Aug 022013

Reading Fluency Activities and How to Improve Reading Speed

Q: How much should I worry about reading speed? Is there a reading fluency program out there that you’d recommend? Or, do you know of any methods to use on a daily basis to slowly improve speed?

Measuring Reading Speed When Using Reading Fluency Activities

Before beginning reading fluency activities, it is helpful to measure your child’s reading fluency using a measuring tool.  You can use the Reading Fluency assessments located at These reading fluency tools are very helpful for assessing whether your child is reading at a functional speed.  The Dibels benchmarks go up to sixth grade in the free download area, although the menu only shows lower grades. The measurement tools are at:

You are wise to be concerned about slow reading speed as slower reading speed often affects comprehension. While your child may have decent comprehension, the slower a child reads, the more unlikely he is to remember the information. Of course, the more complex the reading material, the more likely comprehension issues will rear their ugly heads. 😉

Proven Reading Fluency Activities to Improve Reading Speed

Research shows that one of the best reading fluency activities is vast amounts of practice with reading aloud.  If your child has difficulty with decoding, reading aloud is not likely to be an activity the child gets excited about. However, you can help your child by letting him select the books or by selecting books of high interest to him. There are several providers of High-Lo books, which are labeled according to a child’s interest level (IL) and reading level (RL).  A child who is in sixth grade, but can only read on a third grade level would find books lableled IL6, RL3 to be books he could read and would likely enjoy.  You can find more high-lo publishers on our page containing information about specialty curriculum providers. You can use these books for Repeated Oral Reading, which is one of the most recommended reading fluency activities you can use. Additionally, it may be that your child can learn to Speed Read more readily than other children if he is a strong visual learner. We have used the Speed Reading for Kids program. It is inexpensive and worth a try, but I will say your child must be able to read and understand most of what he reads for this method to be effective. If you’d like a comprehensive guide to reading fluency activities, the value-priced book, Reading Comprehension for Kids: With strategies that work, so your child can read and rememberreading fluency activities, has information about how to improve reading fluency in it alongside the information about reading comprehension.  Since most kids need to have functional reading fluency, using these reading fluency activities will help comprehension. Lastly, one of the best reading fluency activities you can do with your child is guided reading.  You can read all about guided reading on the information page about using reading guides for guided reading at: Best Wishes Sandy

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