Chapter 5: Reading- Fluency and Comprehension

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Notes and Concepts


Reading is a complex process that involves many different faculties of the brain working together. Chapter 5 continues the discussion started in Chapter 4 about reading instruction; word recognition and decoding are part of the picture along with fluency and active reading comprehension. This chapter focuses on comprehension and understanding (reading to learn issues). Detailed descriptions of strategies and processes for both teaching and assessing reading are considered. Practical ideas based on research and best practices are shared.

Some Informal Assessment Ideas Suggested in This Chapter:

measuring reading fluency and monitoring progress

tape recorderings of oral reading performance

Read Naturally program

matrix for reading comprehension

assessment of prior knowledge


text summarization

story mapping


"clink and clunk"



Look for the following key concepts/ideas as you read:

  • teaching fluency
    • read alouds
    • previewing books
    • choral repeated reading
    • peer supported reading
  • teaching comprehension
    • previewing, predicting and activating prior knowledge
    • questioning strategies
    • cognitive instruction strategies
    • instructional strategies

Go to Part 2- Summary of Ideas

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Part 2: Study Questions

Students with learning and behavior disabilities have reading targeted as an area of need more than any other academic area.


Read Chapter 5. Use the following questions to guide your reading and find meaning in this chapter:

List reasons why students with learning problems may have difficulty with fluency.

Identify strategies for reading aloud and previewing books, repeated reading, choral repeated reading, and peer-supported reading.

Explain how to make books acceptable and accessible to struggling readers.

Describe how to integrate fluency building into a reading program.

Outline the reasons why students have difficulty comprehending what they read.

Describe a framework for reading comprehension, including textually explicit, textually implicit, and scriptually implicit question-answer relationships.

Outline guidelines for promoting reading comprehension, including activities for before, during, and after reading.

Identify strategies for previewing, predicting, and activating background knowledge, including brainstorming, Pre-Reading Plan, K-W-L, and story schema activation.

List strategies for promoting questioning, including reciprocal questioning, question-answering relationship strategy, and self-questioning strategies.

List strategies for teaching text structure and summarization strategies, including story mapping/retelling, paraphrasing, and summarization.

What is multi-component cognitive strategy instruction?

List guidelines for adapting approaches to teach reading in inclusive classrooms, including directed reading activity, directed reading-thinking activity, and literature-based reading and whole language.


When you finish studying this chapter, please go to the class interactive pages and take the self test for Chapter 5.


Go to Part 3- World Wide Web Resources

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World Wide Web Resources



Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 5.

American Library Association
Includes a large selection of books for students of all ages.

National Council of Teachers of English
Includes information on teaching literature and reading

LD Online
This Website contains information on fluency and comprehension.

LD Online
This Website contains an article that describes Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)

Activities and ideas for teaching language arts and reading.


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