At the end of the day, teaching reading fluency is all about helping students towards deeper comprehension. If students can't read fluently, they will struggle to understand what it is they are reading. Therefore, we cannot ignore this crucial part of literacy. Here are 20 activities designed to help all your learners develop their reading fluency in your classroom.
1. Reader's Theatre Character Voice Practice
To improve students' fluency with varied speaking voices, have them engage with a Reader's Theatre script. Explain what it means to be aware of context. Should you use a sad voice or a happy voice? These exercises with characters' voices will translate into broader reading fluency with tone and voice.
Learn more: Education to the Core
2. Incorporate More Poetry
These poetry binders are a great way to include a daily routine of poetry reading with your students. Incorporating poetry adds fun to reading and increases students' ability to play with words at all ability levels. Poetry is also a great candidate for teacher-led choral reading where you read first and students repeat after you. Rhyming-type poems, as well as funny poems, are perfect for building fluency.
Learn more: Ms. DeCarbo
3. Teach "Get Your Eyes Ahead"
Train students to have their eyes move faster than they are saying the words with this simple anchor chart. Fluent readers continually preview the words coming up next in order to prevent breaks in their reading. By explicitly telling this to emergent readers, we model fluent reading practices.
Learn more: Education to the Core
4. Word Ladders
Word ladders are great for 1st-grade learners as they begin to develop oral reading fluency. Teaching one word at a time and adding them cumulatively provides confidence for your emergent readers.
Learn more: Kristen Sullins' Teaching
5. Choral Reading
Choral reading is a fantastic way to increase oral reading fluency. Using passages that work for multiple ability levels, have your students read as a whole group. This decreases the pressure on one reader to get it right and helps your struggling readers learn in a low-stakes manner.
Learn more: Teacher Thrive Tribe
6. Roll and Read
Gamify the reading process by incorporating dice! Your elementary readers will love the progressively more complex sentences that help them develop as accurate readers.
Learn more: Sparkling in Second Grade
7. Digraph Sentences
Help students become effective readers by specifically targeting the phonics work they need to develop. These sentences and other resources like it provide sentences that contain the spelling patterns you want to isolate.
Learn more: A Teachable Teacher
8. Audio Books
Audiobooks provide the perfect way for students to hear a fluent adult reader speak. They are incredibly helpful for even your most emergent reader. For auditory learners, audiobooks may actually be a preferred method of reading. Audiobooks count as reading and may just be the right tool to develop an accurate reader.
Learn more: Laura Candler
9. Expression Sticks
Review with students what expression is and what it means to read with expression. Then provide them with popsicle sticks listed with various character voices such as a monster voice or a choppy robot voice. Provide them with a passage to read in the voice they pick. This will quickly become a favorite reading fluency activity.
Learn more: Ms. Jordan Reads
10. Fluency Phones
Use fluency phones to provide students a chance to hear their own oral reading fluency. This offers a way for multiple students to be reading at once without things getting too loud in the classroom. Fluency phones are great for independent reading times.
Learn more: Isobel Blakeney
11. Sentence Trees
Each part of the sentence tree adds on a new word so students become progressively more familiar with the sentence as they read on. This is a great way to introduce tricky sentences in upcoming reading.
Learn more: Fun in First
12. Scooping Sentences
This brilliant strategy has students practice scooping their fingers under parts of sentences rather than going one word at a time as they read. This is fantastic fluency practice as it helps students get closer to fluent reading rather than the choppy reading they may be accustomed to. Simple yet powerful!
Learn more: This Reading Mama
13. Blending Boards
Use these simple blending boards to build stronger readers. Have students practice reading left to right before getting to the full sentence at the bottom.
Learn more:Positively Learning Blog
14. Silly Sentences Jenga Board Game
Write various parts of speech on Jenga blocks, color coding the adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc. Then have students assemble the silly sentences for a good laugh along with ample opportunities for building reading fluency.
Learn more: Childhood 101
Give students a good visual with this acronym. P.A.C.E, or phrasing, accuracy, comprehension, and expression, are the key items to assess when testing fluency in your students.
Learn more: PACE Anchor Chart
16. Fluency Mini Books
These books are filled with simple sentences and beloved stories that help students build up their fluency with letters and sentences. They take little time to assemble and give students an opportunity to illustrate them as well.
Learn more: Teach 123 School
17. Read A Bedtime Story
Perhaps the best way to build fluency is to encourage caretakers to read to students at home. Bedtime stories are a great way for students to hear a fluent reader to emulate in their own oral reading. Here are a few free stories to get started with.
Learn more: This Homeschool House
18. Fluency Videos
There are plenty of resources online such as this one that read to students and invite them to read along as well. Hearing fluent readers and copying their inflection are great ways for students to develop their reading fluency.
Learn more: Repeated Reading
19. Shared Reading
Engaging in shared reading, particularly in mixed-ability groups is a great way for middle school readers to develop their fluency. This basic idea has profound implications for how students read out loud as they learn from each other and read along.
Learn more: Mrs. Beers
20. Reading Fluency Task Cards
Isolate specific skills with these task cards to help students focus on their greatest area for growth. Task cards provide a fantastic way for students to engage in quick fluency practice without depending on a text.
Learn more: Teaching With a Mountain View