slightly behind the student.  In "The Fluent Reader," Rasinski suggests that you try to read into the student's left ear.
*The more proficient reader points to the text (or both readers point).
*Both readers begin reading the text; however, the more proficient partner readers slightly faster and louder.

This is a more intense method to paired reading because the student will need to keep up with the proficient reader.  Due to this, Rasinski suggests that these sessions would last no longer than 15 minutes (and even less time when you first begin).  But that over the course of the week 3 of these sessions should occur.

ReadStrong provides some additional information on this type of paired reading.  I also watched quite a few videos that demonstrate how neurological impress method should look.  Here are two videos that my vertical team watched together to get a better idea of how to implement:

3. Purpose to Repeated Readings
Repeated readings also assist in reading fluency.  As Rasinski discussed repeated readings at the Ohio Literacy Conference he said that you should always set up your lesson with a purpose behind the repeated readings.  I was thinking, "Yes, yes, of course.  I do this."  But do I?  I always set up my lessons with why we need to do this or that.  But when it comes to reading  a text more than once, do I really give my students the necessary motivation to become more proficient and fluent?

It got me thinking....and I made some changes.

I started doing my daily fluency practice a little different this year in my small groups.  You can read more about that here.  One major difference is the purpose I establish.  Each Friday I will be audio recording each small group reading a particular text.  I use the free Evernote app to record them chorally reading.  Then they will each get a CD filled with these recordings.  They were so excited to hear about the CD.  YES!  Purpose was established!

Have you found that any of these tips have worked in your classroom?
What are some fluency tips that you use in your classroom or ask your families to try to incorporate?


  1. That's me and my daughter on the second video! I was doing a demo for my grad class. A little hard to do NIM with a reader who is fluent, but we gave it our best shot. Hope it was helpful!

    1. Thank you!! It was so helpful! My vertical team sat down and we watched/discussed the method together. We have all been trying it out in different ways in our classrooms and modeling it for our parents to try at home. We hope that it can make a difference for our struggling readers. Thanks so much for reading!

  2. The NIM is so fascinating to me. I think I'm going to try it with one of my struggling readers tomorrow when I can work with him one-on-one for a few minutes. Thanks for sharing the videos- they really help!

    Also, you'll have to show me how you manage the recordings in Evernote sometime... I have not figured out why everyone loves that app so much! :)


    1. I will do that for sure!! That app has changed our writer's workshop and now I am incorporating it into my small group! Thanks for reading. I can't wait to incorporate more of this NIM!

  3. NIM has worked so well for my struggling readers. I highly recommend it. I love the videos you posted from Read Strong. What a great site! I also loved your use of Evernote. Thanks for a great post!
    Emily, TRT/OG

    1. Thanks Emily! I shared some of the websites you had shared with my vertical team. We are really working together to get better at this strategy and that is really exciting. It makes such a difference when you have a team of people!