Poor Reading Fluency (Slow)

Updated on September 22, 2009
K.G. asks from Allen, TX
8 answers

My daughter is in 2nd grade and was tested on the TRPI as being slow/low in the area of reading fluency. She tested at a 42 wpm (words per min.) and the minimum they want to see at the 2.0 mark is 50 wpm and at the end of second grade they want 90 wpm. I was writing to ask you all some techniques/ideas/books etc. that I can work with her on to improve her reading fluency. FYI her comprehension is good and she has a 2.8 reading level. Any helpful ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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answers from Dallas on

Does she know all her sight words? If not this can really help her improve her speed. Also read to her as much as you can and have her read to you as much as she can. In the car have her read easy books to you out loud. Best of luck.

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answers from Dallas on

I'm glad that you are on top of this and trying to figure out how help. One of the biggest parts of fluency is knowing the words by sight. One way you can help is really practicing the sight words for 1st and 2nd grade. She should know them automatically. A fun way to practice is to play sight word bingo, play sight word concentration, or just plain old fashion flashcard races/games. If it's a certain word that's troubling her, you can sing or cheer out the letters. How does she do when she comes to new words? Does she sound them out letter by letter, or is she starting to recognize the word families/chunks and carry that over. (ie) knows man--> therefore can quickly read pan, fan, than...

Now, for the rest of fluency, one of the best ways to help her is to read aloud to her. When she hears you read fluently, with great expression, she'll start to pick up on it too. Echo read, which is when she repeats you. (A sentence or paragraph at a time.) Make sure when she's doing that she is looking at the words not just memorizing what you are saying. You could also just take turns reading pages, but make sure to switch so she's practicing your half.

Another fun idea is to make stories into plays. Make puppets, act it out, whatever. Kids love to perform and they don't even realize that making it fun is also practicing. There are lots of reader's theater books in teacher stores with scripts. You could do it as a family or she could act out the whole thing with different voices or puppets. The LOVE making puppets! (ie) sock puppets, paper bag puppets, popsicle sticks, and more! The key is that it's READERS theater, so she should be looking at the script as she goes. Have her put on her show for the family, it will be fun and build her confidence. It's really funny with family members are in it too. ;) (IDEA- videotape it!)

Most of all, she just needs to read aloud, preferably with you listening, so you can help out. She could read to you while you drive or cook, it doesn't always have to take a lot of time. A lot of kids only read silently which is great, but isn't as helpful for her fluency. Let her hear herself, you could even tape record her so she knows what she's doing. You could use the tape recorder for you to read a book too so you aren't always with her. Then she could listen to it. Better yet, the library has lots of kids books on tape or cd. They have the book with them to read along.

Hope these ideas help!
:)Leah Ann Morgan

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answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,

You received some great ideas for improving your daughter's fluency here. I taught 2nd grade, and some of my favorites that I used with some of my kiddos are the echo reading and Reader's Theater. Does she like poetry? My students loved sharing silly poems with their classmates. (Here's a fun website: http://gigglepoetry.com/ .) She could practice reading a poem out loud and then "perform" it for the family. (Sometimes, poems are more accessible than stories for scripts.)

Kudos to you for jumping on this so early in the year! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Best things for fluency
Have her read books that are below her reading level so that she does not have to struggle over words she doesn't know. (as she improves use harder books) Have her read OUT LOUD to you everyday! read the same books over and over (and over and over). time her reading a short book or passage. let her try again to beat her time. Make her track with her fingers as she reads.
Listening to a child read out loud is one of the best ways to help them improve their reading.

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answers from Dallas on

You could have your daughter tested professionally if you are not aware of her specific learning differences. For example she may have what is called "position in space," which means a "b" "P" "p" and "d" all look alike to her. If she had this she would just see a line and a circle........over time the context of the word will make up for this. Once tested you will be given tips on how to work with her.

for example ~ I have a trick that really helped my son. Just take a straight edge (a plain piece of paper or a ruler with no writing that would distract her) and place it below the sentence she is reading. Sometimes there are just too many words up and down and all around. This little technique can help her stay in the right place, upping her speed.

I wouldn't worry too much. As a Mom you are already on top of it. Just keep reading with her and it will get better.
Best of Luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Scottish Rite has a program called Rite Flight that is fabulous!! We use it with our Dyslexic students.
Having her re-read stories is wonderful! Any work you can do with basic words is good; there are several instant words activities & books out there. Time her multiple times on the same passage (over time) & see if she improves. Flashcards can be helpful for instant words. Her fluency will improve as her word recognition improves.
Don't get bogged down & worry too much. Just work with her regularly & keep reading & she will improve.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My name is M., and I own a tutoring company in Weatherford called, Unlock the Box Innovative Learning. I would love to talk to you about some ways we could help your daughter. My company is a student centered, brain-based alternative to traditional tutoring!!
We're having an open house this next Saturday and then on October 24th we're having a Fall Festival. I would invite you to stop by on either of those days, or feel free to call us and schedule a free initial consultation, where we can sit down and talk about some ways to help your daughter!
The phone number is ###-###-#### and our address is 150 Willow Creek, Ste. 107, Weatherford, 76085.
Hope to hear from you!




answers from Dallas on

Hi K.!

I would love to talk to you more about your daughter and her reading struggles. I work with many kids just like this and often, slow reading is just one of the areas that is problematic!

Please take a look at my website and you can even do a YouTube search for the DORE program and learn more about what I offer.

Please call if I can help!

S. M.
The Cerebellum Center

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