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K-5 Decodable Reading Fluency Passages and Worksheets

If there’s one thing I often hear teachers say, it’s that their students are reading, but not reading with great fluency. The students can of course read their passages, but they either are doing it too fast, too slow, or aren’t doing it with a great amount of accuracy.  Since fluency is directly related to comprehension, you likely also have readers specifically struggling with comprehending texts.  If this is happening in your classroom, you may assume comprehension is the main struggle.  But the reality is, the student may have a fluency problem.  You may get overwhelmed by figuring out how to actually help your students improve their fluency and comprehension. I’m here to help you make fluent readers by encouraging you to use reading fluency passages!

Decodable Passages

One of the best ways we can focus on fluency is through reading fluency passages that are decodable, and there’s many reasons why these are so effective.  First is that these passages are, well, decodable!  When students are proficient in their decoding skills, decodable passages are a great way to improve on fluency.  This is because students aren’t spending so much brain power sounding out the sounds and then blending to make a word.  Rather, they’re seamlessly decoding words.  This greatly reduces their cognitive load, opening up the opportunity to get fluency practice and sharpen their reading skills.

When students are reading a true decodable passage, this means that they’re able to sound out most (if not all) of the words within the text.  Having the ability to do this will improve their fluency, because they aren’t spending time guessing at the words or using picture queues.  These decodable passages also encourage independent, confident reading because they will be able to sound out each word.  And remember the beauty of decodable passages – they can be used at ANY place in a child’s reading journey.  There are decodable books for kids who are reading CVC words and books for kids who are practicing vowel teams!  This means that if you have a child on grade level or who’s a bit below or above, you’re sure to find the right decodable reading fluency passages.  Decodable books also tend to be short passages, which gives students an attainable goal for reading.

Why should you use decodable reading fluency passages?

When it comes to fluency, there are so many reasons we should focus on it while reading decodable reading fluency passages.  

  • First, fluency helps students work on decoding and builds accuracy in that way.  Some students may find this more challenging with leveled readers where they will come in contact with more words and sight words they need to guess at or use picture clues to figure out.  
  • Second, fluency is the bridge to comprehension.  As mentioned before, when students can easily decode words, their cognitive load is lighter and therefore they can work on reading fluently.  It’s the same with comprehension.  The more fluent a student is in his or her reading, the more likely they are to comprehend what it is they’re reading.  Since their brains don’t have to work as hard at reading fluently (and they’re doing it effortlessly), they’re able to read for meaning.  
  • The third reason that it’s so important to work on fluency is because it builds reader confidence.  With emerging readers, we know how important confidence is!  As they become more fluent in their reading and improve their reading rate, their confidence will naturally grow and they will see themselves as a reader.  Not to mention there’s a lot to focus on when we’re trying to read fluently other than increasing their reading speed!  Students will need to read words correctly, sound natural in their speaking, read with appropriate expression, read at a natural pace, and read smoothly with expression.  Not to mention understanding the text! Whoa- that’s a lot!  No wonder these kiddos have to practice it daily!  When all of these come together, can you imagine the confidence it gives our young readers?

Kindergarten-2nd Grade Reading Fluency Passages

So how you do this?  My new Kindergarten-2nd Grade Reading Fluency Passages are just what you need to practice fluency in your kindergarten, first, or second grade classroom!  As teachers, we don’t have much time to plan and prep everything.  That’s exactly what I’m here for – to help you feel prepared in teaching your students to be fluent readers!  One of the best aspects of these reading fluency passages is that they are decodable.  As mentioned before, decodable passages are a great way for students to gain confidence as readers and improve their fluency because they will be able to decode each word.  Another aspect is that these passages aren’t too lengthy.  This means that they are attainable and not intimidating.  This is particularly important because a main way we practice fluency is through repeated readings.  Students will have an easier time completing repeated readings with shorter, more practical passages rather than longer ones.  With these decodable reading fluency passages, students won’t get overwhelmed by the number of words.  These passages are keeping the positive momentum going!

Included in these awesome Kindergarten-2nd Grade Reading Fluency Passages are fluency and comprehension quick checks just for the teacher!  This way, teachers working with small groups or one-on-one with students will be able to get an idea of where their students need improvement and what areas of fluency and comprehension they’re strong in.  And speaking of assessments, these decodable reading fluency passages also include student self-assessments on their readings as well as allow the student to set fluency goals.  These two give students a sense of control and ownership over their fluency journey, which helps in their confidence!

Why is daily practice important?

When it comes to practicing fluency, we need to ensure that students are practicing on a daily basis to get the most improvement.  When this happens, your students’ comprehension will naturally increase.  This is because when students can accurately decode at a quicker pace, they are able to make more connections within the text.  This leads to deeper understanding, and you’ll see those reading comprehension questions get easier and easier for your students!  One thing that’s important to mention here is a simply reminder: the entire point of teaching a child how to read is so that he or she can enter the world with deeper meaning, and read for information and entertainment.  This happens when a child is fluent in his or her reading – so daily fluency passage practice is essential!

