Differentiation, Planning & Instruction,ELA & Writing

Student Led Activities to Improve Reading Fluency

Research has proven time and time again that students learn best when they are engaged and they can take ownership of the work they produce. As a teacher, I sometimes struggle with stepping back and letting students do the work. The truth is, student led activities will aide students in their learning much more than any well thought out lecture I put together.

Research has proven time and time again that students learn best when they are engaged and they can take ownership of the work they produce. As a teacher, I sometimes struggle with stepping back and letting students do the work. The truth is, student led activities will aide students in their learning much more than any well thought out lecture I put together.

I often get asked about strategies to help students improve their reading fluency. In my classroom, there have been three main things that have helped: explicit phonics instruction, exposure and practice. My students get daily explicit instruction in phonics, multiple exposure to sight words, multisyllabic words, and phonics skills and daily reading practice. The key to ensuring these strategies work is to allow my students to take ownership and to work on activities that are student led.

I created an entire pack of words segmented by phonics skills. The pack is perfect for K-2. This pack has been extremely helpful in our classroom because we are able to work on the three things that have helped my students’ reading fluency improve. You can grab your very own list of words for FREE!

Ways to use the list for student led activities that will improve their reading fluency

Syllabication is extremely important in the primary classroom. It is a foundational skill that will help students in the long run. Understanding syllable types aides in reading fluently and vocabulary comprehension. Students are better able to read longer words when they understand how syllables work and how vowels function within those syllables. Practicing the segmentation of syllables like pictured below, helps my students to get into the practice of identifying syllables and reading longer words. When reading a text or passage, students don’t spend as much time trying to decode because they can quickly segment and make meaning of the words.

Student led syllabication activity is extremely important in the primary classroom. It is a foundational skill that will help students in the long run. Understanding syllable types aides in reading fluently and vocabulary comprehension.

Here is another great way to use the list and to help your students take ownership of their work. I hand each student a list of words depending on the phonics skills we are working on. Students partner up and practice reading the words on the list. We then work together on identifying words that will help compose a plot for a story. They look for words…

that can be used as characters

that can serve as adjectives to describe the setting or the characters

that can help identify a problem that the character(s) gets into

that can help in creating a solution for the problem

Below is a story that the students came up with by themselves using a list of words with ie and igh. I help them in structuring the story and writing it, but they are the ones that come up with the ideas and put together the plot.

Student ownership is so important! A story that is student led using a list of words with ie and igh. I help them in structuring the story and writing it, but they are the ones that come up with the ideas and put together the plot.

Once the story is complete, we fold it and place it in our Daily 5 rolling cart. Students grab the story from the cart during our daily 5 block and they take it to their seats or carpet area. They read to self or with a partner. They are always so proud to read the stories because they created them. The repeated reading of the words in context helps to improve their fluency.

The rolling cart is helpful for storing student activities to complete during their daily 5 block. Not to mention, the organizational advantage for teachers.

In addition to writing their story on chart paper, I also type it using a tracing font. I print the story and give one to each student. This practice is especially helpful for my emerging readers. They get to trace the words as they decode. With consistent practice, they are able to read the story fluently. Once they have read it several times, they turn the paper over and do a detailed illustration of the story. The illustrations help to reflect deeper comprehension and understanding of details.

I also type it using a tracing font. I print the story and give one to each student. They love reading their student led stories. This practice is especially helpful for my emerging readers. They get to trace the words as they decode. With consistent practice, they are able to read the story fluently.

Students can also use the lists to illustrate the words. It is a great practice for emerging bilinguals to improve on their conversational vocabulary. Once they draw pictures, they also write sentences using the words from the list. I say this a lot, but using words within context rather than in isolation is always a lot more effective. Words are just words if students are unable to make meaning of them.

Illustrating words is perfect for emerging bilinguals! It helps their understanding and vocabulary.

Are you ready to grab your FREE list and to start implementing these activities in your classroom? These student led activities are sure to improve their reading fluency and confidence!

Get your free word list based on phonics skills perfect for any kindergarten, first grade or second grade classroom

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Get your free word list based on phonics skills perfect for any kindergarten, first grade or second grade classroom
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