913

16 Ways to Make Practice Sheets Fun

Practice Sheets are a key part of the All About Reading program, and for good reason: they help kids develop fluency, which is the ability to read smoothly, accurately, and with expression. In fact, many of you call them “fluency sheets” because they are so helpful in guiding students toward fluency.

But as helpful as Practice Sheets are, they aren’t necessarily the most exciting component of the reading lessons. If you’re looking for ways to spice them up, we’ve got you covered! Download this collection of activities and sample Practice Sheets and then read on!

Click to download 16 fun practice sheet activities

16 Games and Activities for Practice Sheets

Ready to have some fun and build fluency at the same time? There’s no shortage of ideas here…just pick an activity and give it a try!

Cartoon monster

Feed the monster. Print and cut out the monster (page 7 or 10) and the appropriate Practice Sheets from the download. Have your child read each strip and then feed them to the monster. For a fun alternative, check out our adorable Feed the Puppy game.

Game dice

Number the rows of words and sentences on the Practice Sheets from 1 to 6, repeating the numbers as necessary. If your child rolls a 2, he reads the words in the rows you marked with the number 2. If he rolls a 3, he reads the words in the rows you marked with the number 3.

Mother and son buddy reading together

Read with a buddy. Take turns reading lines on the Practice Sheets with your student. Learn more about how buddy reading can help your child in this blog post.

Package of dot stickers

Use sticker dots to reduce your student’s frustration. Break up the Practice Sheets into more manageable chunks using sticker dots to create a “starting dot” and a “stopping dot.”

Magnifying glass over a word

Play hide-and-seek with words and sentences. Cut up the Practice Sheets and hide the pieces around the room. When your child finds one of the pieces, he has to read it before searching for the next piece.

Colorful ABC letters

Choose a letter and have your student search for and read only the words, phrases, or sentences that begin with (or contain) that particular letter.

Splat graphic

Play Swat the Words. Print and cut out the splat graphic from page 9 or 12 on the download. Attach the splat graphic to a new flyswatter, a plastic ruler, or even just your student’s hand. Cut out words from the Practice Sheet and lay them on the table. Have your student find and swat each word as you read it out loud.

Covering a practice sheet with a strip of paper

Break up the Practice Sheet by covering it with a piece of paper, making the page seem less overwhelming for your child. Slide the paper down to uncover one line or section at a time.

Yellow and green highlighters

Make progress more concrete. Allow your student to track his progress using colored highlighters or fun stickers. Simply have him mark the words or sentences as he reads them.

Hopscotch game board

Play Fluency Hopscotch. Write fluency words in each square of a hopscotch grid. Gather a different marker for each student, such as a beanbag, stone, or bottle cap. Follow standard hopscotch rules, but when the student stops to pick up his marker, he reads the word(s).

Stack of snowballs

Play Fluency Snowball Fight. Cut the Practice Sheets into strips and tape them to the wall. Have your child read the words. After each strip is read correctly, have your child stand back and throw a snowball at the strip! Use Ping-Pong balls, Nerf balls, styrofoam balls, or even crumpled paper as snowballs.

Word search

Use an online word search puzzle maker to create your own word search puzzle using your child’s fluency words. Have her read the words as she finds them.

Car

Make a word road. Cut the Practice Sheets into strips. Place the strips end to end on a long table or on the floor to make a road. Have your student drive a matchbox car over the words as he reads them.

Illustrated cat

Illustrate the words. Select a few words from the Practice Sheets and have your student draw a picture for each one. For even more fun, ask your child to make a collage of the words and pictures.

Open book with pen and illustration

Silly sentences. Have your student read a word from the Practice Sheet and make up a silly sentence using the word. Have a contest to see who can make the other players laugh first.

Happy and sad emojis

Have fun with emotions! Cut out the emojis from page 9 or 12 on the download. Put the emojis in a basket. Cut the Practice Sheets into strips and put those in another basket. Have your student pick a strip from one basket and an emoji from the other basket. Now ham it up by reading the word using the selected emotion.


What is your child’s favorite way to use the Practice Sheets? Let me know in the comments below!

< Previous Post  Next Post >

Leave a Comment

Aubrie

says:

Thank you all for these ideas, they will be so helpful! The fluency sheets have been our biggest challenge.

Holly

says:

Another idea- cut the words into long strips. Place on a long table or floor (like a road) and have child drive a matchbox car over the words as he reads them!

Holly

says:

I number the columns (1, 2, 3, 4) and then my son rolls a dice and has to read a word from the column with the respective number that he rolled. So if he rolls a 2, then he has to read a word from column #2. You could also number the rows (instead of the columns), and roll a dice and have him read the words in the row of the number he rolled.

