Showing posts with label reading fluency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading fluency. Show all posts
Thursday, 8 February 2018

Why Truly Decodable Stories are so Important for Struggling Readers

Decodable books are books that contain only the phonetic code that the student has already been taught.

For example, a beginning reader may only know words which have the short vowel sounds.They could decode simple words like pot, bet, and pig but would not be able to decode words like saw or bowl. 

However, a student at a higher reading level who is learned letter phonograms like OI and OA be able to be to read words like coin and boat.Teachers of reading should be aware that the term decodable books is often used incorrectly.

Many books which are supposed to be easy to read have text in which only half the words are decodable. 

Can you imagine trying to read a book in which only half of the words were decodable to you? It is very frustrating. When given an"easy" to read book that is NOT easy to read students often begin to guess at words instead of decoding them.
If you are using a good Orton-Gillingham Reading program, it will carefully teach all the phonograms and provide good decodable stories which carefully present words so that students can decode the words and be successful.

I work with struggling readers each day and I have some wonderful curriculum I teach with. But I needed more stories for my students to practice with. I also wanted them to contain cloze passages because I find them so helpful in aiding students with comprehension and fluency. So I created a pack of fully decodable stories with cloze passages. These decodable stories do have carefully introduced sight words but are decodable
and presented so students can get the practice they need and be successful. If these stories, are helpful to you please let me know!Try a great silent E story for free here.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Increase Your Student's CVC Fluency

Stuck Sounding Out

I once had a home-school parent come to me for an evaluation for their child who seemed too be having trouble reading. One of the first things I asked the student to-do list to read a little Bob book that was mainly composed of three-letter CVC words.  He proceeded to read the book to me by sounding out each and every word  /S/ /a/ /m/  /c/ /a/ /n/  /s/ /i/ /t/. The problem was he never put any of the words back together again so his understanding of what he read was next to nothing.Usually when students have reading problems teachers encourage them to sound out words or tap out words. This is an important skill, but many children especially ones with any kind of visual dyslexia become stuck in the sound out or the tap out mode of reading.

Getting Students "Unstuck"

I wanted to create a products that would encourage children to be able to visually see the differences between CVC words and increase their fluency speed. Sounding out is a tool to decode words but we don't want students to be stuck only sounding out.

Small Differences

Many students struggle to the extreme with CVC words. In fact I have some students that can read longer words much better and they can read simple CVC words. My theory behind this problem is that CVC words are visually similar to each other. Young  children  or students with visual dyslexia have difficulty seeing the small differences in these words. So they continually sound out the same words over and over again. This can be maddeningly frustrating for both the student and for the teacher. that is why I created a product which especially focuses on vowel changes so students have to focus on these changes .

When using these sheets I always have the students read the rows with the words that only have one vowel change first and then later after they can do this fluently. I have them read the column with additional changes. Kids really respond to this interactive method and I have seen wonderful results.
I love to laminate these put them on a ring and use them again and again. It is a great time saver in the therapy room or the classroom.
If you want to try out these helpful materials. You can buy Winter CVC Fluency or Fall CVC Fluency

Happy Smart and Special Teaching

How to Increase Reading Fluency in Children

Improving Reading Fluency and Comprehension with Cloze Passages

As a reading therapist, my ultimate goal with each student is to help Students become fluent readers. When I first started teaching reading, I struggled to find enough good reading material for my students who struggle. We would get through the curriculum and my struggling students still needed more practice. The I started looking for other things for my students to read. The problem is that many of the things they're out there labeled as easy to read Level 1 readers or I Can Read books my students were not able to read.  That is when I started creating reading passages that would be easily decodable by my students.

I also wanted to find a way for my students to be able to really connect with the material. I wanted them to have a multi-sensory experience and not just have the words "float over their heads". That's when I decided to add cloze passages to all of my stories. I love cloze passages for the following reasons:

Help with comprehension:

When words are missing from the story and children have to write them in they have to connect to the story enough to know what word is coming next. In fact, some reading comprehension assessment tests use cloze passages to test students comprehension levels.

Make it multi-sensory

Reading cloze passages allow students to have a multi-sensory experience when they reading are reading. Writing is the kinesthetic expression of reading. When I have a student write a word in a  cloze passage. I have them say the word and write the word. This gives them an auditory experience, a visual experience and a kinesthetic experience.

Fun Fluency

Any good teacher knows the key to helping students master material is to give students enough practice with material until they become fluent. Cloze passages are just another way for students to. practice. The students read the story the with me. Then after they read the story they have to read it again in order to be able to do to cloze passage. I usually get students to read a passage 3 or 4 times by the time we're through doing a cloze passage.

Fun and Easy Centers

Also I love to laminate cloze passages and stories and put them into a center after I've done them with students to give them more practice. Kids really love it anytime they get to write with a wipe off marker. It's a fun experience and it makes for a fast and easy Center for me.

Great For Intervention

These passages are also great for an intervention time. If you have volunteers who come in to read with your students or if you take small groups of students out to do intervention time. Cloze passages are excellent for this instruction. It's totally no prep and it's completely effective. I use this technique with my dyslexic students and it works very well!
You can pick up these Blends and Digraphs Passages here at my store and follow me because I am adding more sets weekly and they are half off for the first 48 hours.
If you need CVC Practice go here and If you need Silent E practice or Glued Sounds
Happy Smart and Special Teaching!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Activities for Reading Fluency with Visual Dyslexia

Improving Visual Memory

I have  worked extensively with students with visual dyslexia. These students often have good phonemic awareness, and can "sound out" words,  but can not visualize these words in their minds and so continue to sound out the same words time and time again. These students must have help to retrain the brain to see these words and phrases in their "mind's eye." If the students can not get these words from the short term memory to the long term their reading rate is extremely slow. This leaves them frustrated. 

Sentence Pyramids

One activity I use to help students with this are Sentence Pyramids. They help with repetition in a fun way. I have students read one word or phrase and then try to vizualize that word with closed eyes and “air write” the word or phrase.

Sentence Flip Books

These work on the same principle. Have the student read one sentence at a time and then flip the page and try to write it. For some students , they may need to just write one or two words and then flip back and read again.  The goal is to help them retain more and more word pictures and not to "sound out."  "Oh, wait" but you might think but " sounding out" is good. Indeed, it is an important skill but these are words they already know the sounds for. In fact, they have decoded them perhaps hundreds of times. They need to get beyond decoding to fluency.

Sentence puzzles

I included sentence puzzles in this fluency pack to aid in fluency and visualization. Have the student put together the puzzle, read it, and then turn over one piece at a time and have them "air write" what they saw.
I have a sample pack of these materials available for Free here. The whole pack has 25 sentence pyramids with stories, flip books, and puzzles to make essential practice fun.
You may purchase this megapack here.

Sentence pyramids Powerpoint

I tutor students online all over the word. So I need great multimedia presentations to keep kids attention while we work on needed skills. I created a Sentence Pyramid Powerpoint to keep my students engaged. This powerpoint will reveal one phrase at a time and kids love it. You can buy it here.

Strengthen Symbol Imagery

Strengthening symbol Imagery is essential for all struggling and beginning readers. Without good symbol imagery skills students reading rate and spelling accuracy is curtailed. I base my learning activities for symbol imagery based on  Seeing Stars by Nanci Bell. This is an excellent resource for any teacher or homeschool parent will a student with weak symbol imagery ability. Please follow my blog and my store for more great materials for struggling readers and writers. Lots of freebies in every post.