Kindergarten Fluency Activities

By Michael Signal
Fluent reading, a kindergarten student, an older student
reading girl image by Julia Britvich from

Fluency is reading with appropriate expression at the proper rate. But kindergarten students are typically in the early stages of emergent reading. Fluency for such young readers is measured by the ability to recognize individual sounds, match letters to their corresponding sounds and blend sounds into short words.

Phoneme Segmentation

Recognizing that words are made from sounds and recognizing those sounds are requisite skills for reading. Kindergarten students learn to build words from their sounds before building them with letters. The teacher will say a short word, "cat," for instance. Then, the student will attempt to recite all the sounds in the word. He will say c-a-t, saying the sounds in the word, not the individual letters.

Letter Sound Fluency

Kindergarten students need to recognize the sounds in words, but they also need to understand that letters make those sounds. They also need to learn which letters make which sounds. They can practice this with letter naming fluency exercises. Teachers visually present random letters to the students and have them say the sound that corresponds to each letter.

Letter Naming Fluency

Kindergarten students should know the sounds that correspond to particular letters, but they also need to know the names of the letters. Show students random letters and have them recite the names of the letters. This can be combined with letter sound fluency exercises by having students name the latter and the sound it makes.

Nonsense Word Fluency

Kindergarten students don't always have to practice reading words. Nonsense word fluency measures their ability to blend letter sounds into words, even if they are not necessarily actual words. For instance, a student might see the letters w-a-b and should read it as "wab." Nonsense words can be picked at random or selected according to individual sounds the teacher wishes the students to practice.

Word Scavenger Hunt

Pick a short, common word. Select a book or magazine that can be marked up or written on. Students will search the selected text for the word, marking each instance of the word they find. Fluency in more advanced readers depends largely on recognizing many words by sight. This activity helps students practice this word recognition.

About the Author

Michael Signal began writing professionally in 2010, with his work appearing on eHow. He has expert knowledge in aviation, computer hardware and software, elementary education and interpersonal communication. He has been an aircraft mechanic, business-to-business salesman and teacher. He holds a master's degree in education from Lesley University.