I’ve mentioned this before, and I am sure I will mention it a million times again, I absolutely LOVE teaching reading! I love giving my students the tools to “drive the vehicle” and letting them go at it. We’ve been working hard on our reading fluency while reading short vowel CVC words and my students are ROCKSTARS! Honestly, the best readers I have had in my whole teaching career! Now I’m sure it’s just the group of students I have this year, but I’m also going to take just a little bit of credit 😉

My students have been loving working on their reading fluency using our sight word sentences so I knew I needed to create a similar activity that reinforces the short vowel words we are learning and focus on reading fluency passages.  These short vowel reading fluency passages have been a huge hit!

reading fluency passages

What does reading fluency mean?

Fluency practice is such an important way to help emerging readers with their reading so let’s talk a little about what it means! Fluency is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. Reading fluently simply means reading like you talk. When you speak, you don’t sound out each word before you say it, your speech flows. That’s exactly what reading fluency is. Being able to read so that the text flows easily.

How do you teach reading fluency?

Teaching your students to read fluently just takes practice! You can make it fun by using tools to help make the practice less monotonous. My students love using little googly eye rings on their fingers as they point to the text we are working on. It is engaging and fun! We also have used witch fingers from Halloween, colorful drink stirrers as reading wands, highlighter sticks, and magnifying glasses.

I also think it is important to have a specific focus skill when practicing fluency. Using word families words is a great way to increase reading fluency. Word families all have the same rime (ending sounds) so my students only need to focus on the beginning sound that changes.

Using the reading fluency passages:

Each page of my reading fluency passages focuses on a specific word family. The kiddos first practice reading the words in isolation. We always talk a lot before we read 😉 I ask my students what they notice about the words to help them see that they are all part of the same word family. Then we talk about how we only have to change the beginning sound in each word as we read them. I like to write the words up on the whiteboard too, saying the word aloud and having my students help me sound it out as I write. We first read from the board, then we touch and read each word on our page, making sure we “read like we talk” rather than sounding out each word.

After we read each word, I have my students find the word family words in the story. We use yellow crayons {or highlighters if we’re feeling extra frisky ;)} to highlight the words in the story. This helps us to see each word family word as we read which helps us to be successful readers. I also have my students “frame” or put a window around other words that might trick them before we read. In this passage, I would have them frame the sight word “here” as well as “and” since those prove to be tricky for my littler learners. Pre-reading is a super important skill to build reading fluency!
reading fluency passages
After we do our pre-writing strategies, we read the whole story together as a group. We make sure to touch each word as we read so we can keep track and stay focused. After we read the story a few times {depending on how much support is needed} I have my students read the story silently to themselves. This is probably my most favorite part about reading groups. I love watching the kiddos mouth the words…they look so grown up! After they read to themselves, they choose their favorite sentence from the story {usually the funniest one ;)} and rewrite it on the line. This is good writing practice, but mostly, I just have them do this so I can listen to my students read to me one-on-one as the others are working. This gives me the chance to really offer support to my students that are not quite grabbing on yet.
reading fluency passages
I have my students take their reading fluency passages home and read them to someone at home. Someone can be their dog, or stuffed animal if an adult or older sibling is busy.
For repeated practice, you can stick all the reading fluency passages in sheet protectors and put them in a binder. Then have your students do all their pre-reading strategies with a dry-erase marker and erase their page when they’re done. This way they can read the passages more than once, helping them become even more fluent readers!
Want to try these in your classroom? You can grab my FREE reading fluency passages in my shop! It includes 9 reading passages for short vowels, long vowels, and blends & digraphs.
free reading fluency passages
Find these resources in my shop:


Assessing for fluency:

At the end of each short vowel, I also created a mixed vowel reading passage and corresponding assessment sheet. This is to help me see if my students are able to decode the short vowel words and sight words and figure out what they still need help with.

Other fluency ideas:

My students also LOVE the “dice game” as they call it. They could honestly play this all day long if I let them! We usually play this the last few minutes of reading groups. The kids roll take turns rolling the dice and reading the corresponding words as fluently as they can.
I print out and add a new word family page after we learn a new short vowel. I put it in a sheet protector and add the new page to the binder. I show my students the new page, but I let them choose which page they want to read when it’s their turn. They always like to choose the “hard” page…the new one I added, so it all works out 😉

Need more intervention?

I created these adorable and effective Read & Reveal cards for my most struggling readers who just look at a word and guess a bunch of sounds 😉 I found myself repeating “touch each letter, say each sound, now blend it together” over and over again, so I knew it was crucial to create a visual for them as well. You can read more about these here.

follow @misskindergarten on instagram for more great ideas!