This morning during their literacy block in the AT&T Classroom Kent State faculty members Dr. Frank Sansosti and Dr. Sanna Harjusola-Webb visited the class to introduce a new format that the students will be using for reading fluency practice. The second graders will be working in pairs to do timed fluency trials using the K12 Timed Reading & Comprehension Practice on the iPads. Available for both iOS and Android, the app provides materials and a framework that young readers can used to to practice reading smoothly and quickly and to build their comprehension skills to better understand what they are reading.
Fluency is an important reading skill because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. When fluent readers read silently or aloud, they are able to recognize words automatically so they are able to also comprehend the meaning at the same time. Because fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding the words, the reader can focus his/her attention on the meaning of the text/words and make connections among the ideas in the text to their own background knowledge. In contrast, less fluent readers must focus their attention on figuring out the words, leaving them little attention for understanding the meaning of text.