And I know what you’re thinking: EACH day, really?  I understand – time is precious! Let’s go over two easy ways to make this happen in your classroom.  The first is through repeated readings.  These are beneficial because students will not only improve their decoding, but their pace normally improves with these repeated readings.  Not to mention, comprehension skills are sharpened when this happens, too!  When you do this through decodable reading fluency passages, you’ll see students making all the connections between the words and their meaning.  This means that when you focus on fluency, comprehension skills are bound to improve.  And remember – the fact that these passages are short and attainable means that repeated readings won’t take up too much time to complete.

The second way to practice fluency daily is for students to practice oral reading.  Reading out loud to the teacher has so many benefits.  Though this time is special, don’t let it trick you into thinking this takes up tons of time.  Short readings to you can make all the difference!  By having students read out loud to you, not only are you able to get a glimpse of how their fluency is improving, but also can serve as a confidence booster for students.  Who doesn’t want to impress a teacher!?  I make this step easy for you with my Kindergarten-2nd Grade Reading Fluency Passages, because these assessments are included!  I wanted you to have these assessments at your fingertips to share at student data meetings, parent conferences, or the students themselves.  This precious one-on-one time can also help drive and inform your small group lessons.  You may even consider combining two groups to have a fluency read aloud session.  Encourage students to read aloud to partners, to themselves, a family member at home, or to make it fun – consider having them record themselves and take a listen!  This is fun at any age, but particularly fun with kindergarten students, as it’s usually their first time at hearing themselves be real READERS!  

Because fluency looks different based on the grade level, following a gradual progression and meeting students where they are enhances their decoding, fluent reading, and comprehension skills.  That’s why I provide you with an array of grade levels to choose from:

  • The Kindergarten Set includes 15 decodable reading fluency passages that focus solely on those short vowel words – CVC words! This set provides a gradual progression from words to sentences to reading stories so that students can improve in the early stages of fluency.
  • The 1st Grade Set includes 15 decodable reading fluency passages written at a 1st grade reading level with a gradual progression of phonics patterns like CVC words, digraphs, beginning blends, ending blends, added endings, CVCe words, r-controlled vowels (ar and or), and vowel teams.
  • The 2nd Grade Set includes 15 decodable reading fluency passages written at a 2nd grade reading level with a gradual progression of phonics patterns such as CVC words, digraphs, beginning blends, ending blends, added endings, CVCe words, r-controlled vowels, vowel teams/long vowels, and diphthongs.
  • If you’d like to purchase all three decodable reading fluency passages, check out the Kindergarten-2nd Grade Bundle here!

3rd-5th Grade Reading Fluency Passages

Fluency passages aren’t just for beginning elementary students – they’re for upper, too!  My 3rd-5th Grade Reading Fluency Passages are for those teachers who find themselves in the upper elementary classrooms.  Much like the kindergarten-2nd grade reading fluency passages, these ones for 3rd-5th graders will allow struggling readers to improve their fluency skills and literacy skills independently.  In these grade-level appropriate passages, your readers will find 2-3 syllable words that include blends, added endings, silent e, r-controlled vowels vowel teams, vowel combinations, diphthongs, prefixes/suffixes, and comparative endings.  Your 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are sure to feel confident as they complete their repeated readings. Just like the lower level passages, these ones are short and sweet. Whether they’re a 3rd grader or 4th grader, these passages are “user-friendly” and attainable.  And because these students are working on repeated readings, the brevity of the passages won’t overwhelm them.

One of the best aspects of these reading fluency passages is that they’re simple!  There’s nothing worse than downloading a resource and realizing that you’ll have to put tons of work into planning it and organizing it.  This resource is simple and easy to use so that you can get right to work.  To boot, each passage (there’s 45 total – whoa!) comes with comprehension questions to ensure that students are reading for meaning.  This means you don’t have to create any!  Now, if you’re a teacher in upper elementary, you won’t be as involved in the practice portion of their fluency (raise your hand if you love independent work time!).  Even so, you’ll get to be a part of the BEST part of fluency – hearing your students read out loud to you!  You’ll do this to complete the Fluency and Comprehension Quick Checks – a great way to measure a students’ fluency and comprehension skills.  This precious one-on-one time is important with older kids, too, because wanting to impress your teacher never goes out of style.  Readers will also do a self-assessment of their fluent reading skills to find out areas of strengths and weaknesses. This gives students a sense of ownership over their reading journey.  These 3rd-5th Grade Reading Fluency Passages are going to find a great home in your reading fluency binder!  And if you find yourself switching classrooms year to year or have a very wide range of abilities in your classroom, snag my Kindergarten-5th Grade Reading Fluency Passages Bundle!

Free Reading Fluency Passages and Assessments

If you’ve loved the sound of all of this and want to learn more about using fluency passages with your kindergarten-5th grade students, take a look at my blog post, 3 Beneficial Ways to Use Reading Fluency Worksheets and find out more about how to maximize fluency practice in your classroom!

Want an idea of where your students are at before diving into some fluency fun?  Check out these informal assessments for kindergarten-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade:

 

If you want to try out some fluency passages that are in a similar format, check out these free samples of my best-selling original fluency passages for kindergarten-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade. These leveled fluency passages are great to use if your students are ready for something beyond decodable texts!

Fluency Passages K-2

Fluency Passages 3-5

Fluency practice is essential when it comes to making mature readers.  It bridges the gap to comprehension and gives our students the confidence they need to continue on their reading journey.  It’s my hope that these reading fluency passages and resources can help you (and your students) get there!

Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!

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