Increasing Below Level Readers Fluency and Comprehension


  • Shawnee Knott Kennesaw State University
  • Dr. Shannon Tovey Kennesaw State University



reading fluency, reading comprehension, below-level readers


Year after year, students enter the classroom several grades below grade level yet are expected to perform as an on-grade level student. One of the major learning gaps, that is daunting to see in fourth grade, are students who are extremely below grade level in the area of reading. To an outsider, it may look as though it is only one subject. No big deal! Unfortunately, reading is the foundation to all content areas. A student who is not successful in reading will most likely have difficulties in other areas of learning. Reading provides the foundation of understanding and that foundation begins with reading fluency. Researcher Timothy Rasinski, along with countless other researchers, such as Kodan and Akoyl, The National Reading Panel, and Samuels and Leberge, carry the belief that students who build a foundation of fluency through practice and increase that fluency will develop the ability to comprehend on higher levels (2003). Without this foundation, the learning gap begins and continues to widen year after year. Thus, showing the huge relationship between reading fluency and reading comprehension (Rasinski, 2003). These below grade level readers need interventions that meet them where they are and push them forward to meet their learning goals - enabling them to become better readers. The purpose of this study was to address the needs of below-level readers and to aid in the vertical alignment of research-based interventions and methods in grades 3-5.

Author Biographies

  • Shawnee Knott, Kennesaw State University

    Shawnee Knott ([email protected]) is a graudate student in the Early Childhood Education program at Kennesaw State University. 

  • Dr. Shannon Tovey, Kennesaw State University

    Dr. Shannon Tovey Howrey ([email protected]) is an Asssociate Professor of Reading and Literacy at Kennesaw State University.

Increasing Fluency and Comprehension (Knott & Tovey, 2020)






Research and Practitioner Articles

How to Cite

Knott, S., & Tovey, S. (2020). Increasing Below Level Readers Fluency and Comprehension . Georgia Journal of Literacy, 43(2), 14-39.

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