Reading fluency: 3 Surprisingly easy Strategies to Build fluent readers

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Today, we’re exploring the exciting world of reading fluency. Fluent readers can read text accurately, quickly, and with proper expression. Fluency is a critical bridge between word recognition and comprehension, ensuring that students can not only decode words but also understand and enjoy what they read.

Whether you’re teaching PreK, Kindergarten, or First Grade, these strategies will help your young learners develop the fluency they need for reading success. And, before you dive into these fluency tips, make sure you check out our recent posts on phonological awareness and phonics.

Why is Fluency Important?

  • Improves Comprehension: Fluent readers can focus on understanding the text rather than decoding each word.
  • Boosts Confidence: Students who read fluently feel more confident and motivated to read.
  • Enhances Enjoyment: When reading is smooth and expressive, it becomes more enjoyable for students.

Let’s dive into three actionable strategies you can implement in your classroom to build reading fluency!

1. Repeated Reading for building reading fluency

Repeated reading is a powerful strategy where students read the same text multiple times until they achieve a level of fluency. This practice helps students improve their speed, accuracy, and expression.

Activity: Echo Reading

  • Materials Needed: A selection of short, engaging texts or passages.
  • Instructions:
    1. Choose a short text appropriate for your students’ reading level.
    2. Read the text aloud while students follow along with their copies.
    3. Have students echo read by repeating each sentence or phrase after you.
    4. Repeat this process until students can read the text fluently on their own.


  • Teacher: “The cat sat on the mat.”
  • Students: “The cat sat on the mat.”

For more details on repeated reading techniques, check out this resource on repeated reading.

Benefits: Repeated reading helps students improve their word recognition, reading speed, and overall fluency, making them more confident and capable readers.

2. Reader’s Theater

Reader’s theater is a fun and interactive way to practice fluency. Students read scripts adapted from literature, and the emphasis is on reading with expression and proper pacing rather than memorization.

Activity: Classroom Reader’s Theater

  • Materials Needed: Scripts for reader’s theater, props (optional).
  • Instructions:
    1. Select a script suitable for your students’ reading level.
    2. Assign roles to each student, ensuring that everyone has a part to read.
    3. Allow students to practice their parts multiple times.
    4. Encourage students to use expression and gestures while reading their lines.
    5. Perform the script for the class or a small audience.


  • Students perform a script based on a favorite storybook, each taking turns to read their lines with expression.

For more ideas and scripts, explore this collection of reader’s theater scripts.

Benefits: Reader’s theater makes reading practice engaging and helps students improve their reading expression, pace, and comprehension.

3. Fluency Phrases

Fluency phrases are short, common phrases that students practice reading quickly and accurately. This activity helps students develop automaticity, allowing them to read phrases smoothly without hesitation.

Activity: Fluency Phrases Flashcards

  • Materials Needed: Flashcards with common phrases, a timer.
  • Instructions:
    1. Create flashcards with common phrases (e.g., “on the mat,” “in the car,” “a big dog”).
    2. Show each flashcard to the students and have them read the phrase aloud.
    3. Time how quickly students can read through a set of flashcards.
    4. Repeat the activity, encouraging students to improve their speed and accuracy each time.


  • Flashcard: “a red ball”
  • Student: “A red ball.”

For more fluency phrases and activities, visit this guide on building reading fluency.

Benefits: Practicing fluency phrases helps students read common word combinations quickly and accurately, building their overall reading fluency.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you’ll help your students develop the fluency they need to become confident, capable readers. Repeated reading, reader’s theater, and fluency phrases are not only effective but also enjoyable ways to enhance your fluency instruction.

I’m so proud of you for taking the time to learn and better yourself so you can be the best for your students! You are a rockstar reading teacher, friend!

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