Teaching Tuesday: 3 Ways to Build Reading Rate, Fluency and Endurance

Student Understanding Reading Rate, Fluency, and Endurance

Similar to early learners, middle and high school students can struggle with reading comprehension. This struggle can have an impact on all disciplines. Students must improve their fluency, rate and endurance to improve their comprehension. Lack of comprehension can persist for various reasons, including speech or stuttering issues, intellectual disabilities or English language barriers.

There are strategies to help students, especially adolescent students, practice their fluency, rate and endurance while reading. These strategies can be modeled and practiced during small groups, intervention or tutoring. However, if their schedule permits, these students would benefit from practicing these techniques at home three times a week or more for at least 20 to 30 minutes daily (10 minutes per strategy).

In This Article:

Strategy 1: Timed Reading

Students must know how much they can read in one minute. Each student should time themselves to read at their reading level. This reading should be done at their natural reading pace. They should mark their documents at their stopping point and reflect on their comprehension within a minute. Did they understand what they read? Once they know this information, they can choose poems, comics, graphic novels, or any text genre to practice at home. However, the text must be at their reading level. It is best for students to time themselves when they practice this activity. There should be an increase in how many words are read per minute. Students should also comprehend what they are reading.

Strategy 2: Repetitive Reading

Once students understand how much they can read in one minute, they must build their fluency. Students should read the same text in repetition for several days. Selecting a poem, rap or song for repetitive reading is recommended, but they can choose other texts. The repetition allows students to see the exact text and practice pronouncing them. This strategy is not for comprehension but to build fluency. Students should reflect on their fluency improvement. After they have read the exact text several times, their brains and mouth will be ready to pronounce and recognize words more efficiently.

Strategy 3: Endurance and Stamina

Students should read the texts they chose and read until they start to feel uninterested. At this time, the student should mark their text where interest was lost and review where they began reading. That is their endurance level. This information is necessary so students can reflect and acknowledge where they may need to take a brain break during an assignment or an assessment, then return to the text and begin reading again.

Once the student has lost a connection with the text, they read without comprehension, so this is time not well spent. It is essential to think of efficiency. After the brain break, the student should think about what they just read to get the gist and continue to read. This strategy helps them continue with comprehension. When the student begins reading again and then stops again, another mark should be made to see if the endurance increases.

Reading comprehension impacts all disciplines. Reading lengthy text during assessments and for assignments is necessary. Older students, especially new students who may need additional support, can utilize these simple strategies to support their comprehension across the curriculum, improving their academics and helping them learn to monitor and assess their learning.

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Approved by the assistant dean of the College of Education on March 21, 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.