Building Fluency

Tell me about it

Readers who lack fluency often read word for word, slowly decoding, and with little expression or understanding. But fluency is more than just speeding up the rate at which students read; indeed, fluent readers vary the rate at which they read to account for familiarity with the text and its meaning. Genuinely fluent readers can read accurately and automatically with appropriate expression and concentrate on comprehending the text. 

Considerations for instructional planning

  • Helping students with decoding skills and building site words is an important part of becoming a fluent reader.
  • Focus students on building decoding skills and building sight words.
  • Model reading aloud to help students hear how a voice can provide meaning to a text.
  • Encourage students by offering engaging ways to develop fluency.

Be sure to's

  • Regularly practice and model fluency with all grade levels.
  • Select a reading program with an emphasis on word study.
  • Make fluency a natural part of reading-not an isolated skill.

Tools and Resources

  • This generator helps to chunk the text into meaningful pieces. Phrased-cued texts can help students understand the natural pauses that should occur in a reading.
  • Aaron Shepard's website offers Reader's Theater free scripts as an engaging way to practice fluency.
  • This site provides a variety of audio-assisted reading technology tools for all ages to support student practice with fluency. Students read aloud or silently with a recorded text.
  • Learn more about teaching fluency in your classroom (including strategies and models with videos) from PowerUp.
  • Reading Rockets offers a number of resources around fluency, including "Building Fluent Readers" and "Fluency."
  • Information for families about fluency is available on the Start with a Book site.
  • Check out these activities for building fluency from the Florida Center for Reading Research.
  • Don't miss Student Achievement Partners' Fluency Resources including fluency packets for all grade levels!