Improving Reading Speed

A reading speed of at least 110 words per minute (wpm) in Year 6 will give children a strong chance of being able to read the texts and answer all questions about them in the hour they are given to complete a reading SAT.

There are lots of things that children can do to help them improve their reading speeds.  Some examples are:

- Playing scanning games.  Choose a passage of text suitable for child's level of decoding ability.  Set a challenge to scan the text for specific word lists / all the proper nouns / all the words that begin with a certain letter / all the adverbs.  Can pervious times be beaten?  Can a partner be beaten? 

Computer based word speed challenges. is a useful website.  You can add text at a suitable level and set the speed words appear on screen to an appropriate level of challenge for a child.  As children make progress, the wpm can be increased in line with their success.  Background colour and size of font can also be changed to support children with dyslexic traits.

- Quick-fire word recall.   Share flashcards (could be high frequency words, wow words, spelling words, etc). Time reading of word lists and try and beat previous times.  Play Snap! Play the card game with children having to read their word as they put the card down and look out for a match. 

 Encourage children to read along out loud as they listen to an audio book. The taped reader will help model a steady reading pace for the child.  

- Repeated reading.  Choose a passage of text (100-200 words). Make it slightly challenging for the child.  Child reads the passage aloud. Note down any errors and any other information you find useful (reading rate, etc.).  Review the reading with the child. Discuss any tricky words or phrases, check comprehension and practise difficult parts.  Re-read the same passage again. Continue the process.