How to Improve Reading Fluency in Middle School

Improving reading fluency in middle school is important.

Reading fluency is the ability to read a story with ease. Middle school students who struggle with this often read at a slow, choppy pace and with lower comprehension than peers who read fluently. Low comprehension means that the student does not understand or remember as much from the story as a student who reads with high comprehension. Helping middle school students read more fluently will enable them to understand more of what they read.

Practice speed-reading drills.Using high-frequency word lists, have the student read the words as quickly as possible. This will help the student recognize these frequently used words more quickly in a story. Follow the link in the resources section for one commonly used high-frequency word list.

Reread familiar books. Students in middle school are usually able to decode words, so rereading familiar books is a way to help them read faster and with more expression.

Read with the student. Choral reading is when you sit with the student and both of you read aloud. You should read slightly faster than the student to encourage him to read faster, and keep track of where you are, with your finger underlining each word.

Have the student use his finger to keep his place in the book as he reads. This may help increase the student's reading fluency. Encourage him to keep his finger moving and have his eyes follow his finger.

  • Use books that are at the student's instructional level when working on improving reading fluency.

Jennifer Wagaman has been a writer for three years, and is widely published on the web. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Messiah College and is certified in both elementary education and special education.