Our Top 5 Tips for Using Practice Sheets
Fluency—the ability to read accurately and quickly—is a very important skill for beginning readers.
If a student doesn’t achieve fluency in reading, comprehension may also lag behind. That’s why the Practice Sheets (also known as Fluency Sheets) used throughout the All About Reading program are designed to encourage and build fluency, which produces strong, confident readers.
But students don’t always find the Practice Sheets to be quite as exciting as the other hands-on activities in the AAR lessons. If working on Practice Sheets has become a chore for you and your child, then it’s time to be creative and make them fun again. With a little imagination, practice sessions can become another part of the lessons that your child looks forward to!
I’m sometimes asked about ways to make fluency practice a little bit easier to digest, so here’s a round-up of my top 5 tips!
Tipss for Using All About Reading Practice Sheets
Would you like to try one of my favorite practice sheet ideas?
Download the “Feed the Monster” Activity!
Just print and color the template, then have your child feed Practice Sheets to the monster in bite-sized pieces! (You’ll find the monster in AAR Level 1, Lesson 4, or you can download your Feed the Monster template here!)
Need More Ideas?
If working on Practice Sheets has become a chore for you and your child, then it’s time to be creative and make them fun again. With a little imagination, practice sessions can become another part of the lessons that your child looks forward to! Here are some great tips our readers have shared with us.
All About Reading Practice Sheet Tips Recommended by Our Readers:
- Make a racetrack game board with spaces sized to fit a matchbox car. Roll a dice to determine how many words to read on the fluency sheet. Move forward that many spaces on the game board. Include road hazards and rewards like “flat tire, go back 2 spaces” or “record-breaking lap, move ahead 1 space, etc.) (Recommended by Christi via blog comment)
- Use a white crayon to write words on small pieces of white paper. Child chooses a paper and colors the paper with a marker. Read the word/phrase/sentence when it “magically” appears. (Recommended by Dorothy S. via blog comment)
- Glue the monster template onto a cereal box before cutting the slit in the monster’s mouth. Your child feeds the monster as he reads the words on the strips of paper. All the “monster food” lands in the box! (Recommended by Gayle G. via blog comment)
- Cut the Practice Sheet into strips and use the strips with the Ziggy games. (Recommended by Pamela B. via Facebook)
- Cut the words into long strips. Use the strips to create a road on a table or on the floor. Have child drive a matchbox car over the words as he reads them! (Recommended by Holly via blog comment)
- If you need to reduce the amount of daily work, divide the Practice Sheet up evenly over 2-3 days. Highlight the Practice Sheet in different colors so the child only has to do one color per day. (Recommended by Lynda via blog comment)
- Turn your practice session into a game of charades! Draw stick figures with faces that communicate emotions like: frustration, confusion, fear, happiness, love, anger, worry, hopefulness, etc. Children choose a word/sentence to read and an emotion. The student has to read the sentence with that emotion. Very entertaining! (Recommended by Myko M. via blog comment)
- Write the words/sentences on the white board. The child reads them randomly and mom has to find them and erase them. (Recommended by Gail S. via blog comment)
- Reward the completion of each section with a special treat (chocolate and marshmallows make great ones!) or a special privilege. (Recommended by Molly R. & Samantha via blog comment)
- Cut up the Practice Sheets and hide the strips around the room. Children hunt for strips, reading each one aloud as he finds them! (Recommended by Karen B. via Facebook)
- Use green, yellow, and red sticker dots. Place a green sticker at the starting point. Place a red sticker at the stopping point. Place an “extra credit” yellow sticker a bit further down the page. If your student goes all out and gets to the yellow sticker reward him with a special treat. (Recommended by Kimberly via blog comment)
- Pencil in numbers 1-6 along the sides of the different sections of one of the Practice Sheets. Child rolls a die and reads the section that corresponds with the rolled number. (Recommended by Ellie via blog comment)
- Let the kids “stay up late” to work on their Practice Sheets with Dad at bedtime. (Recommended by Emily W. via blog comment)
- Laminate the Practice Sheets and let your child cross off the words/sentences with a dry erase marker after reading them. (Recommended by Laura via blog comment)
- Using a wet erase marker, underline all the words that can be acted out. Tell your child to pick from the underlined words, and act them out. (Recommended by Laura via blog comment)
- Make it a game and let your child write the words with sidewalk chalk outside, or with dry erase markers on your board, but only if your child reads the word first. Use different colors so they can get “fancy”! (Recommended by Laura via blog comment)
- Print out this infographic and stick it right on the front of your fluency sheet folder to remind yourself of ways to make practice fun! (Recommended by Elena via blog comment)
Looking for more fun ways to help your student practice reading? Download our Reading Activity Bundle and get instant access to 10 multisensory activities.