#SOL16: March Challenge Day 10 – Problem Solving


Problem Solving:  How to improve reading fluency?


  1. Increase amount of time for eyes on print
  2. Provide practice with a variety of text
  3. Increase all phases of fluency: accuracy, expression, phrasing, smoothness and rate

One research-based practice with data supporting it is partner reading.  The routine used for short, easy texts to build automaticity, expression, phrasing, smoothness and rate looks like this.


Students will be assigned partners.  They will read together twice, then take turns at 3 and 4 above and then read a final fifth time together.  Each partner will read the “text” 4 times.

What will students read?

Reading texts will be set up like centers.  The choices are poetry, sight word phrases, short printed stories, informational books, and narrative books.

The checklist that students will use is this:

fluency practice

What do the materials look like?

Instructional Focus: Reading Fluency

Goal: Increase student fluency through intensive repeated partner practice reading.  Instruction: 5 minute mini-lesson with practice in phases of fluency. And then keep a research-based strategy – partner reading so the teacher can hear how students use the instructional focus in their reading with a partner. Changing up the materials will help alleviate teacher boredom and will provide a framework for students to read and reread text in an organized and yet familiar process.  Teachers can then determine which students need additional practice at this level and which students need to be challenged. Increase both length and difficulty of text  as students meet criteria.

Writing Process:  I had to determine how best to “show” this work. I pulled photos from my phone and screen shot the student form with my snipping tool.  A question / answer format seemed to be the easiest to focus on the key elements for this work. Explaining the format seemed easy. Insertion of pictures into WordPress today – extremely difficult.  Some pictures flipped upside down. They took forever to load. FRUSTRATING!


What has worked for you?

How do you keep your fluency work focused but yet meaningful for students?


slice of life 2016

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!





12 responses

  1. […] Problem Solving: How to improve reading fluency? Goals: Increase amount of time for eyes on print Provide practice with a variety of text Increase all phases of fluency: accuracy, expression, phrasing, smoothness and rate One research-based practice with data supporting it is partner reading. The routine used for short, easy texts to build automaticity,…  […]

  2. Allison Jackson | Reply

    This is an intriguing idea I’m eager to try. Love the idea of varied, short texts so kids get lots of practice with a variety of texts. (And thanks for keeping the teachers in mind- love that you’re looking out for us so WE don’t get bored! :))

    1. Allison,
      If it matches student and teacher perception, it is more likely to be implemented!

      THANKS! ❤

  3. Kids love reading together. The varied texts keep interest alive. Your explanation is very clear. I didn’t mind the sideways pics.

    1. Terje,
      The pictures were so annoying. They imported fine. But when I went to put them in the post, they flipped around. SILLY!


  4. You have organized this so well, Fran, and I imagine once you get started and the students know the routine, it will help improve the skills.

    1. Thanks, Linda! I want the routine to be joyful and not be onerous! I’m hopeful that the skills will improve as there are only five weeks until the spring screener! OUCH!

  5. Yes, so well organized and thought out, Fran.

    1. Thanks, Tara!
      Something is required; hopefully this will be a sensible solution! It’s been a day filled with fluency conversations!

  6. Our PLC goal this year centers on fluency work. Do you mind if I share your post with my team at our next meeting? We’re always looking for different ways to promote fluency. One fun way we’ve found is incorporating a Fluency Idol competition. The idea came from a Reading Teacher magazine article. One of my colleagues sliced about it earlier this month (https://wonder864.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/fluency-idol/). Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    1. Yes, you can share! Please do!

      I love that blog post but we have a HUGE gap between where we need to be so volume of text read is a major concern. I worry that one poem a week will not close that gap. Primary grades are set up deliberately to read more than 1000 words per week just in the fluency practice. Volume, volume, volume!

      We’ve had a “radio show” that’s similar – We’ll see what the leadership team thinks! Maybe this would work to “ramp up” practice right after spring break!

  7. […]  What does your instruction look like? What have you done to ensure success for your students? (Check here for the last post on a way to organize repeated […]

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