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.
Repeated readings: Fluency, Comprehension, and Motivation
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.
I told my class that you can use many of these same ideas that I used when I practiced the piano when you are learning to read.
Fluency Cards: Fluency Check
Kindergarten – 3rd grade
A 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.