March, 29

Practicing Challenge Words

While speed doesn't necessarily indicate reading fluency, a reasonable reading rate is expected as students progress. Slow, laborious, word-by-word reading is detrimental to comprehension and expression. Certain words, especially those with irregular constructions, can be tough to recognize, and this is where practice comes in. Practice enables skills to be performed more quickly and easily. Practicing challenge words allows kids to become familiar with them, paving the way towards smoother, faster reading.

Rally tracks the words the reader struggles with and utilizes these "challenge words" for targeted practice. As a brief warm-up exercise, Rally presents these words as “digital cue cards". Reading the cue cards preloads working memory with relevant information, affords valuable practice, and supports fluency. At the end of a session, Rally offers a brief cool-down exercise in which the student reads cue cards of the words they skipped or misread in the just-finished passage. More practice and exposure with these challenge words improves students' pronunciation and overall fluency.

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