The importance of reading fluency and automaticity has been well documented in recent years. Struggling readers often experience a decline in vocabulary acquisition and academic content knowledge leading to an ever widening gap in school performance. It has also been documented that there is a strong correlation between fluency and reading comprehension. Read Naturally is a supplemental and/or intervention fluency program that consists of guided oral repeated reading with immediate quantitative feedback and materials for assessing comprehension.
Read Naturally begins with an assessment procedure administered by the teacher to determine a student¹s reading level. The student is then asked to choose a story from among a wide selection of printed stories each of which has an accompanying CD. Each story displays the title along with a list of key words and a space for the student to write a sentence predicting what the story will be about. The student then reads the story aloud for one minute using a timer to establish the "cold reading" score. The student next listens to the story selection several times on the CD while sub-vocalizing and tracking the text. The process continues with the students graphing their scores until a predetermined reading rate is achieved with proper inflection and expression. The student must also answer questions about the story to test comprehension. The last step requires a successful oral or written retelling of the story before moving to the next story selection.
After its incorporation into the Craig curriculum, students are showing rapid progress in their reading fluency and comprehension. The program is intensely motivating as the students experience immediate feedback, are able to choose from a variety of interesting stories and can work independently.
Great Leaps is a supplemental one-on-one program developed by Kenneth Campbell to help students gain fluency in reading. It consists of a series of timed selections of short syllables (Phonics), phrases (Sight Phrases), and narrative text (Reading Fluency). Because students at Craig receive intensive phonics instruction, only the Sight Phrases and Reading Fluency materials are used.
The Sight Phrases consist of a series of word lists beginning with high frequency two-word phrases, e.g., "I am, he was, she is," etc. The first list is 60 words in length and must be read without error in 60 seconds. Students are tested once a day and continue practicing the same word list until they are error free. The sessions take only a few minutes and are given four days a week. Once the two-word list is mastered, the student moves on to a three-word phrase list. Examples are "She sang while, some little bugs." The students are allowed to self-correct as long as the phrases are read within the prescribed time.
The Reading Fluency sections are based on age-appropriate stories specifically designed to build reading fluency, motivation, and proper intonation. The stories use humor, point of view, rhyme and rhythm to help maintain students' interest. The student "leaps" to the next story level when no more than two errors are recorded. Errors are reviewed with the student and the results graphed so the student¹s progress may be charted. The fluency goal is a reading rate of 200 words per minute.