The Daily Cafe

Fluency vs. Comprehension


We are seeing in our school lots of good literal comprehension and are thinking about being able to move on to more in depth comprehension strategies. BUT< the fluency is choppy. They can understand what they read, but I am concerned that they aren’t going to be able to understand harder books if they aren’t really fluent. Should we work on that choppy out loud reading or allow them to move on to more complex comprehension strategies? I think I actually answered my question by just writing it down, but I’d like to hear some more thoughts.


I love your last sentence!! Isn’t it true that once we “say” or write out ideas to share with others, our own ideas become clearer? I don’t know what your answer to yourself is, but here’s what I think. I think you can work on both kinds of strategies through different reading materials.

Continue your comp strategies work with materials that may challenge them for those purposes, and choose different materials–poetry, easier-but related to your unit of study books or articles, or rereading familiar pieces during read to someone for fluency practice.

I love recording students read pieces and have them listen to how it sounds. Sometimes this may be what it takes to help them see the need for becoming more fluent readers.

I’m anxious to hear other ideas, as well :).


I think the recording them reading may be the exact strategy I am looking for. We are doing comprehension in whole group and fluency for the ones who need it as an individual strategy. We are not “good enough” at using all the moving parts in CAFE yet to vary the texts so much…but we’ll keep that idea in our back pocket for later.