Make reading aloud more fluent

Reading aloud is very taxing for children especially those with special needs. We often ask children to read in assemblies, to report back on group work and for reading assessments. So how can we get children to practisethsi skill and move on from 'barking at print'?

Niall McLean, head of Castlewellan Primary School, realised that many of his boys were under-achieving when it came to reading and were struggling to understand what they had read. When parents asked him to help their children improve he looked round for a solution.

He wanted something which would track and improve fluency. He decided to look for an ICT solution because he felt it would be more motivating for boys and have a Wow factor which is important to keep pupils on task. He was really keen to find something which could be used at school and at home so parents could be involved too.

Ryan was well below average in literacy and reading. His mother was very concerned and at a parents' evening asked if he could have extra support.

Niall McLean decided to tutor Ryan himself: "The first few sessions were hard as his scores were low but every week he came back and engaged very readily with the software. I set him the target of reading 70 words correctly in a minute but he soon exceeded this."

His mum Laura said, "He could log in at home and use Fluency Tutor and I could check his progress and see what he had done. Now he can sit at home and read a book to his brothers. It has given him so much confidence."

Advantages

• It is web based so pupils and teachers can use it at home
• Parents can access it and see their child's progress
• It is a bright, colourful site with child-friendly graphics
• It encourages independent reading
• It puts learners in charge of their progress

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