In early education classrooms, fluency is a major part of the reading curriculum.
In order to comprehend text, students must be able to read with speed and accuracy. If they are unable to read fluently, they can become so focused on decoding or recalling words that they will lose the meaning of the text. When reading out loud, fluency also becomes an important part of conveying meaning to the listeners.
So- how can teachers provide effective instruction in fluency in their already cramped schedules? Read on for some of my favorite strategies!
One of the easiest ways to increase fluency is by re-reading passages.
As students become more familiar with a text, they can add speed and expression to their reading. This strategy is important to introduce in the early grades so students will become comfortable with re-reading as texts become longer and more difficult.
A similar tool for teaching fluency is to use small phrases that children can read, re-read, and add onto. Once they are able to recognize the short phrase as one unit, they can add more words to make complex sentences. Again, repeated reading of the same phrases will increase speed, accuracy, and confidence.
Another tool in my fluency arsenal is the use of homonyms.
Homonyms are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. For example, a bat is an animal or a piece of sports equipment. Helping students recognize homonyms will not only improve their fluency but increase their comprehension. I like to use a “word web” with the target homonym in the middle. Then, as a class or independently, students can add words to the web that connect to the different meanings. Keeping the word webs for review later is a great way for students to increase their recognition of homonyms in later texts.
Perhaps the most fun way to increase fluency skills is with reader’s theater.
Children are able to read and re-read their parts before “performing” the script. They can improve their speed, accuracy, and especially expression in doing so. As they read along with a group, they can hear their peers reading with fluency as well. It’s a lot of fun to perform short scripts in front of the class, and provides an opportunity for students to become comfortable speaking in front of a group.
Are you ready to use all of the strategies in your kindergarten or first-grade class? Grab my Reading Fluency Activities today and your entire school year of fluency lessons will be ready!
This bundle includes sentence building worksheets, word webs, mini-books, and reader’s theater scripts for each week of the year. It also includes fluency assessments so you can track what your students are learning. Using these activities weekly will lead to fluent readers who are confident in their skills!
Looking for more reading strategies? Check out my post here!
What are your favorite activities for fluency practice? Let me know in the comments!