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Reading - fluency vs "sounding it out"

(7 Posts)
waitingforwombat Wed 11-Oct-17 20:12:38

Wondering if the reading gurus could give me some advice about reading. How do you teach the balance between sounding out laboriously and reading fluently, without "guessing"/making mistakes?

DD encouraged (fairly!) to work on fluency when reading. I think the constant encouragement to "sound it out" has meant that she felt she had to, even for words she knew (ie would say c-a-t, cat, even though she "recognises" it).

Her fluency is improving, but at the expense of accuracy (which was excellent when she was sounding out every word). For example today she had a book that had "splish, splash, splosh" in it. She read these as "splash splash splash". When asked to look closer, she was able to correct. I can totally see where the mistake has come from - by not laboriously sounding out each word, she has "assumed" the word splash which fits with context, and shape of word etc.

So, am I missing the point on fluency - or can you get fluency with 100% accuracy?!

lolalotta Wed 11-Oct-17 20:35:29


jamdonut Wed 11-Oct-17 21:19:52

In Read,Write, Inc.,they are encouraged to "Fred in your head" ,( Fred being a little frog who says everything by sounding out....long story!) when blending, particularly on the third read of the book in the lesson. We also get them to try to use that approach with their ordinary reading books, but some children find doing it in their heads quite challenging. The more practice they get , the easier it becomes, and fluency begins to follow.

Anotheroneishere Thu 12-Oct-17 00:25:11

The lack of accuracy happens as a kid moves to fluency. I just asked the child to re-read the part that went wrong. Often, it's a case of just not looking closely enough. Using a finger under each word helps, but my kids don't particularly like to do that.

You can get fluency with accuracy, but it takes practice, practice, practice. Ask a child to re-read any mistakes.

The assumptions, based on context, are what makes a child a fluent reader (you're not sounding out in your head, are you?), so don't worry about it with a confident blender. The guessing/assumptions that are so disliked is when a child doesn't know the word and guesses, not when a child misreads a word while developing fluency.

If this was a first read-through, I wouldn't be worried in the least. FWIW, I don't make my children read through books multiple times unless they want to.

Norestformrz Thu 12-Oct-17 05:51:14

*“*^*and reading fluently, without "guessing*^*”* if the child isn’t reading accurately they aren’t reading fluently. If they are “guessing” they aren’t reading. Fluency comes with practice. Practice makes permanent so we decode automatically without thinking in milliseconds.

waitingforwombat Thu 12-Oct-17 14:38:17

Thanks mrz. So we definitely have that with "tricky" words which helps the fluency when reading. If the word is completely new she always sounds them out. Interestingly if reading a non scheme book at home she is actually more accurate. Her school reading books are probably "easier", and I wonder if she rushes them a bit because of this. They also often contain lots of phonetically similar words, which is often where she makes the mistakes eg saying splash, when the word is splosh (especially if splash has already appeared in the book). Maybe I need to encourage her to slow down and sound out more - she just thinks that a bit boring!!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 12-Oct-17 16:57:46

Some children do need to be told that they don't need to sound every word out if they know it already.

Otherwise fluency will come with time and practice. If she's in R or yr 1, I definitely wouldn't worry too much about it. Especially if you find she's losing accuracy as she's picking up speed.

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