Reading Fluency: The Bridge Between Phonics and Comprehension

(Grades K-5) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 137T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42337

Course Description

Have you ever listened to a student struggle to read out loud, often sound-by-sound? Perhaps you listened as another student read something beautifully, only to realize afterwards that he/she had absolutely no understanding of what was just read? All readers must be able to decode the words on the page, but to read fluently, they must also learn how to simultaneously comprehend those words as they are read. This online course provides K-5 teachers with a variety of strategies to help students build their fluency, as a way to “bridge” phonics and comprehension. The course begins by talking about the role that fluency plays in literacy and how it fits into the “Big Five” of foundational literacy skills. As they progress through the course, teachers are exposed to a variety of strategies to improve students’ fluency. The role of assessment as it relates to fluency is also explored in detail. Teachers will take a deep dive into the effects that phonics has on fluency as well as how fluency affects comprehension. Accuracy, automaticity, and prosody are explored in detail, and teachers will learn how various types of instruction (small group, whole group, and centers) can be used to increase students’ fluency skills. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to embed best fluency practices into their own teaching as they work to highlight fluency as a way to bridge the distance between phonics and comprehension. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"This course gave me lots of information about Fluency and how it is linked to comprehension! I love the section on using different centers for fluency practice. Lots of great ideas that I cannot wait to try!" - Kristin Heap

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$127 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$323 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC42337
Unit One
  • The Role of Fluency in Literacy
  • Fitting Fluency Within the “Big Five”
  • Why Fluency is Considered “Neglected”
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • The Importance of Fluency Assessments
  • Using Assessments to Drive Fluency Instruction
  • Assessment Choices for Fluency
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • The Effect of Phonics on Fluency
  • Sight Words and Fluency
  • Lesson Ideas and Strategies to Combine Phonics and Fluency
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • The Effect of Fluency on Comprehension
  • The Danger of “Word Callers”
  • Lesson Ideas and Strategies to Combine Comprehension and Fluency
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Addressing Accuracy
  • Addressing Automaticity
  • Addressing Prosody
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Using Centers to Increase Fluency Skills
  • Using Small Group Instruction to Increase Fluency Skills
  • Using Whole Group Instruction to Increase Fluency Skills
  • Assignment #4: Analyze student data and then design a fluency lesson or center
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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