Fluency for 1st Grade

What is Fluency?

Woman reading with a child.

Fluency is the ability to read accurately with reasonable speed and expression while understanding what is read.

In 1st grade, readers can fluently read grade level text aloud with accuracy, appropriate speed, and expression.

What Does it Look Like?

What is reading fluency?

Practice Activities

Echo Reading: First, model fluency by reading a sentence, paragraph, or page to the child. Next, the child will reread the same sentence, paragraph, or page. You may notice the child's reading sounding more and more fluent. Continue taking turns.

Partner Reading: Take turns reading with the child. If the child is just learning to read, you may start by taking turns to read each sentence. Over time, you may begin to alternate reading paragraphs and eventually pages.

Repeated Reading: Prompt the child to reread the same paragraph a few times. If needed, model reading with expression before prompting your child to reread. This helps improve fluency and reading with expression.

Choral Reading: Practice reading the same text aloud chorally (together and in unison) with the child.

Read it Again: Rereading a favorite book many, many times increases fluency. Each time the child reads a familiar book, reading speed and accuracy will increase. Their confidence will grow too!

Read and Record: Create your own audiobooks with the child. You can buddy read, choral read, or have the child read independently. Have the child listen to the recording. You can also share the recording with family and friends.

Model Reading Fluency: Use the following tips for Reading With Expression:

  • Read expressively: talk the way the story's characters would talk; make sound effects and funny faces; and vary the pitch of your voice throughout the story to make it more interesting.
  • Expressively reread when you notice words like “shouted”, “cried” or “laughed”.
  • Expressively reread when you notice the punctuation such as ! and ?.
  • Enjoy the time reading together! Do not rush.
  • See reading with expression here.

Practice Activities (with Printables)

If you don't have a printer, your child's school will print these for you.

Fast Phrases: Stack cards with printed phrases face down. With a phrases correct per minute sheet, record how many phrases are read correctly with a goal to increase speed and accuracy.  Fast Phrases

Speedy Phrases: Support the child in gaining speed and accuracy by reading phrases, completing the record sheet, and setting a goal.  Speedy Phrases

Readers' Theater: Assign reading parts to you and the child. Practice reading with appropriate accuracy, speed, and expression.  Readers' Theater

Online Activities

Models of Fluent Reading: This resource provides access to many illustrated read alouds narrated by famous individuals. These stories provide children with models of fluent reading.

Echo Reading: This resource provides books to practice echo reading with your child to build fluency. Each book has a speaker symbol at the bottom of the page. Push the speaker for the child to hear the page read aloud. Then, have the child echo the reading to practice reading with expression as if they were talking to someone.

Read Fluency Passages: This resource contains passages the child can use to practice reading with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression. Each passage can be read more than once to improve oral reading fluency. Passages can be read online by clicking preview or printed by downloading.

Starfall Reading: This resource gives children access to games, decodable books, and skills based games. Have the child practice reading the books multiple times until they read it accurately, with an appropriate rate, and expression.