Amy

says:

Love these ideas! We were skipping the practice sheets because my daughter would groan everytime she saw them and I did not want her to not enjoy reading. But then we hit initial and final word blends and I felt like she needed to try the fluency sheets. She has been doing really well but I can see what a difference the fluency sheets make even for readers that are going at a fast pace or reviewing. It has really helped her. I don’t make her do the whole sheet, but the new words and sentences. We used Do- A- Dot markers/paints and she put a colored dot on each one and had fun changing the color after she started a new line of words. Then today she used different colored markers and circled the words after she said them. I agree it is way too much to do in one sitting…either broken up over the day or on another day seems to work well. I think we will need some other ideas soon so I am looking forward to trying some of the other ones people suggested too! Thanks! Keep the ideas coming! :-)

Laura

says:

I love this idea! I cannot wait to see her excitement when I introduce this hungry little monster!

Lynda

says:

Love the ideas! We have used a few of these. We usually spread a “new knowledge lesson” (one where a new sound is being taught) over 3 days. I do an intro with the letter tiles on day 1, usually an activity on day 2 (like the flippers or games) and day 3 is another activity if there is one and finishing up. I then take the fluency sheet and break it up evenly over those 3 days as well. I highlight in 3 colors so my son can see he only has 1 color to do. I usually put the least amount from his fluency sheet on day 1 and the most on day 3.

Taura

says:

Thank you! This program has made learning simple, fun and effective!

Bethany

says:

Thanks for these tips! Although some days my daughter will work on the practice sheets with no problem, other days she dreads it… its a great way to add some variety! Thanks again! :)

Myko Mayer

says:

I used to, or rather my daughter used to, really hate practice sheets. But, an activity in AAR 2 or 3 inspired us. It was the one with a bunch of sheep with sentences on their backs. Each sheep said their phrase differently, sad, happy, scared, etc. It was hysterical.

Now, she loves our practice sheets, and so does her little sister who is approaching the end of AAR 1. First, I use stick figure drawings to illustrate rude, questioning, scared, happy, love struck, angry, worried, hopeful, etc faces. Next, I highlight the sentences to be practiced. Then, like charades, we randomly pick a sentence, my student reads it, and then hams it up for her audience. It’s so much fun. The results are noticeable, too! My older student reads like a little children’s librarian sometimes.

Our family thanks you for everything!

Kathy

says:

I love this dramatized version! Very creative and memorable I’m sure!!

Gail Shealy

says:

My son is 7 years old. He likes for me to write the words on the white board. He reads them randomly and I have to find them and erase them. It is fun for him to watch me try to find the words that he has read. Giving him the choice of which words to read, and making a game of finding them, has made this a fun exercise for us both.

Mary

says:

Making a word wall is a great idea. I have a small interactive whiteboard in my office and using ‘table’ in Word I was able to make a template in which the borders made a brick wall pattern. I type the word on the bricks, say them one at a time while my student circles them. Reversing the game in the way that you do is a great idea..

Kelly

says:

THANK YOU! The fluency practice is the hardest part for us. My daughter gets so frustrated with them. I am so excited to try some of these ideas with her. :)

Molly Ross

says:

My daughter enjoys earning a treat or privilege for completing each section.

Katie

says:

In case this is helpful for others:
After my kids finish reading a section, I read it. It seems to help them make sense of what they just read and gives them confidence to keep reading. It also gives them an example of fluent reading (on the sentence practice) and intonation. It has skyrocketed our success with AAR and decreased tears along the way!!

Karen

says:

We have cut up the practice sheets and hidden them around the room. When you find a part, you read it before finding the next part. Lots of fun!!!

Karen Henry

says:

When using AAR Level 1, I needed to break up the lesson that entailed a practicce sheet. Otherwise the lesson became to overwhelming and long. What I did to make the sheets fun was to add a snack during the practice sheet lesson or “practice sheet day” as we call it. We made popcorn, or munched on trail mix, granola bars, or fruit snacks on “practice sheet day”. I placed the snack at the end of each line or chunk of words. Then made a big deal of excitement when she finished and got to eat her piece of snack. It worked well and we had fun. After we completed the practice sheet, I would read a story. While I read the story, we snuggled up, and she munched on the rest of her snack!

Ashleigh S

says:

I’ve found that breaking up the practice sheets made them less overwhelming for my daughter. I used three colored highlighters and used them to divide the page up. For example, I chose to highlight line one- blue, line two- yellow, line three- green and then repeat until the end of the sheet. Then my daughter was allowed to pick a color to read. That way she would get a little of all the different styles in the practice sheets, but not feel overwhelmed.

Kimberly

says:

My kids love using Green, Yellow, and Red sticker dots. I use green for “go” (i.e., start here). I use Red for Stop – I put it where I expect them to stop. If they go all out and get to the yellow (it was the only other smiley sticker I had that day), which is further than the red dot they get something special.

I’m for sure going to do the numbering lines and rolling a die. My daughter almost always counts the lines and letters in the words before reading them. She’ll love that addition of math to her reading time. :)

Andrea

says:

love the green for go and red for stop

Samantha

says:

Can’t wait to feed our monster and use the highlighter. Loved this post of ideas to switch it up. We have been covering part of the paper and using a sticker after each section is complete. On sheets we have struggled with we have used the tiles and I have given chocolate chips or marshmallow as needed!

