10 Ways to Increase Reading Fluency


Need some ideas to help your students increase their reading fluency? Below you will find 10 strategies that I have used in my classroom this year to help my students become more fluent readers. These are effective strategies that I  use in my reading, writing and poetry stations and at my teacher table during guided reading!

Fluency Strips (Moffatt Girls)

My favorite fluency strips are by the Moffatt Girls. These strips stay in my reading station for students to use during our guided reading rotations. I let students choose a "read in a funny voice" card and they practice reading the phrases. I also love using these at my teacher table during guided reading. They are great when you only have 2-3 minutes left with a group and you want to make the most of it. When I'm listening to my students read the phrases, it's a great chance for me stop them and model reading with expression. 

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Sight Words with Punctuation

This is a strategy I use at my teacher table during guided reading. I give each student a stack of sight word cards, markers and a blank piece of paper. Students write their sight words on the paper with punctuation at the end of the word. Once they have written 10 or so words, they practice reading those words with the proper expression to match the punctuation. Not only are they practicing reading with fluency, but they are also working on sight word recognition as well!


Read in Funny Voices

Funny voices can make anything more fun. I found this FREEBIE a few years ago by A Day in First Grade. I keep my set of funny voice cards at my reading center for students to use during their reading station time. I also like to use them in whole group and small group when we are practicing sight words to make it more fun for the kids.

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Read to a Stuffed Animal

This is a fun idea that I was just introduced to this year. My favorite set up I have seen so far is by First Grade Blue Skies. The idea is very simple.  During reading time, students choose a stuffed animal and read their book to them. Students get practicing reading aloud, but you can control the noise a little better than a partner read by asking them to whisper read to their animal. 

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Whisper Phones

Another noise level friendly strategy is whisper phones. Whisper phones allow students to hear themselves when they read without raising their voice above a whisper. Plus, the kids think it is really fun! Below is a great pin on making DIY whisper phones!!

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Roll and Read Phrases

This is another one of my favorites from the Moffatt Girls. I keep these in my reading station during guided reading. Students roll one dice, then choose a phrase from that list to read. I keep a file jacket with about 20-25 copies in it. Students can work on a page during the reading station and when they put it back in the file jacket when they are done to help save on copies. 

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Sentence Cut Apart Activities

Below is a great article from Learning at the Pond on how to use a sentence cut apart activity to help students increase reading fluency. Definitely worth the read! I use this strategy at my writing station and also at my small group table during guided reading.

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Word Ladders

I really like to use this strategy at my small group table during guided reading. I give students a blank piece of paper and some crayons. Then I choose a phrase from the text we just read. Students will make the word ladder on their paper, then practice reading the word ladder to me or I partner them up and let the read their word ladder to a friend.

I also really like to use word ladders in my poetry station. Students can choose a stanza from a poem to make a word ladder and practice reading it to a friend.


Echo Reads

One very effective way for students to become more fluent readers is  to listen to fluent oral reading modeled by their teacher. An echo read is very simple. The teacher chooses a sentence or paragraph from the book and reads it to the student(s) with expression. The student(s) then repeat the phrase back to the teacher using the same expression. I've found that it works better if you choose a paragraph from a text that the students have already read in your small group. That way, students have already practiced decoding the book and focus more on reading that text more fluently.

Partner Reads

Partner reading, also known as paired reading, is another easy fluency strategy that is super easy to implement in the classroom. Researchers have said that in order for a student to increase fluency, they must practice listening to and reading to other readers of all kinds. What I have seen in my classroom is that students often try their hardest when they are reading to a friend because they want to impress that friend with their reading skills. The best part, students always LOVE partner reading, so you get named "the fun teacher".

For more great ideas, follow my K-2 Reading Tips, Tricks and Ideas board:

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