When it comes to reading, you may find that there is a disconnect between what your child can read aloud and how they perform on a reading test . This disconnect is a gap between what is called fluency and comprehension. This divide is apparent when your child fails a reading test
Fluency refers to your child’s ability to decode words quickly and accurately. A good reader must be able to recognize words on sight and be able to say them quickly. Think about how your child reads aloud. How quickly do they read and how accurate are they with what they read? This is the definition of fluency.
In the classroom, teachers can test fluency by having a student read a short passage at their reading level, or maybe slightly above or below it. The teacher will then calculate how many words a child can read in a certain given time, usually 1 minute. A record is kept regarding how many mistakes are made. For example, if a word is skipped or mispronounced, or if a word ending is dropped, etc . This process helps to determine an overall fluency rate. A fluency rate helps to determine the right reading level for your child. In this case, your child’s reading level begins at the point where they can read as close to 100% of the words accurately and quickly.
As a rule, there is a direct correlation between fluency and a child’s ability to comprehend or what is commonly known as comprehension. That is to say, the quicker and more accurate a child reads , this improves comprehension.
Comprehension is primary proof of how well a child can read. It specifically identifies how much of what your child reads is understood. A reading test will ask your child questions about a passage. The questions are about the story’s general ideas and details. A reading test may also ask your child to think critically about the story and connect what they read to other ideas. If your child cannot answer these questions correctly it is because they are struggling at comprehension.
Fluency and Comprehension
When you understand fluency rates and comprehension, you have a good idea about your child’s reading level . This helps you to tailor reading material to your child’s current reading level ability, For instance, if your child reads materials slightly below their current reading level, accommodate them with books at that level. Ask them questions about the story. The more your child reads and can answer questions accurately, the quicker they become a better reader . As they become a better reader , as a result they will become better at passing a reading test.
Finally, check out this article “How to Teach your Child to Pass A Reading Test” . It will give you some tips as to what questions to ask your child for any fiction story. Give your child a running start on the next reading test !
L. Hughes Page is a Field Supervisor to student teachers in the Graduate Department of Education at Gwynedd Mercy University.