Monday, March 16, 2015

Fluency Lessons for the Overhead

Alyse Sweeny's short book, Fluency Lessons for the Overhead: Grades 4-6, is a delightful collection of short lessons that can be used to teach fluency. In today's techno happy world it seems odd to talk about using an overhead, but good materials are good materials. You could indeed transcribe these lessons and use your Smartboard, IF you have one.

There are 15 passages excerpted from popular authors including Jack Prelutsky ad J.K. Rowling. These passages are ideal for fluency practice because they are short and self-contained. Ms. Sweeny offers a script for each passage that begins with comprehension and goes on to fluency and writing. As many others have pointed out, practicing reading merely to increase speed will result in faster reading, but will not carry with it the benefits of increased comprehension that fluency practice should provide.

The lesson scripts provide think aloud and instructional information that teachers will find useful in explaining how punctuation impacts prosody. Although many teachers naturally do read with prosody, they sometimes have difficulty explicitly explaining why they do what they do. (ex. How is a dash different from parenthesis in reading?)

The appendix of the book demonstrates phrased text lessons. While this approach has mixed results, it is valuable to try with students who struggle with learning how to phrase a passage while reading. This approach does not have evidence to support its use in whole class activities.

If you can find a copy of this ten year old book, it is a useful resource for reading instruction with students beyond the decoding stage of reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment