Are you teaching the reading fluency components at home? If not you may see your child unable to read smoothly. They may be getting frustrated because they often have to decode every word. If you’re seeing these things it may be time to develop their reading fluency skills. As a kindergarten teacher, reading fluency is something I worked on with my children who had developed the base level phonic and phonemic awareness skills. Daily practice using text they enjoyed and lots of support helped them to become fluent readers.

What is reading fluency?

Reading fluency is the ability to ready text with speed, accuracy and expression to produce comprehension. Many people either forget to actually teach this,  focus on only one component or approach this out of order. This is why many children suffer when reading.

What makes up reading fluency?

Some sources say there are three and some say four.

Models of Reading Fluency Components
Two different ways of looking at reading fluency components.

As you see the basic difference is one model includes comprehension while the other says comprehension is a result of reading fluency. I prefer the four components because it keeps comprehension in mind when teaching  fluency skills to children.

What are the four components of reading fluency?

Accuracy

Reading rules help children develop reading fluenccy

Children need to be able to read 98 of 100 words correctly to develop fluid reading. Being able to quickly use the letter-sound knowledge they have to blend letters as well as other reading rules helps children to accurately read words they see in text.

Speed

Timed reading can help to build reading fluency

Being able to read words quickly is another measure of fluency. Now it must be said that just because children is able to read quickly, it does not mean that they understand what they are reading. So be careful with pushing for reading speed. Yes, reading speed is important but only so long as the other components  are also present.

Expression

Children who know when to pause at commas and periods as well as use the tone of spoken language are said to be reading with proper expression. This component is important because children who are able to read with expression have better reading fluency skills because to be able to do this correctly they must also have the other three components of reading fluency.

Comprehension

Understanding what they can read makes children so happy!

This is the goal of all that you’re working towards. When children are able to understand what they are reading, they have unlocked the key to learning almost anything. Reading comprehension comes as a result of letter-sound knowledge, being able to decode words and the other three components.

What is the most important component of reading fluency?

There is no one component that is more important than the others. They work together and should be given equal time and attention. Children who can read say words quickly but not accurately will not have the proper expression nor will they understand what they have read. They are not fluent readers. Children who cannot read accurately cannot gain the speed, expression nor comprehension needed to be a fluent reader. You can see that while one may lead to the other, each is equally important for children to become excellent readers.

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