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Fluency - What EdLeaders Need to Know

Recently as I dove headfirst into attempting to understand The Science of Reading , I found myself immersed in The Reading Wars  with Whole Language or Balanced Literacy on one side and The Science of Reading on the other. As I researched the divide between the two, I noted a side skirmish and made myself a note to come back to it. Lost in the vitriol over phonics instruction was the respect given or denied to fluency as a metric to pay attention to.  At a basic level, fluency is a reader's ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. If comprehending what they read is the goal, children must be able to read fluently. This is true in reading aloud and in reading silently. In many ways, fluency is the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. "Fluent readers do not have to concentrate on decoding the words [so] they can focus their attention on what the text means" ( Teaching Reading Basics - Fluency .) The Oregon Department of Education ha

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