Giving your students tactile objects to use when practicing their fluency can be very useful. I wanted to get a blog post together of all the fantastic fluency tools that I love to use when teaching fluency. All of the links that I am posting are to Amazon affiliate links.
Witch fingers or goblin fingers are a staple in the primary classroom. Students will use one witch finger (not five like they’d hope) to point to the words that they are reading. They are fantastic tracking tools that keep kids focused in a way they’ll understand. In the picture, you see my Zoofluency passages for a running record. The witch finger is waiting for students! They’ll slip it on and read their copy of the story. Here is my Amazon affiliate link.
These highlighting strips are essential and fantastic fluency tools for beginning readers. Many times when students are learning to read and working with multiple lines of text, they may struggle to keep their place. That is where highlighting strips come in handy! They are great for lists of words, passages, stories, sentences, and more. The picture shows a highlighting strip being used for a sight word game that you can find in my RF1.4 and RF2.4 packs! Here is my affiliate link.
Finger lights! I saw this amazing idea in an SDE session that Miss Decarbo led. She had her students wear these on their fingers and they shined the light on the words they were reading. These are very similar to the witch fingers that are also great tracking tools, but these add a new element of fun for the little students! Here is my affiliate link.
Mini Cars Make Fantastic Fluency Tools
And another idea I saw from the wonderful Christina DeCarbo show many years ago was mini cars. What the students will do is take this mini car and start on the first word. As they read the sentence or passage, they will run the car along with their sentences. When using these cars, it is crucial to show the importance of the car continuously moving instead of the car stopping on every word. Teach them to drive the car along with the sentence!
And the last in my fantastic fluency tools list that is absolutely necessary for your classroom is stopwatch timers. We used these for so many things! We timed passages, sentences, sight word lists, word family lists, nonsense lists, and more! The students were able to time themselves, and they were also able to time a partner. They’re also vital for you if you want to use running records in your classroom.
For a while, I was using the timer on my smartphone, which works perfectly, but after 20 seconds, my phone screen shuts off. So I’d constantly have to touch my phone to make sure the screen didn’t turn off, and if it did, I had to shift my attention. So long story short, timers are incredible for fluency in the classroom. Here is my affiliate link!
Looking for useful fluency practice activities?