Repeated readings: Fluency, Comprehension, and Motivation
Sometimes a student will ask why he or she has to read the same story, book, or passage if he or she has already read it. When this happens I ask my class if anyone takes lessons. I tell my class about my piano lessons when I was young. During my lesson, my teacher would assign me a new song to play. Since I had not played the song before, I made mistakes. My teacher pointed out my errors and gave suggestions for how I could improve. If I had time, I would play the song a second time during the lesson using the teacher's suggestions. During the week, I practiced that song plus other songs that I had previously played. I played these songs over and over. The more I practiced the better I became.
Of course, there is usually one student that will ask, "Didn't you get tired of practicing the same songs over and over?"
My answer was "yes and no". Yes, sometimes I did get tired of playing the same songs. But, I knew this is what I needed to do in order to improve. I found ways to make practicing the same songs more fun.
- Play the song as quickly as I could.
- Pretend like I am walking through molasses and play the song slowly.
- Pretend like I am playing the song at some famous music awards ceremony.
- Play the song using a metronome.
metronome can be used for reading, too. Students love the sound which sets the rate for how they read. With a metronome, they are excited about reading a story slow, medium, and fast.
Give students different actions to use when they read. It helps with the wiggles and improves fluency. Have you discovered push pins with hooks? Dollar tree has colorful ones like the ones in the picture. Hang your action cards on the hooks.
Using different voices will motivate students to reread their stories. Keep a ring of cards with different voices handy to use with your small groups.
Make rereading a permanent literacy center. All you need is a tub of books that students can fluently read and a few signs. Have an "action of the day" and a "voice of the day" signs showing students how they will reread their stories.
How do you motivate your students?