One of the most effective teaching strategies for reading fluency=

One of the most effective teaching strategies for reading fluency is the use of a simple red dot. Of all the fluency activities and strategies I have used in teaching reading fluency, it is one of the most successful.

The technique was first introduced to me by Dr. Fritz Mengert, brain researcher and neuro epistomologist, as a technique for teaching sight words. Dr. Mengert suggested that I place a red dot in the middle of sight words to help kids focus on the middle of the words rather than just the beginnings.

It worked, and my kids began to read sight words they had not been able to read before.

They learned rapidly and soon knew enough sight words for us to begin practicing them in sentences on the wall and in the Dolch art paragraphs I wrote with the Dolch word lists.

Using a Red Dot to Improve Fluency

Almost all of the struggling readers with whom I worked were unable to skip, jump rope, or dribble a ball. Two out of three were either cross or mixed dominant and as a result had problems at the midline of their bodies because the right and left hemispheres of their brains were not working together smoothly.

This caused students to have great difficulty reading an entire line of text from left to right. They faltered at the midline or stopped altogether when they had to switch eyes and brain hemispheres in the middle of a line.

Often boys especially would start back at the first of the line and try to power their way across the problem area. Sometimes they reached the middle of the line and started back at the beginning several times in a row with no idea of how to get across it.

Physical coordination exercises were a critical part of their treatment and were important teaching strategies for reading fluency. So was further use of the red dot.

The dot may be placed in two locations, depending on the needs of the individual child, as a teaching strategy for reading fluency:

End of the line

Place a red dot at the end of the line and ask the child to "read to the dot." This gives him a focal point and something towards which he can aim.

As he practices, his brain will adapt quickly, and in a short period of time - about three weeks, according to Dr. Mengert - he will no longer need the dot.

Middle of the line

Some children benefit from the placement of the red dot in the middle of the line rather than at the end. Here it signals the reader that he has made it to the middle and lets him know that he is on the right track.


Cut a rectangular piece of clear transparency film, use a fine tip red Sharpie, and draw a tiny red dot at one end.



Placing a red dot at the end of a line of text and telling students to



A red dot in the middle of a line of text can signal the reader that he is on the right track.



Make several to keep handy when you are reading with children, and place the dot where it is needed:

•In the middle of words they are having trouble reading

•At the end of a line, telling them to "read to the dot"

•In the middle of a line to signal they are on the right track




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Reading Fluency
Reading fluency is what bridges the gap between Dolch sight words and reading comprehension. Teaching reading fluency with various fluency activities leads to the ability to read for meaning.

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