How to Build Fluency in Young Readers

Some kids learn to read and just begin to naturally read with fluency (speed, accuracy, and proper expression). Many kids, however, need some guidance and practice! Here are some things you can do to help build fluency in your young readers!

1. Model, Model, Model: Reading aloud to kids is the first step in building their fluency. Even before kids know the ABC’s, they can learn what fluent reading sounds like. Read to your kids every day, even after they can read by themselves.

2. Reader’s Theater: Find some scripts at or slightly above the students’ reading level. Practice reading and performing the play – lines don’t need to memorized, the focus is reading with proper speed and expression.

3. Re-Read & Partner Reading: Rereading short picture books again and again can build fluency and confidence. Even if the student has the words memorized, they are practicing the flow of the words. Reading with a partner is also a great way to get kids reading out loud and working together to build fluency. Students can take turns reading pages, or have a higher level reader read first, and then the lower level reader can repeat.

4. Fluency Strips – These are great for building up fluency as students practice reading short sentences. You can bind sentence strips together with a small ring to put in a literacy center, or you can turn them into a fun interactive notebook!

You can create your own by typing up some sentences and cutting them into strips, or if you’d like to get some that are already made, you can get my Fluency Strips Interactive Notebook here!

5. Another way to increase fluency and comprehension is to have students interact with the text they are reading. You can do this by asking questions about what the students are reading and have them actually show you in the text where they found the answer or information. This can be an oral activity, or you can use resources that are specifically designed for finding text evidence. Here is an example from a resource I created that has really helped my kids:

If you’d like to try some passages like this, you can get this FREE resource that includes several activities at different levels.

Free Downloads

Above all, make sure students are given tasks that they can be successful at. They will gain confidence, and enjoy learning to read with fluency!


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