It’s time to talk about… reading fluency! Fluency is a measure of how well your students can read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. (A great skill to weave into fluency instruction is comprehension! We’ll get to that later!) Here are some easy-to-implement fluency strategies to start in your classroom today!
Before beginning fluency instruction it is wise to assess your students’ fluency levels. Check out THIS prior post to learn how to give a fluency assessment! (Want to know one way to schedule fluency instruction for the week? Check out THIS post!)
Whole Group Fluency Strategies
The best way to teach students fluency is to model it during read alouds. Read expressively, at the appropriate rate and accurately. If you have a document camera, project the book and track as you read so students can follow along with you. The more they hear fluent reading, the more likely they will become fluent themselves!
Choral reading is when a group of students reads together, with OR without a teacher. This strategy can help build confidence for students who are nervous to read out loud on their own. (It is good practice to never force a student to read out loud!) Some fun things to choral read are repetitive books, books that rhyme, or shorter stories.
This is a favorite product over here at Team Lucky Little Learners! Not only do students work on phonics, they can be timed for fluency using the reading passage included in each mat. Phonics mats are also a great way to incorporate comprehension checks: when students finish the rest of the mat, they are prompted to draw a picture of the story on the back. Teachers could also ask students comprehension questions on the passage. It is easy to see why the phonics mats are a popular product! Check out the Lucky Little Learners phonics mats options HERE.
Want to have students experience a variety of fluent reader voices? Check out www.getepic.com! This website offers thousands (literally tens of thousands) of online books. Several of them can be read aloud to your class. The best thing? Epic read alouds highlight or bump up the words that are being read so students can easily follow along!
Small Group & One-on-One Fluency Strategies
Fluency strategies are also very successful in a small group or individual setting. Here are some ideas:
Reading Comprehension & Fluency Passages
One of LLL’s newest products is the GROWING Comprehension & Fluency passages bundle. (Check it out HERE.) (This product features 576 stories!) These passages target fluency through timed readings and comprehension with a question set for each passage. (Bonus: they are available in a digital format as well!) Differentiation is made easy with these passages because each student can work on a target comprehension skill such as cause & effect or character at their just right reading level.
Want to know more about these passages? Check out THIS post.
To really amp up the engagement and fun during fluency instruction, try out reader’s theater! This can be done in a couple of ways. You can assign one play to your whole class or a few different scripts to leveled groups. Students will have fun working on their “lines” and using expressive voices. For added fun, allow students to make puppets and turn it into a puppet show OR allow them to wear costumes, memorize their lines and create backdrops! To learn more about this strategy, check out THIS post.
Fluency sticks are a great strategy for your hands-on or tactile learners. (Plus they are a lot of fun!) Teachers assign sight words (differentiated for each student) and clip them to a ruler. Students can flip through these words easily while building their fluency. This can be done at home or school! Read more about fluency sticks HERE.
Hopefully some of these fluency strategies will make fluency instruction engaging, fun and meaningful in your classroom.
Remember, together we are better!