Reading Fluency Activities that Work!
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Handheld Fluency Phone
The handheld fluency phone is my number one top pick for my favorite activity out of all the reading fluency activities
Kids love them which naturally increases the amount of time that they will practice reading while using the phone.
The fluency phone gives the activity a multisensory component which also increases learning levels. The sound of their voice goes into their ear from the top end of the phone which gives a sound movement component, a language component and a muscle and nerve component into the activity. All of this combines to increase the results.
The reader has more fun reading and rereading their reading material which increases the amount of time at practice which then increases fluency levels.
The fluency phones can be used with most of the other fluency activities which increases the the success of each of the other reading fluencycactivities.
Readers Theatre for Reading Fluency
Readers Theatre is fun! The children love it and they don’t even realize that they are rereading the same passage over and over.
Rereading helps to improve fluency so you want them to reread but they find it so boring they don’t want to do it. When you introduce Readers Theatre it brings in a whole different attitude to the practice.
I found it best to have the kids practice their lines with a partner or alone with a fluency phone first and then with a partner.
Make sure you match the skill level to the Readers Theatre material. How and Why Stories for Readers Theatre was one of my favorite books for this activity. 25 Fun Phonics Plays is another great one.
Poetry is always great for Readers Theatre and Reader’s Theater: Classic Poetry is one of the best.
There are many more Readers Theatre books depending on the skill level of your readers.
Repeated Readings with A Partner for Increased Fluncy Rate
This one is done exactly as it sounds. I would add fun reading material at the readers’ reading level and phonics phones to increase the time reading and for adding a fun component. Reading isn’t hard work when you add a fun component to the job.
The more you can get a child to read and reread, the more improvement you will see.
I would always make sure each child had a fluency phone when doing this activity. Pick any story you want to read. Stand in front of your group and read a sentence. The group follows the text with their finger as you read and then they repeat the text into their phones after you.
This activity gives kids practice with how a fluent reader sounds when they are reading and reading support with the first couple of readings of a story or passage.
I would have the kids partner read using their phones after the echo read.
Choral Reading is when everyone reads together at the same time. This is similar to Echo Reading but the readers are just all reading together, not repeating after the lead reader. This is good for using in subjects like science or social studies where you are learning the material through reading.
Choral Reading is a lot more fun than round robin reading where everyone is falling asleep. With Choral Reading the reader has the support of the other readers for unknown words and dosen’t have to be embarrassed by not knowing a word. Everyone supports each other in this type of reading.
Poetry reading is just fun to read. Kids love rhyming and if you add something funny to the rhyming they will read and reread several times happily.
Poetry also gives kids a lot of cues for sounding out the word and usually has short sentences which are both good strategies to use with struggling readers.
Recording Students on Tape/Graphing/Listening /ReRecording
Letting students record themselves while they are reading gives them great feedback on what they need to improve without embarrasing them in front of other students. Using a Recording Pen device makes it fun!
You can have the student read a passage with the fluency phone for practice and then record themselves reading the passage out loud. They can listen to their recording and then do the following activity with a partner.
Next have a partner reader time the reader while the reader reads out loud. The partner can count any mispronounced words. The mispronounced words are then subtracted from the total number of words in the passage and the remaining number is marked on a graph.
I like to graph the positive component not the negative component. So in this case the number of words read correctly is graphed. This way the students get to see their improvements with the graph rising up with each repeated reading.
The partners take turns reading out loud and graphing the results. After 3-5 readings they can check their graphs and see how they have improved.
Finally, they each record themselves rereading the passage for the last time and they will see and hear how much they improved in their fluency.
This is just another way to get the kids to reread with the purpose of improving their fluency rates in a fun way.
Word Walls with Games and Sight Word Bingo
Word Walls are a fabulous source of passive learning. Kids are constantly reading and rereading the word walls while they are waiting to do something else. This is great to have in a child’s bedroom at home as well.
There are so many games you can play using the word wall depending on the age and reading level of your group.
For example, say you are thinking of a word that starts with the /w/ sound. You throw a ball to a student and that student has to give you a word on your wall that starts with the /w/ sound. Then that student picks another word and gives a clue and throws the ball to another student.
You can do beginning sounds, rhyming words, vocabulary words, etc.
Sight Word Bingo is fabulous for reading and rereading sight words over and over in a game format. My students never were tired of playing Sight Word Bingo.
You can even make your own cards for whatever words you want your readers to practice reading. Here is a list of 100 Fry Sight Words.
I would have the kids partner read their cards using their phonics phones before we played the game. This way everyone had practice reading the words on their individual cards which gave them extra practice with the words and made playing the game easier.
I hope this gave you some ideas to use with your readers. There are so many fun ways to practice reading and building fluency that the kids don’t even realize they are working on building their fluency skills!