Improve Reading Fluency with Frederick County Public Libraries
By: Tara Lebherz, FCPL
According to the National Reading Panel, reading fluency is one of several critical factors necessary for reading comprehension. If children are able to read out loud with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, they are more likely to comprehend and remember the material.
Reading fluency is the bridge between recognizing words and comprehending them. If a reader is fluent, they won’t spend time on decoding what the words are and will instead focus on what the story means. When a child becomes absorbed in a book, he or she stops focusing on what the words are and begins connecting with the plot—making connections between their personal experiences and the text.
If your child is struggling with reading fluency, try using some of these resources available through Frederick County Public Libraries. A popular technique for improving fluency is for a child to read a text while listening to that same text being read to them. FCPL has several resources for you to choose from.
These are regular books—picture books, beginning readers, and short chapter books—that have an accompanying CD tucked into the back cover. Each CD contains a reading of the text which your child can listen to while reading along with the book in hand. Search the catalog for “readalong” or ask a librarian for help in finding these books.
The following electronic resources are available through our website (you will need a library card number to access them from home):
Tumblebooks is an online collection of talking picture books children can read or have read to them. Created by adding animation, sound, music, and narration to existing picture books, Tumblebooks are electronic picture books that teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love. Julie Hume, a reading specialist, agreed that readalong books are helpful for fluency. She commented, “When students repeatedly have a strong model of fluency, the more they hear that, the better they get it.”
BookFLIX is an online literacy program that provides a list of books offered in pairs, one fiction and one nonfiction, in a variety of subjects. Young readers can choose to have the program "read along" with them. The whole application is set up to respond to a child's individual literacy needs. It’s a program that helps to build a love of reading while reinforcing early reading skills.
Trueflix brings non-fiction books to life. Trueflix allows the user to read and listen to a nonfiction book, then watch a narrated video on the same topic. The topics available range from natural disasters to the government; from westward expansion to ancient civilizations. It’s a fun way to learn about lots of subjects from ancient civilizations to space to natural disasters. Read the book, watch the video, find projects idea, activities, and other ways to explore the topic.
Tara Lebherz is the Children's Services Supervisor of the Thurmont Library with Frederick County Public Libraries.