The benefits of Repeated Reading cannot be understated. Rereading text will strengthen these important reading skills:
- Fluency: multiple exposures to words leads to orthographic mapping which in turn supports fluency. Our goal is always whole word/syllable reading. Students must have many opportunities to read and reread words for storage and later instant and effortless retrieval.
- Phrasing: we speak in phrases in normal conversation; it helps us understand what the speaker is saying. Reading is no different. Phrasing (or prosody) breathes life into the text creating an interest and investment in the story.
- Punctuation: attending to punctuation also helps us understand what the writer is trying to convey. Pausing at commas, stopping at periods, and raising your tone at the end of sentences supports meaning. Imagine reading any text with no punctuation…exhausting.
- Accuracy: reading words correctly is integral to meaning. Even small, seemingly innocuous words can change the writer’s intent.
- Rate: students will ideally reach a rate of reading speed commensurate to their grade level. The amount of text required rises exponentially as they grow, and students will fall behind if they read too slowly.
When using Repeated reading with a small group of students, begin by discussing the title and picture (if appropriate). Teachers may choose to do a picture walk through the book to create interest and an initial understanding about the text.
Begin with asking students to turn to the first page or look at the first paragraph. The first student will then read that section focusing on decoding. The teacher will offer any immediate error corrections and comment on positive aspects of the reading. The teacher will then reread that same text modeling the aforementioned skills. Use the correct rate for reading, pause and stop at punctuation, use expression and phrasing. In other words, read the text to promote comprehension. Ask that first student to read the same text once again, giving him/her the chance to practice reading skills. Move to the next student and continue this same process with each page/paragraph until you reach what you deem the end.
Lastly, ask students to read the entire text in unison, giving them the opportunity to hone good reading skills. After this last recitation, ask comprehension questions. Now that the students have had multiple exposures to the text, comprehension can and should take place.
Written by Ingrid Hartig
Ingrid is an Education Consultant with Brainspring.
Brainspring has proudly supported the educational community for more than 25 years.