Reading fluency is fundamental for academic development.
Oral reading fluency is a student’s ability to read connected text quickly, accurately, and with expression. The goal is for a student to be able to read smoothly, when reading aloud or silently. Fluent reading enables a student to understand or comprehend a text. So without oral reading fluency skills, students' understanding of content is impacted!
What is the secret to teaching oral reading fluency?
Reader's theater is a strategy that can be use for developing students' reading fluency.
What is reader's theater?
Reader's theater is when students read a text aloud as a script. Reader's theater does not typically include props or costumes. Instead, students practice reading a script and then, "perform" it as a group by standing in front of an optional audience and reading aloud from the “script”.
Okay, so back to my point - reader's theater is a strategy for developing reading fluency.
Let's think about it! Oral reading fluency is a student’s ability to read connected text quickly, accurately, and with expression. The goal is for a student to be able to read smoothly, when reading aloud or silently. Fluent reading enables a student to understand or comprehend a text.
Recording readings aloud, repeated readings of the same text, developing and increasing students’ reading confidence, drill sight words, and creating a stress-free instructional environment are all ways students can improve their oral reading fluency.
And guess what? Reader’s theater includes all of these oral reading strategies!
Reader’s theater promotes fluency.
So what better way to practice oral reading fluency than with a reader’s theater?
But here’s another good question -
How do I teach reader’s theater in my classroom
1-Find a script or turn a text into a script.
Reader's Theaters for Students...
2-Choose or assign roles to students.
When students have roles, they become the character, and this motivates our students to be more engaged in the text.
Students “become” the character. They read the script with the same expression that they believe the character would. They will read in phrases and add expression appropriately, and this increases fluency.
3-Ask students to practice reading their scripts orally for practice.
When students re-read their parts, reading fluency is improved because it helps them to develop automaticity. Essentially, students are improving their ability to read quickly and accurately
Repeated reading will help students to learn to read aloud with expression. Repeated readings help with word recognition as well. Students will build a strong sight word base. This improves their oral reading fluency rate increase.
4-Have students read assigned parts to an audience. No audience? That's okay! Read it for yourselves. Record it instead.
Watch your performance. Recorded readings help to improve fluency.
Reader’s theater makes reading easier for students, which ultimately makes reading more fun! All of the components of reader’s theater help to support student engagement in reading and the story. And we know that engagement increases progress and makes learning more meaningful. By making the learning more meaningful, the stories become more meaningful. And guess what? This improves comprehension. And we all know that comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading.
By Miss Rae
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