Fluency for Kindergarten

What is Fluency?

Child and adult reading.

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

In kindergarten, children are observing and listening to adults read aloud and model fluent reading. Kindergarten children are developing early reading behaviors and are also beginning to read simple books or texts with appropriate speed, accuracy, and expression (like they are talking). Fluent reading begins with print awareness and letter naming.

What Does it Look Like?

What is reading fluency?

Practice Activities

Introduce a Book: Each time you read a book to the child, point to and name parts of the book: front cover, back cover, and title.

Author and Illustrator: Read the names of authors and illustrators, describing each of their jobs. An author writes the words and the illustrator creates pictures for us to see.

Left to Right: Move your finger under each word as you read. Invite the child to move their finger with yours. When you turn a page, ask the child where you should start reading.

Words are Made of Letters: Point to a nearby word and talk about how many letters make up the word in a meaningful way. (e.g., The word cat starts with C, just like your name. The word cat has 1, 2, 3 letters. Callie has six letters!)

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 punctuation such as ! and ?.
  • Enjoy the time reading together! Do not rush.
  • Watch Reading Fluency.

Practice Activities (with Printables)

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

Print Awareness/Concepts: Observe the child while reading. Access a list of print concepts to observe here.  Print Concepts Observation Checklist

Parent Tip Sheet: Support proper book handling, print awareness and understanding of story elements while reading with the child.  A Parent's Guide to Print Concepts

Letter Name Practice: Ask the child to choose a letter, say the letter name, and place it on the matching letter on the Letter Arc.  

Hungry Letter Mouse: Play a letter naming game with materials you have. A sheet of paper can be used in place of a dry erase board.  Hungry Letter Mouse

Online Activities

Models of Fluent Reading: This resource provides opportunities to see illustrations and listen to books read fluently.

Naming Letters While Moving: This capital letter video and this lowercase video make learning fun by activating the child’s brain through song and movement.

Read with Expression: This video provides a fun way to demonstrate fluent reading.

The Alphabet: This interactive lesson includes videos and online activities to support a child's knowledge of letter names and sounds.