April 16, 2013

Flash Fluency

Being a successful reader is comprised of multiple things---fluency being one of them! If a child is trying to read from point a to point b and decodes every word in between ....I can guarantee that child didn't retain a thing!  Thus---fluency is important!!  Ideally, for older students reading should be automatic.  AND--when older students encounter a word they are unfamiliar with (which they will), they should have word attack strategies to decode the word.........

Now, unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world; which means we do have struggling older readers (if you don't, I want to know where you work, haha!).  One great way to help struggling readers, is to help them become more fluent with their reading. 

By fluent-- I mean for the students to become more automatic (not prosody or expression--that is for another post another day).  There are several ways to make students become automatic with their reading.

1. Practice Dolch sight words
  • Dolch sight words are 220 words which students should not sound out--but simply know by sight. 

2. Practice Fry's 1,000 high frequency words
  • Dr. Edward Fry compiled a list of the most frequently used words students would encounter while reading. The 1,000 words are divided into lists of 100--which start out easy and get harder. 

3. Practice with Flash Fluency
  • Flash Fluency was developed by The Positive Engagement Project, which did a plethora of  scientific research to create four "no excuse" word lists
    • Tide Pool
      • For early readers
      • 50 sight words from Dolch and Fry
    • Low Tide
      • One step above early readers
      • 150 sight words form Dolch and Fry
      • No repeat words
    • High Tide
      • Grade 2
      • 600 sight words and academic vocabulary
      • No repeat words
    • Tidal Wave
      • Grades 3 and up
      • 1,000 words
      • Sight words and academic vocabulary
      • No repeat words

I have heard of Dolch and Fry words---but Flash Fluency words are new to me.  I love Dolch and Fry; and mastering the words does make a huge difference in a child's fluency. However I am intrigued by the whole Flash Fluency program.  I think it is great how the lists don't just include sight words, but also academic vocabulary. Also, the word lists go all the way up to sixth grade--which is awesome because many sight word lists don't stretch that high.

Anyway---click the links above and check out the lists for you and your students. You can download the PDF's for free. Included in the download are word lists, assessments, implementation ideas and fun ways to practice.

Let me know what you think!


  1. I think this looks really great, Katie. I also think you should come down to my room and model how you would use this with my class tomorrow. :)

    ✿ Shari
    Keeping It Fresh in 6th Grade

    1. I did some more research on it today, and am going to try it out with my Tier 3 kiddos...and then I will let you know what I find out....or I can come down and show ya! :) Also....I have some great phrasing games I need to share with you!

  2. I found your blog from over at TpT! You have some great info! Sight Words are SO important to fluent reading!! Newest follower here:)

    Come By and Visit My Blogs!
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    1. Tammy,

      Thanks so much for following me!! I am on my way to check out your blog! :)


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    1. Yeah....I LOVE followers! :) I will check out your blog next.....love making friends in cyber space!!