How to help kids become more fluent readers

By Ginny Osewalt

Reading fluency is the ability to read at a good pace, with accuracy, and with the right expression. Fluent readers also understand what they’re reading.

Here are some ways kids can improve their fluency:

  • Listen to models of fluent reading, like read-alouds. Audiobooks can also be great models of reading fluency. 
  • Practice sight words so kids can automatically recognize words.
  • Have kids read a short text at their reading level several times. Count how many words they read correctly in one minute. Record the results on a graph. Repeat several times. (This is called “repeated readings.”) Soon they’ll see that their speed and accuracy improve.
  • Read a sentence together. Then draw slash marks to “chunk” the text into meaningful phrases of three to five words. Kids should take a short pause at the slash marks when reading.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Ginny Osewalt is a dually certified elementary and special education teacher with more than 15 years of experience in general education, inclusion, resource room, and self-contained settings.