One reading strategy for improving fluency is to read a selection over and over. Think about how much more powerful this could be if the student could play back their reading, listen to it, evaluate it and then redo it? With technology, this is possible. There are many ways to record your voice from Web 2.0 tools to different software programs. I want to focus on two different approaches to improving fluency with technology, because tools may change, but the purpose is the driving force.
All students should have a digital record of their fluency so the student, their families, and their teacher can all look back and have concrete evidence of growth. Two software programs that are available in our school are Power Point and Photo Story. Each allows the student to create a page with the date and information on what they are reading. Once the page is created, they can record their reading right on that page. After recording, they should listen to it and evaluate their performance. The recordings can be easily deleted so the student can redo them. Once they feel they have done their best, the file should be saved. At predetermined intervals, the student should create a new page with new recordings. At the end of the year, the student can go back and listen to all the recordings, a concrete portfolio of their growth.
Another strategy involves making podcasts of Reader's Theatre performances. Because you are not keeping a running record, additional software that could be used are Audacity, and any Web 2.0 tool that records your voice. The students practice the piece and when ready, record their performance. The advantage of using Web 2.0 tools is the ability to have them immediately accessible on the internet to share with the class, family, and friends. What makes it so powerful to do Reader's Theatre this way is the total reliance on voice to carry the performance, thus expression in fluency is key. It is kind of like the old-time radio shows people would listen to. An article on implementing this in your classroom can be found here.