Marie Rippel

says:

Samantha, I’m glad that these ideas have been helpful to you, and chocolate is always good to have on hand as well. :)

Sasha

says:

This has been so timely, we also are struggling through the sheets, one with Lesson 12 and one with 22. These tips are practical, helpful, and easy to implement. I love everyone else’s suggestions too. Thanks to you and everyone who commented their succinct ideas!

Marie Rippel

says:

Sasha, I’m so thankful that this blog post helped you. I love hearing the additional tips and ideas that everyone has for using practice sheets. What a wealth of information!

SF

says:

My son and I were stumbling through lesson 22 (ending blends) in AAR1. He was having a lot of trouble with them – the practice groupings are by consonant blends, but he was keeping the whole word family, including the vowel. I started spelling out each practice word with the letter tiles to show him which letters stayed and which ones changed. He not only got the idea, he loved it! We did about 3/4 of the fluency pages that way; we only switched back for the sentences. Thank you for such a great program!

Merry

says:

Great work, SF! Blends can be really tricky for some kids, and you handled this well. So glad you and your son are enjoying the program!

Mars Araiza

says:

Awesome Idea. Definitely will use it.

Ellie

says:

Some days, I pencil in numbers 1-6 along the sides of the different sections of one of the practice sheets. Then my son rolls a die. He reads the section that corresponds to the number on the die. For each section he completes, he gets a chocolate chip or a skittle, etc. So he has the “control” of whether he eats six treats or only 2 or 3, depending on how much reading he is willing to do. (He has always gone for six!) We don’t complete all the pages of the Practice Sheets this way, but it helps break up the monotony.

Kathy

says:

Love this! The pot of “gold” at the end of the reading!

Andrea

says:

great idea with dice and candy – I think my 6 year old will love this option

Kara

says:

These are fabulous tips and ideas! Thank you for the helpful free downloads. It is one more things that set AAR and AAS apart.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Kara! :)

Cherie

says:

My grandkids that I teach have not liked the fluency sheets either. Both are dyslexic. I decided to retype them
making the words a little larger type. I then cut them in sections with 3-4 rows each section. I labeled them by lesson and group number. I hand them a section or two and have them practice. After 3 practices on different days I let the see if they can pass that section. They have to get every word correct to pass. They like trying to pass the sections. Being dyslexic I think it is important for them to pass the words, because they will change the vowels, ending , add a sound, etc. Typical dyslexic problems. I also, typed all the phrases and all the sentences in groups together. They would read the phrases and then just memorize what they said an repeat it for the sentence and just say it and not really read it.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Cherie, you are doing such a good job with your grandkids! I love how you are adapting the fluency sheets for their particular needs.

Mary

says:

I have just asked permission to retype phrases and sentences for one of my students who is autistic. I have been given photographs of him on holidays so I type one sentence about him using vocabulary that he is learning or I include words like ‘dinosaur’ which have such an interesting shape that he can whole word recognise/read easily if I teach it first. I add two pictures or photographs per page of five or six sentences or phrases.. I try not to l let him see the pictures until he has read the sentences or phrases. Then I give him a highlighter pen to draw a line from the pictures to the correct sentences or phrases.

These are all great suggestions as each child needs a different motivator–and even those differ from day to day for a given child! I think Choice–no matter how trivial–is the most reliable technique for motivating children.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Good point! Choice is a great motivator.

Always love seeing new ideas that will help my kiddos!

Ginger

says:

Thanks for these suggestions!! We are in level 2 and I’ve done the “breaking up” tip using white paper so that only one sections is showing (or even folding the practice sheet), the alternating reading lines, as well as the tip for indicating the beginning and end with colored dots.

For the end of level 1 we ended up doing two days per lesson with fluency sheets – doing all but the fluency sheets of the lesson on the first day and the fluency sheet the next day.

I absolutely LOVE the monster idea and the highlighter to mark progress! Can’t wait to try those!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Folding the practice sheet is another good idea! I hope the monster and the highlighter ideas go over well in your household, Ginger!

Emily Woodall

says:

Fluency practice had become a chore in our home. My dyslexic 8-year-old daughter would break down in tears anytime I pulled out a practice sheet. A couple of strategies that helped for us is using colored highlighters to color code each line. I can then ask her to read blue lines during one practice session, green lines another time and orange lines another time. Also, my husband now snuggles up with our kids and practices fluency with them. They love one-on-one time with daddy. It is even more effective for us if we do this at bedtime. The kids think they are getting to “stay up late” by practicing their reading. lol

Kathy

says:

Now THAT is precious! I like the strategy of creating a “treat” out of doing reading practice — and getting Dad involved! Fabulous!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Wonderful ideas, Emily! Thanks for taking the time to share with us!

Steph T

says:

We will sometimes play “popcorn” with the practice sheets, reading the words in a completely random order (not including the practice sheets with sentences). We might miss a few words this way, but we get through the sheet with far less grumbling and complaining. Plus, I can pick out words that I know my student needs to practice reading most.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

What a great idea, Steph! I could see popping some real popcorn for a extra special treat once in a while, too! Thanks for sharing!

Liza

says:

Thank you for all the effort to help teaching spelling and reading a little easier. May God prosper the works of your hands.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Liza! I appreciate your kind words!

Leave a Comment