Thursday, September 3, 2015

Early Literacy Series #7: Teaching Comprehension & Fluency

This is the seventh of seven posts about early literacy.

One of the challenges in helping children learn how to read is providing a variety of daily experiences that develop fluency and comprehension. In this last post of the series, I outline few instructional practices teachers can use during interactive and shared reading and interactive writing.

Fluency Chart


  1. Model oral reading with expression in patterned and familiar storybooks during shared reading.
  2. Create opportunities for student to read chorally with you as you read familiar refrains. This works well when the text can be seen by the students through the use of big books, charts, and projected text.
  3. Choose patterned text, including familiar nursery rhymes and poems, to have students practice reading with phrasing and expression. Again it is important that students see the text. 
  4. Consistently uses one-to-one matching with new text (reads almost exclusively word-by-word, usually pointing with finger).
  5. Model pointing as needed in shared reading and interactive writing.
  6. Encourage beginning readers to point to each word as he or she reads.
  7. Encourage peer to peer talk.


Retelling Anchor Chart
  1. When reading aloud (interactive and shared reading) encourage students to elaborate on details from the story by providing prompts like, then what happened?
  2. Select meaningful texts for reading aloud and as guided reading materials. Consider text quality and context.
  3. Ask students to tell how details in pictures relate to the story. 
  4. Encourage students to point to the pictures as they talk about details in the story.
  5. Encourage student to look back at text and pictures as you discuss the text after reading.
  6. Create opportunities for discussion of read-aloud and shared reading text.
  7. Pose a question for student about text and as he formulates answers ask, "What in the picture tells you that? What in the text tells you that?"
  8. Create an anchor chart where you record the information from pictures and text.
  9. Create anchor charts as you work together to identify story elements.
  10. Model talking about parts of text in sequence during shared reading. Teach students about the prompts as well (i.e. Tell me more, what makes you think that? etc.). 
  11. During guided reading prompt students to talk about parts in sequence.
  12. Give student multiple opportunities to identify and discuss the story elements as you work together in texts.
  13. Thoughtfully chunk text (create stopping points) as you plan for guided reading, shared reading and interactive read aloud opportunities.
  14. At chosen stopping points ask student, What do you think will happen next? to encourage careful predictions.
  15. Give student multiple opportunities to discuss predictions with peers and/or teacher.
  16. Confirm or change predictions as you continue reading text together. 
  17. During interactive read-alouds model making predictions based on illustrations or parts of stories. 
  18. Teach students what it means to make predictions. 
  19. Create an anchor chart about making predictions to refer to during later teaching about predictions.
  20. Teach students to monitor predictions during interactive read aloud.
  21. Pose questions that invite children to infer at spots in the text and across the text.
  22. A student's questions recorded during a read aloud.
  23. Teach students how to pose their own questions and privilege this work.

Students' Inferring Chart Kept During Guided Reading
Students' Inferring Chart Kept During Guided Reading

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