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Home » Blog » Literacy » Fluency Tips & Tricks

Fluency Tips & Tricks

Fluency, Literacy

Written by: Angie Olson

Teachers have many talents, one of them being sharing with each other! Today we felt it would be good to dive into some educational idea sharing. Let’s call it an idea swap. Today’s ideas center around Fluency practice and how to make this fun and engaging for your students. Below you will find some of our favorite fluency tips and tricks.

Here is a look at a sample weekly schedule that includes some engaging fluency practice everyday! 


There are many ways to start the week off:

  • Find a song with the sound: This is a fun tip! Search for a song that contains a few examples of your sound of the week AND one that students are not super familiar with. Read it to them and then have them follow along to the song. Have them circle the sound of the week words! (This is great fluency practice too!)
  • Show a sound poster: This can be an anchor chart you make beforehand or with students. Keep it up all week to refer to! Hot tip: glue on pictures of things that have the sound of the week in them!
  • Read a passage whole group and circle the words with the sound. For a cross curricular post, read one of our Growth Mindset passages

Growth Mindset Passages

Growth mindset will be an important skill to teach this upcoming school year.  These reading passages will teach your students about grit, determination, mindset, and more!
  • Also, starting a daily phonics lesson and routine will result in improved student fluency. One answer to a daily fluency and phonics routine is phonics mats! These mats provide a daily reading passage, sound word find and alphabetizing activity AND a color the sound word activity. Your students will be ENGAGED! These mats provide a much needed routine. As a result, your students will know what to expect each day and will not lose valuable time figuring out the instructions. (On day one of each week, some teachers have done these whole group, and guiding students into independent practice the rest of the week.) Oh…and it is available in digital format too!

1st Grade Phonics Mats

Phonics reading passages are a great tool for take home packets, homework, or even small group guided reading activities.

2nd Grade Phonics Mats

These phonics reading passages are available in both printable and digital versions.  Students practice reading fluency, alphabetical order, and phonics skills.


  •  Review the song or passage you read the day before: today the students can read it and sing it!
  • Pull out the phonics mats again for day two! Allow students some time for independent fluency and phonics practice.
  • Have students look for the sound of the week, or alphabet sounds in books in the classroom. Here is a FREEBIE Sound Hunt sheet!
This free phonics activity will have your students searching through books to find words like a scavenger hunt.


Today is game day! How better to practice and gain fluency than while having fun? Some example games:

  • Allow students to quiz each other on sound words. One gets to be the “teacher” and have the other students write the sound word on a whiteboard or paper. The “teacher” will love checking their student’s work! (Who didn’t love playing teacher growing up?!)

1st Grade Reading Toothy

2nd Grade Reading Toothy

3rd Grade Reading Toothy

Reading task cards for 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade are a great way for students to practice their fluency and comprehension skills.  These reading activities can be used both in the classroom or while distance learning.

Digital 1st Grade Reading Toothy

Digital 2nd Grade Reading Toothy

Digital 3rd Grade Reading Toothy

Reading Toothy: students will love creating some crazy tooth-filled smiles  and being able to check their own answers! (Hello time to meet with small groups!) Kids LOVE Toothy! Lucky Little Learners has printable and digital toothy options! Need to assign it online? It's super easy to do!


Time to pull out a leveled reading passage for independent or partner practice. There are many places to find fluency passages! Several websites offer leveled passages such as Reading A-Z or ReadWorks.

How to use these passages? First, have the student read the whole thing independently. (These should be at their reading level.) Next have them circle sound of the week words. Last, time their readings. There are several ways to do this!

  • Each student reads independently and circles their end word.
  • Students read in pairs (each with a different passage) and “coach” each other
  • Students take turns reading to the teacher and graph their OWN weekly results…they LOVE seeing their growth!


At the end of the week it can be valuable to find out what your students have learned and check their fluency. This could be through a spelling test of the weekly sound, through a timed reading of a passage they have never seen before (their day 5 Phonics Mat!), or a word list.

Bonus Tip

If you have access to RAZ Kids, you can assign book mark passages and books. Then, the students record themselves reading it. They also a retell, and quick check for comprehension. It all goes into your basket for you to review at your own convenience! Feedback can be sent as well.

Have any fluency and phonics ideas to share? Let the great share begin! Remember, together we are better!

Teaching fluency during distance learning is tough.  This post has daily ideas teachers can implement to help students become fluent readers both in the classroom or while remote learning.


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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