Sight words, letters, sounds, word families, syllables, prefixes and suffixes…
There’s a FLUENCY SPEED DRILL for that! And 2 minutes a day is all it takes.
We all know the benefits of getting our 1st graders proficient with their sight words. For years, our team used flashcards, games, sentence strips, and everything we could think of to get those words to memory UNTIL we made these fluency speed drills!
Now using a variety of strategies is best because students do not all learn in the same way. And all of those strategies helped, but we still had struggling readers. We knew we had to find a simple, but effective way to get our students fluent with their sight words so they could read the text more fluently and confidently.
We wanted and needed a resource that could be,
- Easy for students and parents to use
- Used each week in centers, small groups, and at home
- A routine resource that parents would welcome each week for daily practice at home
- A list of lengthy sight words broken down into a manageable amount of 8-10 words per week
- A way to provide the necessary repetition of those words
- And finally, one that….would be our most effective go-to sight word resource!
Our Fluency Speed Drill is very simple. The first highlighted row is all 10 Fry sight words. Then, each row after that contains the same 10 words scattered randomly. That way students can practice reading them over and over by sight.
Check out this student of mine using our Long and Short Vowel Speed Drill in action:
Students must practice these words regularly at school in centers, at small group, and at home in order to be most effective. In addition, students must have another reader checking for accuracy as they practice the speed drill.
Tip: Easily insert a drill into a plastic sleeve and use a dry erase marker to check missed words and keep them organized!
We encourage the 3-second rule. Students should be able to read the sight words without sounding them out within 3 seconds for mastery. Once we started implementing this resource and trained our students and parents on how to use the drills daily at school and at home, our sight word fluency problems decreased dramatically!
Tip: We print our send-home fluency speed drills on the same color paper (blue) so parents know what to look for each week!
Once parents started to understand the benefits, they began seeing improvements in their children’s overall reading fluency and their confidence as readers! We even started to notice parents began to ask for the drills if they didn’t see them in their child’s folder for the week. Some even started asking for the drills in advance to get a jump start on the next week!
We all know that when parents become partners with us and believe in the resources we use, there is no stopping our students’ growth!
We still use a variety of resources to help our 1st graders to master their sight words. One strategy is not as effective as using several: games, flashcards, phrase strips, etc. Most students benefit greatly when we expose them to sight words in a variety of ways. But we have found that our most effective tool for helping our 1st graders master their sight words is by using our sight word drills and I hope they work for you too!
Grab a FREEBIE sample of these below!
Not only do we use drills for sight words, but we also use 2 minutes of drills at the guided reading table daily for practicing letters and sounds, word families, and short and long vowels.
Looking for more ways to build fluency? Check out these blog posts:
- 5 Ways to Build Reading Fluency Now!
- A Simple Trick with Phrases to Improve Reading Fluency
- Easily Improve Reading Fluency At The End of The Year
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