Anybody ever sit with a young-un' who’s at that "just beginning to read" stage? It’s kind of torture, isn’t it? I mean, it’s all kinds of sweet and adorable, but while you’ve read the entire page at a glance, analyzed the print format, tried to do the magic eye trick with the illustrations, that first-grader is still on the second line, painstakingly sounding out every word, sounding like a robot in a stuck mode.
Patience is a virtue, people! For early childhood teachers, especially those in kindergarten through about third grade, this is what our little guys sound like. And, guess what? It’s completely OK. Reading with expression, clarity, and sounding like a flowing river is, believe it or not, a skill. And teachers, like me, have a name for it: fluency.