Pyramid sentences are a great way for students to practice fluency. Fluent readers don’t spend time decoding or pacing, they do those things so naturally they group words together easily, working instead on comprehension. Less fluent readers read word by word, and their reading sounds choppy and unnatural.
This year, I worked with a group of students who needed help with fluency, and I wanted to create tools for them that were helpful, fun, and didn’t make them feel like they were in the primary grades. This was one of many tools that I used as a quick way to assess sentence pacing.
With pyramid sentences, students start with the first word and work their way down until they’ve read a complete sentence. The repetition of words helps solidify them in the student’s memory, making the reading of the complete sentence grow into something more fluid and natural. This was a fun way to spend just a few minutes, and the students seemed to grow in confidence as they mastered these!
I included words that are commonly found in 4th-6th grade readers and trade books.
This packet includes twenty sentences that you can print out on card stock and laminate. Have students work with a partner. One is the reader and the other is the listener. When the student reads the sentence correctly, it goes into the “Sentences I can Read” pile. If they make a mistake, it goes in the “Sentences I Need to Practice” pile. This is a great activity for a small group, partners, or for a reading center.
There is a Fluency Monitoring Sheet for the listener to fill out with all 20 sentences on it.
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