Designed Learning

Early grades: Fluency Development Lesson (FDL)

by Dr Gail Brown | June 2, 2022
Early grades: Fluency Development Lesson (FDL)

Using evidence-based research to create more effective teaching and learning is what effective teaching is all about! This week I have just read and summarised strategies for improving oral reading fluency in the early years.

Tim Rasinski (one of my gurus for evidence-based research) and colleagues have recently published their Fluency Development Lesson, in a paper reporting significant improvements. Grade 1 students, at risk of struggling in reading, were given 20 minutes daily for 10 weeks using this lesson structure.

Basically, this further supports Rosenshine’s principles of instruction and model of explicit teaching, with review, modelling, guided practice and independent practice. This is totally in line with the Science of Reading approaches, yet stronger.

This strength is in the improvements in oral reading fluency, along with oral discussions of both expression and word meanings, all within a 20 minute lesson. Be clear, this is NOT a total reading program. This intervention sits within a reading program that includes phonemic awareness and phonics. This intervention demonstrates the importance of practice for fluency, within the context of phonemic awareness and phonics in the early grades.

Also, these researchers involved and trained parents to read with their young children at home, for 10-15 mins each night.  

I’ve summarized their work into a free download on this website and added this to a course in Repeated Reading that will be available soon… Download this FDL (Fluency Development Lesson) on Free Downloads if you have young students who might be at risk of struggling with learning to read.

Early intervention, with evidence-based strategies like these, might just support their learning and motivate them to read and learn more!  

Rasinski, T. V., Yates, R., Foerg, K., Greene, K., Paige, D., Chase, Y., & Rupley, W. (2020). Impact of classroom-based fluency instruction on grade one students in an urban elementary school. Education Sciences, 10(9), 227.