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Practice Reading Aloud
Improving reading fluency takes practice. Students do not get enough practice reading aloud in a regular classroom setting. With these reading lesson plans, students will be reading out loud every day for several minutes. As their reading teacher, you can provide opportunities for reading fluency practice for students with dyslexia on a regular basis in your lesson plans.
- Read a book orally to students that they are able to read themselves during reading instruction. If possible, provide a copy of the book or the text to your students, so they can follow along while you read. Ask them to mimic you after you read a line. They should be paying attention to your intonation and expression as well as to the words when they echo you.
- Once students have practiced reading the book out loud with you, students should pair up with a favorite stuffed animal or other object they want to read to. This activity works especially well with elementary-aged students when improving reading fluency. Students pick a corner of the room, bring a stuffed animal, and read their book out loud to their "friends." One of your jobs as reading teacher would be to observe and take notes about students' reading fluency during this activity.
- After students have read the book several times with you and their stuffed animals, they are ready to read to a buddy or to another faculty member during these reading lesson plans. This is where students get to show off that they can read their book with expression and make the words come alive. Students should have practiced reading the book several times before they read to a classmate or another teacher. (If students need more practice, you can always send the book home and ask parents to listen to their children read. Make sure you tell parents that your lesson plans are focusing on improving reading fluency, so they know how to help their children.)
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Other Tips to Improve Reading Fluency
- Audio books are great tools for improving reading fluency. Many children's picture books have tapes that come with them. Students should be able to listen to the tape and see the book at the same time. They can practice with the tape during any reading lesson plans.
- Reader's Theater provides practice reading aloud and can be easily worked into reading lesson plans. When students are into their characters and the plot of the play, they will read with more expression. While they are practicing for their performances, they will read and re-read their lines, which improves reading fluency.
- Tape Record students while they are reading, and play it back so they can hear themselves. This may be embarrassing for some students, so you may want to do this one-on-one. Students with dyslexia are often struggling with the words and do not know how they sound. Record students the first time they read a book, and then after they have practiced several times, so they can hear when they are improving reading fluency.