So Long, Robot Reader!

A Superhero Intervention Plan for Improving Fluency

Lauren Marple, ECED 321


In this article, the authors discuss the emphasis in recent years on reading fast and accurately, as opposed to a focus on comprehension of text. Then, they go into detail – even including a lesson plan – about how to combat this issue and produce “REAL” readers.


I love how it is to translate this article into lesson plan ideas! "Robot reader" and superheroes are fun and imaginative, and give clear insight into different reading difficulties and strengths. Reading was something that came very naturally to me, but it is not that way for many students. There are lots of different and equally important components that go into learning how to read. Students must be able to recognize letters and letter/sound patterns, apply meaning to sounds and words, decode, recognize sight words, understand context, have a wide array of vocabulary, and so much more. Just in the step of fluency alone, there are the components of rate, expression, accuracy, and learning ("REAL reading"). Authentic fluency is being able to read with and for meaning, not just reading quickly. In class, we talked about different reading techniques that our teachers had used in the past, such as each student reading a paragraph out loud. We were reminded of how we would count ahead to see which paragraph would be ours, so we could practice and practice in our heads until it was finally our turn, tuning out the rest of the information being read. We discussed strategies like popcorn reading and readers theatre, two of which I am highly looking forward to implementing in my classroom! I was involved in drama productions throughout my grade school career and I benefited from it greatly. It makes me sad to hear people struggle with fluency (particularly rate and expression), and I want each and every one of my future students to be able to be successful "REAL" readers.


As the title implies, this article revolves around fluency, which is, as we've learned, very important in the reading process. Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, and is necessary for readers to be able to comprehend what they are reading.
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Marcell, B. & Ferraro, C. (2013). So Long, Robot Reader!: A Superhero Intervention Plan for Improving Fluency. The Reading Teacher, 66(8), 607–614.