If you have ever instructed a child to read, chances are your methods have been influenced in one way or another by researcher, author Tim Rasinski, Ph.D., a literacy education professor at Kent State University and leading expert in reading education. He has published a variety of valuable materials for elementary and middle grades on reading fluency, word study, and reaching struggling readers. Dr. Rasinski has edited and co-authored a variety of texts and curriculum programs centered on reading education. Throughout his prolific career, he has authored over 150 articles in an array of publications. He is a guru you should get to know!
Dr. Tim Rasinski's work is focused on several key areas:
- Reading Fluency There is a plethora of research explaining the connection between reading fluency and proficiency in reading comprehension. Rasinski's work aims to inform teachers about the effects of fluency instruction on students at all grade levels, not just in the early elementary years. He encourages teachers to model fluent reading for students, expect students to practice the repeated reading of specific passages, and provide embedded fluency support in students' independent reading. His work also supports teachers in determining and acquiring appropriate instructional materials for fluency practice such as scripts, poems, passages, and leveled texts.
- Vocabulary and Word Study Vocabulary development is one of the five core principles of quality reading instruction, yet teachers often struggle with finding engaging and effective ways to teach vocabulary. Rasinski's work helps teachers ensure that students acquire a vocabulary that will support their reading development and overall comprehension. He encourages teachers to employ both direct and indirect instruction to teach new vocabulary. Engaging direct instruction techniques include categorizing and classifying, concept maps, word derivations and histories, and cloze (fill-in-the-blank) activities.
- Reaching Struggling Readers Rasinski's work into understanding the struggling reader can help teachers analyze a student's reading behaviors and identify appropriate instructional methods for areas of need. He helps teachers focus on the “big picture of reading instruction” while understanding specific instructional strategies for improved word recognition, vocabulary, reading fluency, and comprehension.
There are a variety of resources available for teachers to learn more about Tim Rasinski's work in reading education including, but certainly not limited to:
- The Fluent Reader (Scholastic also offers a free study guide.)
- Making and Writing Words
- Essential Strategies for Word Study
- Text for Fluency Practice
- Primary Source Fluency Activities
- The Role of the Teacher in Effective Fluency Instruction (New England Reading Association Journal; 2005; 41,1)
- Fluency for Everyone: Incorporating Fluency Instruction in the Classroom (The Reading Teacher; 1989, May)
- Fluency: The Misunderstood Goal of the School Reading Curriculum (School Library Journal, 2011, May)
- Sample Reader's Theater Scripts, Grades 1-4
- Poems for Fluency
- Sample Word Ladders, Grades 3-6
- Fluency Rubric
Dr. Rasinski began his career as an elementary and middle school classroom and Title I teacher. He has served as president of the College Reading Association as well as on the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association. He was elected to the International Reading Hall of Fame in 2010.
Boost your students’ reading comprehension with the resources mentioned above and download our Best Practices Guide to Reading Comprehension. Put a refreshing spin on a traditional strategy!