Increasing Reading Fluency in 5 Easy Steps
Reading fluency is a key component in becoming a good reader. Fluent readers not only sound good while they are reading, but they also understand what they are reading. A fluent reader reads with speed, accuracy, and expression. Fluency is the bridge to comprehension. Once a reader does not have to put their entire focus on decoding words, they can focus instead on understanding what they are reading.
I love working on fluency in my classroom. I think it is such an important skill for my 1st graders to understand and grasp. A couple years ago, while working on a presentation about increasing student’s fluency skills, I came up with a 5 step process for practicing fluency passages.
The Five Step Fluency Process includes:
- Read It & Mark It – Using a timer, read as much as the passage as possible in one minute.
- Read at Your Own Pace – Read the ENTIRE passage at your own pace.
- Word Work Strategies – Highlight a particular word work skill in the passage.
- Silly Read – Reread the passage using a silly voice.
- Read It & Mark It – Reread the passage using a timer to see if you can beat your first time.
These five steps can be used with any passage or short story, but I made the process simpler by creating 5 Step Fluency packets.
I created these in numerous levels and grouped them into three packets. The original packet includes three different sections of stories grouped by the number of words in each reading passage (66-83 wpm, 121-148 wpm, 193-226 wpm.) This was the first packet I created for my students. I use this one with the majority of my on-level to above grade level 1st graders.
They love reading in a silly voice. It is definitely their favorite step, and it is so fun to listen to how dramatic they can become when their voice changes.
After creating my original packet, I had a lot of requests for a lower level packet that could be used with beginning 1st grade readers. So, I created my 5 Step Fluency for Beginning Readers which includes fluency phrases, as well as lower level stories, ranging from 21-42 words per minute.
This packet is perfect for the beginning of the year in 1st grade. I also love that they are working on fluency as well as phonics skills during this activity.
Then, of course, I had to create a packet for my super high flyers. My 5 Step Fluency for Advanced Readers is geared towards 2nd – 3rd grade readers, but I have had a couple 1st graders in the past that have been able to handle these passages as well.
The advanced packet includes passages ranging from 218-336 words per minute. The Word Work skills are also more advanced and include skills like suffixes, prefixes, pronouns, and adverbs.
I love using these passages during small group reading instruction and during Intervention/Enrichment (I/E) time. Now that my students are very comfortable with the 5 step format, we can carry it over into other reading material.
These Voice Sticks are a perfect addition for stations or rereading a story during whole group instruction. You can find those in a separate packet by clicking on the picture below.
The circles are cut out and placed on popsicle sticks for students to choose a voice.
We have even used these during calendar time to choose a voice for counting number patterns. It’s an easy way to add a little fun to your instruction.
Would you like to try a sample of each of my 5 Step Fluency packets?
I created a sampler packet that includes one passage from each of my 5 Step Fluency packets. This will allow you to see which packet would work best for the students in your classroom. If you can see the benefit of all three packets, you might be interested in saving money and purchasing the bundle of all three 5 Step Fluency packets. Just click on the picture below.
Check out each of my 5 Step Packets and Voice Sticks by clicking on the links below.
5 Step Fluency for Beginning Readers
5 Step Fluency for Advanced Readers
This is a great resource. Thank you for sharing!