When assessing my students' reading I often find that my students don't move on to the next reading level because they struggle with fluency and comprehension. I feel that I work hard to form small groups, but my students are still not grasping or understanding. What are some strategies I could use to help my students build fluency and comprehension?
In terms of fluency I have my students practicing reading out loud, any chance they get. I use number sticks, so the students are always selected at random. In addition, I have my kiddos read to a partner in class. At the beginning of the year I establish a strong understanding that students all read at their own personal pace. This way students feel comfortable reading out loud in front of others and don't have to worry about speed. Lastly for fluency, I sometimes have my students read in funny voices. This helps students relax more when they are reading in front of others. For comprehension, I too use small groups to assist in this area. I also use comprehension sticks and cubes to help students with reading comprehension. My students really like the comprehension sticks and cubes, because it's like a game for them. They don't know what question they are going to get asked. This is a period of small groups that the students truly enjoy and look forward to.
For fluency, I start off by modeling how language should sound based on the author's purpose, intonation of the text, and punctuation. I even allow my kiddos to do the read aloud so that they learn that it is a shared experience between teacher and student. I often do mini running records in between the assessment periods so that I can keep a better pulse of who is growing or not. Putting kids in small groups of heterogeneous members also assists all readers with fluency.
For comprehension I do the following:
-small group work throughout the year
-interactive learning with small and large based projects or group work (e.g. poster displays, games they create, PowerPoint presentations, or other multimedia outcomes like Prezi or Popplet) to show understanding of the text we read
-exit slips with 1-2 questions
-many, many mini lessons on comprehension strategies such as Turn and Talk, Think/Pair/Share, Cubes, Create the Story or Model/Act Out the Story using words or pictures, and Graphic organizers based off my model or kids create their own including anchor charts on what they learned
Hope this helps!