Spotlight on Strategies

Reading Fluency

Background: What is Reading Fluency?

According to, Marcie Wilgner, when reading aloud, fluent readers sound natural. Their reading is accurate, quick, and uses proper expression. In contrast, fluent readers may make many errors, their reading may be slow and laborious as they employ strategies to identify words, and their reading may lack expression, instead being monotone and unnatural sounding (Wilger, 2008). Through continued practice and guided instruction, students can improve upon these skills.

It's important to remember reading is not solely an oral skills. Reading fluently requires one to decode and comprehend text at the same time. Therefore we must simultaneously teacher strategies for students to understand letter sound relationships, recognize letters in content, phonemic blending, sight word recognition and simple pre-decodable sentences.

Starfall: Kindergarten

A Reading & Language Arts Curriculum that is motivational and engaging for both children and teachers — that's kindergarten, the Starfall Way. Our dynamic curriculum ensures children:

  • are actively involved and guided to direct their own learning
  • learn to observe, question, imitate, examine, explore, investigate and discover

Our Teacher's Guide gives educators the information and confidence they need to:

  • introduce skills and strategies in sequence, then apply, integrate, and practice them with their children throughout the year
  • deliver instruction in whole or small group settings, and meet individual student's needs
  • enable English language learners, struggling readers and advanced students to support and learn alongside one another
  • integrate content-area instruction in Social Studies and Science
  • use technology effectively

Starfall Kindergarten is research-based, field-tested, and standards aligned.

Starfall Kindergarten

RAZ-Kids: Interactice eBooks for Children

Students improve their reading skills by:

  • Listening for modeled fluency
  • Reading for practice
  • Recording their reading
  • Checking comprehension with quizzes

Students log in to get books and quizzes assigned by their teachers.

RAZ Kids


Reading fluency is comprised of three component skills, or fluency indicators:

• accuracy of word decoding,

• automaticity of word recognition, and

• prosody of oral text reading

(Wilger, 2008)

Through a continued effort to improve these skills, three activities will be sent home with your student to help them become fluent readers. The Fluency Folder contains:

1) Letter/Sound Recognition Practice

2) Snap Word Practice

3) Lucky Listener/Fluency Passage

In addition to the language arts lessons completed in class, we will build a foundation for phonemic awareness, automaticity of high-frequency word recognition and beginning reading through pre-decodable text. Each day students will complete a must-do from our Language Arts adoption: Treasures in phonemic awareness, high frequency words or writing. When they are finished and in between targeted instruction at their ability level, students will go to three independent centers daily (phonics, handwriting, listening center, iPads, Compass Learning: Language Arts, etc.)

Schedule of Language Arts Rotations:


1) Letter recognition (Instructional Aide)

2) Fluency passage cold read (Parent Volunteer)

3) RAZ Kids (Teacher)


1) Letter/Sound recognition (Instructional Aide)

2) Phonemic blending (Parent Volunteer)

3) RAZ Kids (Independent)


1) Cut-up sentences (Parent Volunteer)

2) Phonemic blending (Instructional Aide)

3) Phonemic awareness inventory (Teacher)

4) RAZ Kids (Independent)


1) Snap words: high-frequency words (Instructional Aide)

2) Guided reading (Teacher)

3) Handwriting (Parent Volunteer)

4) RAZ Kids (Independent)

Through these learning opportunities, students will have the chance to improve foundational skills in reading fluency.

Example Lesson: RAZ Kids

During Language Arts time, students will use RAZ Kids four times a week to improve reading fluency. Using an online running record, I will monitor progress of students' reading fluency.

Step 1: assign a running record by clicking on the assignments tab at the top of the screen. Click on the assessment tab. Choose assign a running record.

a) select a student

b) select the reading level

c) select the book or passage

** A recorded retell and comprehension quiz are automatically assigned for the passage or book

Student -

On Monday, when the students log into RAZ Kids they will be taken directly to the assigned benchmark running record. The child will then read the passage using their headphones/microphone. They will read this passage again on Friday to compare their cold and hot read. They will listen to each passage as they follow along, noting any miscues.

Teacher -

On Friday, the teacher will open the two reading passages for each child and use the running record scorecard. They will note any given miscues throughout the passage. Scorecard formulas are automatically calculated based on recording length and errors noted in the passage. Teacher will be provided an error rate, self-correction rate, accuracy rate, words per minute and words correct per minute assessment. Teacher will evaluate the scores and add appropriate books or passages to the students backpack to support learning. As part of anecdotal notes, teacher will note an areas of concerns to be addressed during small group mini-lessons.

Fluency Cues

Challenge: Teacher

Begin by exploring the Reading A-Z website for the thousands of downloadable, projectable, printable teacher materials, covering all the necessary skills for reading instruction. The resources not only align with Common Core Standards, but will fill the gaps left by your educational reading program. Start your free trial and search the themes you're currently studying in your classroom. Challenge: pick a high, medium and low leveled reader for guided reading instruction.

Next, visit RAZ-Kids for the online leveled reading library. Now with an available 14-day trail, I challenge you to explore the 1.5 million digital readers available with your class. Students will have the opportunity to listen to modeled fluency, read for practice, record their reading and check for comprehension with quizzes. Remember the teacher can assign all readers and differentiate reading to support ability level and interests. RAZ Kids is an amazing way to keep your students engaged in reading while they improve fluency and comprehension. Challenge: assign a fluency passage for each student in your class.


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Learning A-Z. (2013). Raz-kids. Retrieved from

Lyons, D. (Designer). (2012, 1 15). Stop Sign [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from,d.cGE&psig=AFQjCNHTagK5-VWtZPH916klMFNLi9bYfA&ust=1385004729961022

Spooner. (Designer). (2013). Robot Character [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from

Wilger, M. (2008, February). Reading fluency: A bridge from decoding to comprehension. Retrieved from