How to Build a Student’s Fluency in Reading

reader

Fluency in reading is distinct and different from comprehension and involves the speed, accuracy and tonality of a reader when they read aloud. Although fluency is distinct from comprehension, the two are interrelated. Often, readers with high levels of reading comprehension are also very fluent readers, and the inverse is also true. Low comprehension is often associated with low fluency. Difficulty occurs when students are trying to comprehend at the same time they’re reading aloud.

Modeling
One of the best ways to increase fluency is to model it for students. When a teacher reads books aloud with the right amount of pacing, expressiveness and pitch, students learn by their example. The best way to model fluency is to choose a text that is age- and reading level-appropriate and have students read along silently as you read it aloud. If the book is suspenseful, add pauses to heighten the suspense and then ask students why they think that you paused or raised your voice during certain sections. This makes the reading more engaging and interactive, and students will learn how to vary the tone and pitch as they read.
Reading Aloud
Having students practice reading aloud is a great way to help them become more fluent readers. This can be done either in whole or small groups. With a whole group, read the text aloud first and then have students echo read and repeat lines or sentences together aloud, mimicking how you read it. With smaller groups, you can have students echo read one at a time and take turns with different pieces of the text.
Reading Scripts
Students of all age groups enjoy reading plays. They get to “act” using their voice alone. Because script reading involves conveying emotion without actually physically acting out a scene from a play, students are forced to vary the pitch, pacing and tone of their voices to convey meaning. Reading plays helps students with fluency because the effectiveness of their portrayal of certain characters depends on the fluency of their reading.
Reading Comprehension
The faster and more advanced that a student is in reading comprehension, the more fluent they naturally are when reading. Some students need extra support and assistance with reading comprehension before they can become truly fluent. Taking the time to assess student comprehension and provide continual reading comprehension activities will also promote fluency.

Beginning Reader

Tips for Studying for a Midterm Exam

messy locker - Getty Images | Rob Melnychuck

1. Clean Out Your Locker
Why? It seems crazy, right? This great list of tips for studying starts with a clean-out of your locker? Yep! It does! You probably have piles of miscellaneous papers, notes and quizzes filling up your locker at the end of the nine weeks. Homework gets jammed behind the books, assignments get stuck on the bottom, and all of your projects get squished somewhere in between. You’re going to need those things to prep for that midterm, so going through it first makes total sense.

How? Start by emptying everything out of your locker into your backpack except for the books you don’t need that night for homework. Yes, your backpack will be heavy. No, you can’t skip this step. When you get home, toss the gum wrappers, old food and anything broken. Go through all of those loose papers, assignments and quizzes arranging them by subject into piles. Put them all in the folders or binders for each class neatly. You’ll need them for studying!

2. Organize Your Binder

Why? You have to have your binder organized for class so you’ll know if you’re missing anything pertinent to the midterm. Let’s say your teacher has given you a review guide, and on it, you’re expected to know the list of terms for chapter three. However, you have no idea where your notes are for chapter three because you loaned them to a “friend” and he hasn’t given them back. See? It makes sense to organize everything prior to studying so you know what you need to locate.

How? If you didn’t do this at the beginning of the year, or have gone astray from your organization at this point, get on track by arranging your binder by content. Put all your quizzes under one tab, notes under another, handouts under another, etc. Group according to content, so you’ll easily be able to grab whatever you need.

binders - Getty Images | Katherine Fawsset

3. Create a Study Schedule

Why? Creating a study schedule is key for getting a good grade on your midterm, but it’s one of the tips for studying that kids often overlook. Don’t miss it!

How? Start by checking out your calendar and figuring out how many days you have prior to your midterm. Then, set aside 45 minutes to an hour each day prior to the test, using time you’d usually spend watching TV or messing around on the computer. If you only have one night, you’ll have to block off more time than that.

Planner - Getty Images | Nick M Do

Source : http://testprep.about.com/od/How_To_Study/tp/Tips_For_Studying_Midterm.htm

Ten (10) Ways to Optimize Your Memory

Optimize memory pix

Practice makes perfect when it comes to just about anything – including your memory. Developing techniques to hone your recall of everything from names and phone numbers to more complex processes can make a world of difference.
1. Focus
We all struggle with staying focused in our daily lives thanks to endless distractions. Many are great at multi-tasking, and it gets all the praise, but it can detract from everything, including memory. Meditation is one the greatest tools to practice in order to improve your focus.
Start with 5 minutes a day, preferably first thing in the morning (after you have your morning water and use the restroom ,of course). Sit with closed eyes, and your back straight, and focus on your in-breath and out-breath. Breath in for a count of 5, breath out for a count of 5. You will find this to be very relaxing. Just follow your breath, and this will begin to train your brain to focus like a laser beam. This powerful practice will be able to be carried with you more and more throughout the day, as your practice is developed.
2. Organize and categorize
This works best if you have a list of things to remember. Breaking up the list into categories and fitting each piece into one of those categories allows for greater recollection when you need it. When you need to find information in a book, typically you look at the index or table of contents. You probably have a series of files on your computer or on your desk. Compartmentalizing that which you have to remember can work in a similar fashion.
3. Cut back on alcohol
Here’s where moderation is the key. You don’t have to completely cut out alcohol, but you know those mornings where the night before is kind of fuzzy? Well you’re not just impacting your memory for that one specific event. You could be doing permanent damage.
4. Use visualization
Visualization can be a powerful tool for all sorts of things, including memory. Instead of just trying to remember that you have to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, actually envision yourself driving there, walking to the counter and being handed the prescription. The more elaborate your visualization, the better your recall of the information will be.
5. Word association
This is a great technique to use to remember names. Memorizing some of the symbols on the Periodic Table of Elements, for example, can be a challenge. Lead is Pb and is based on the Latin root word for lead: Plumbum. Thinking of a word association (especially one that’s kind of humorous or unique) can help. For example, “I’m plum out of lead.” I thought of that word association that I learned many years ago. I’ve never forgotten it.
6. Repeat, repeat, repeat
Thanks to technology, we hardly have to remember phone numbers. But what happens when you do? A dead phone battery and no pen or paper to write it down means you’ll have to rely on your memory (maybe). Repetition seems obvious and simplistic. It is, but it works.
7. Tell a story
This is an instance where creativity can pay off. Suppose, for example, that you have to remember to pick up apples and milk from the store. You also have to go to the post office and stop at the veterinarian’s office for vitamins for your cat, Boots. A story to help you remember these things could be something like: “Boots was peppy after taking her vitamins. She decided to run all the way to the post office to mail her package. Luckily she took an apple for her journey. By the time she got home, she was so thirsty she drank an entire gallon of milk!” Silly? Absolutely! Memorable? You bet!
8. Mnemonics
You have probably made your acquaintance with Roy G. Biv as you learned about the visible color spectrum. When you learned the planets, you may have also learned that “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles.” Mnemonics are not just for grade school, those catchy/silly phrases can help you remember something more boring like grocery list. Trust me, they stick!
9. Chunking
There’s a reason that phone numbers and social security numbers are broken up the way they are. Our brain can store only about four to seven different items in our short-term memory. One way to get past this limit is to use a technique called chunking. When you’re given a long number to remember, the more chunking you can do, the more likely you are to recall the data. For example, if you need to remember 10271977, it would be easier to remember as 10-27-1977.
10. Physical activity
As you age, you can see changes in your physical self. There are also a number of cognitive changes happening. Similarly, as you work to improve yourself physically through exercise and activity, you improve cognitive function through physical movement as well.

source: geniusawakeningcom