Building fluency with second grade students using phonics and readers' theater

Kate Cvengros

Abstract

Reading is often understood by people outside the educational community to be a simple process in which readers assign sounds to letters and then combine those sounds to read words. However, in the educational community, reading is known to be a complex process that interweaves specific aspects or strands of literacy, such as phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency, and comprehension, enabling readers to draw meaning from text (Welsch, 2007). The complex nature of reading necessitates that a reader utilize many aspects of literacy simultaneously. According to Laberge and Samuels (1974) a reader has a set amount of cognitive energy available for each reading task; therefore, if the majority of the reader's cognitive resources are focused upon fulfilling one aspect of literacy, the reader is less likely to comprehend the text as very few cognitive resources are available for the remaining aspects of literacy (Rasinski, 2000). As a result, readers must develop an automaticity in certain aspects of literacy in order to balance their cognitive resources and achieve reading success.