The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Repeated Reading

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Anything worth reading is worth reading well. And anything worth reading well once is worth reading well multiple times. At least, that is my approach to reading. There are many, many, many books that I have read three, four, ten, even twelve times or more in my life. Each time I re-read, I find something new about the story, about myself, or about both. It is awesome. I love reading things over and over again!

I know some people who don’t feel this way. They want to read once and then be done with it. Several of my students were like this at the start of the year. But I have tried to instill in them the belief that repeated reading is worthwhile and I think several of them have come to appreciate its value. I had been thinking about this topic a bit recently and so was quite delighted to stumble upon a school website from Anaheim, California, that had a principal’s message about repeated reading.

Why is repeated reading so important? There are several reasons:

  • It helps build comprehension: as you read text again you become more familiar with what you have read and will remember the details with more clarity.
  • It helps develop accuracy: as students read the same thing repeatedly, they increase their ability to decode words, remember the words when the see them again, and improve decoding skills when engaging with other texts.
  • It helps build up fluency: the more you read the better you read! Students who read repeatedly improve their expression, their tone, and their voice.
  • It helps expand vocabulary. I have always loved reading. I also have an extensive vocabulary. I don’t believe it is coincidental. While correlation does not always imply causation, there is a lot of research to support the notion that extensive reading and repeatedly reading leads to expanded vocabulary!

Some readers may recognise these four components as the elements of the Daily CAFE, which I have written about in the past. I support the goals of the Daily Five but will admit that, for me, the CAFE is a much more useful framework for intermediate students. I want all of my students to improve in these areas and fully believe that repeated reading will support the reading skills!

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