Reading Fluency Activities: Elementary Students

Reading fluency is the ability to read “like you speak”. There are three aspects to fluent reading: Accurate reading of connected text at a conversational rate with appropriate expression. Non-fluent readers make many mistakes, read slowly or they do not read with appropriate expression and/or phrasing. Fluency develops gradually through practice. One of the best strategies to improving reading fluency is to provide opportunities to read the same passage aloud multiple times. Use motivating passages that are not challenging for your student.

What is your student’s reading fluency? Find out with the attached third grade passages from education.com!

Parent Note: YOU can gather reading fluency data on your child using these worksheets! Having your child regularly read aloud to you and other family members will help your child's reading fluency!

Reading Fluency: Airplane (original PDF)

Reading Fluency: Airplane (accessible)

Reading Fluency: Christopher Columbus (original PDF)

Reading Fluency: Christopher Columbus (accessible)

Note: Screen readers can read the Reading Fluency Worksheets downloaded from the website; however, the word count number at the right side of each line is embedded in the sentence and is read aloud in the middle of each sentence. A modified worksheet is attached with the word count numbers removed. Braille students can complete the activity using a tablet (or computer) paired with a refreshable braille display with the screen reader muted. To mute VoiceOver on an iPad, use a three-finger triple tap. (If Zoom is enabled, use a a three-finger quadruple tap.)

There are numerous available reading programs that are designed to improve reading fluency, such as the worksheets above from Education.com. This website offers 5 free downloads per month or you can subscribe (paid subscription) for full access to their resources. You can sign up for emails to receive information about their materials and to download the limited number of worksheets. Choose your desired grade and choose from these topics: Word Study, Math, Reading, and Writing.

To learn more about reading rates for each grade - for all students and for students with visual impairments - read the Paths to Technology post, Reading Rates.

Fluency includes reading with expression. Good expression and intonation can bring words to life! How you say the sentence may be more important than the actual words themselves! 

Example:  Say the following sentences aloud – with expression!

I love sour pickles.

I love sour pickles!

I love sour pickles?

Try saying the same sentence with sarcasm. Model these sentences (using different expressions) and ask your student to say the sentences with expressions. Many students with visual impairments enjoy mimicking and will quickly incorporate good expressions when reading a passage for the second or third time. Read passages that have strong emotions – such as a spooky, sad or happy story. Whisper during a spooky sentence or raise the pitch during an exciting part of the passage. Incorporate those feelings when reading the passage aloud. Choose passages that have different characters and use different voices when reading aloud. 

Scholastic shares 5 Surefire Strategies for Developing Reading Fluency

  • Model Fluent Reading
  • Do Repeated Readings in Class
  • Promote Phrased Reading in Class
  • Enlist Tutors to Help Out
  • Try a Reader’s Theater in Class

Read more about Scholastic’s strategies here.

iPad Apps and Activities: Fluency Practice

Here is a Pinterest post about favorite iPad activities to improve reading fluency.

  • Ask Siri Questions (Read questions from question books)
  • Read to a Repeating Hippo (Talking Baby Hippo App)
  • Read Passages using Dictation (Notes or Pages)
  • Practice Reading Sight Words (Free Sight Word App)

Read more about Reading Fluency on the iPad here.

Fluency Boot Camp

This wonderful blog post provides ideas on how to turn fluency activities into a Fluency Boot Camp! The blog includes multiple handouts and resources to accompany the activities. The boot camp activities are divided by key elements:

  • Pace – the speed in which you read
  • Phrasing – chunking the words together into meaningful phrases
  • Expression – reading with feeling in your voice
  • Punctuation – reading with attention to punctuation
  • Technology – students record “podcasts” or audio files of themselves reading

Be sure to download the “Packet” (under Downloads at the bottom of the Fluency Boot Camp blog) for additional activities and resources!

Read more about Fluency Boot Camp.

 

 

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