Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Increasing fluency with word phrases

At the end of the year I picked up a second grade student. Usually I spend time with middle and high school students so this was an interesting twist. The fluency work I was mostly focusing on related to older students. Edward Fry and Timothy Rasinski's book Increasing Fluency with High Frequency Word Phrases is a series of books addressing this younger target. There are books for first, second and third grade. I picked up the second grade book and then failed to get it read in time to apply. I did read it and it certainly holds up to the quality and readability that I expect from Rasinski.

As a premise, Fry used computer analysis to develop sight word lists based the frequency of words. In many ways this is a modernization of Dolch's work. After Fry identified the most common words, he developed phrases to use to practice reading the sight words. The rationale being that simply reading flash cards does not adequately support fluency. Students learn the words in isolation and then struggle with them in context.

This series presents a series of 20 lessons (per book) that should be taught in sequence. Each lesson begins with the sight words being addressed. Once students have those they can be introduced to the phrases. These use both words from the current lesson as well as words from previous lessons. Following that a story using the phrases is presented with a couple of comprehension questions. This is to give students a chance to focus on comprehension and then reread for increased fluency. The next page is for independent work- some on your own exercise where the students need to go back to the text to answer questions and then a reading development concept is introduced. The lesson set ends with a fluency checkpoint and an evaluation. The authors suggest this should take about week. Perhaps only 10-15 minutes a day, but a little work each day so that rereading occurs and the students can develop fluency with the text.

Included in the book are two CDs. One that is a teacher resource and the other a student resource. The student resource has audio files of each set of phrases and passages. The teacher resource contains electronic files of the worksheets and readings.

Overall, this system is an easy to implement component of a reading program for students.

No comments:

Post a Comment