The 6th Component of Teaching Reading: Fluency

Component 6 is Fluency! Fluency is being able to read with speed, accuracy, and expression. Those come in time, but there is no better way to get there than to practice practice practice!

I have multiple ways I like to practice fluency with readers. Let’s dive into a few of those ways:

  1. Fluency strips: These come in the early elementary subscription and are a set of 15-20 sentences that correspond to the sound/spelling pattern being focused on and specific sight words learned up to that point. These strips can be practiced daily until they are able to read them without making mistakes. You can also challenge them by timing the set as they read. Always give 1 minute minimum to start. But you may find your reader needs more time and that’s completely fine! You want them to feel confident not panicked as they read. If they are reading too fast with lots of mistakes then timing them isn’t a good idea until they can read the text with accuracy.
  2. Timed reads: You can see an example of a Pre-K timed read below. Timed reads are one word (or one letter in this case) practice. You set a timer for 1 minute and have them read each word or letter in the horizontal line and continue until the timer runs out. Then have them mark under the last word they read and reset the timer and repeat.
  3. Fluency readers: The fluency readers are a fluency activity where the text is specifically designed to practice the sound/spelling learned that week AND the sight words learned that week. It’s a great way to really practice all the skills taught that week and to see if the reader is understanding the concepts taught, or if they need more practice.
    • You can do many different things with this fluency activity!
    • You can have your child go through and find all of the sight words and underline them with a dry erase marker.
    • You can have your child go and underline all of the words that contain the sound/spelling pattern and read them aloud first, THEN go back and read the fluency reader.
    • You can have them read it for 1 minute, underline where they stopped and then have them read it again for 1 minute starting from the top and see if they can read a little further than the last time. Repeat this for 3 rounds! Praise them whether they pass it or whether they don’t! If they don’t get farther each time but you notice they correct mistakes as they read praise them for correcting because that is the mark of a great reader!

Read both the strips and the passage every day if possible for best results strengthening reading skills!

Example of Fluency Passage: