Once students are successful at decoding words, their reading needs to progress from
accuracy to fluency. An essential component of reading fluency is decoding automaticity
(sometimes called reading automaticity). Readers must become so automatic at the
decoding process that they are virtually unaware of doing it. The six items in Dr.
Phyllis E. Fischer’s Reading Fluency package (part of her Concept Phonics™ program)
bring students to that stage of competence quickly and efficiently. The following
scenario shows how they can be used to help a typical struggling reader.
Dr. Phyllis E. Fischer’s
Decoding Automaticity Materials
for Reading Fluency
Worksheets 1 & 2 – train the brain’s visual processor to recognize letter units in
Contrast Cards – train the brain’s speech processor to say the sounds for the letter
Speed Drills – put the visual and speech processors together to read whole words
←(choice of one)
Word Lists 1 & 2 – 6,500 one- and two-syllable words, sorted by syllable structure,
spelling, and sound, help you custom-design your own spelling and reading materials.
Assessment:Jonah is 9 years old. He decodes many one-syllable words accurately,
but slowly. He does not apply many patterns he has been taught, such as the sounds
for c and g. He often gets the vowel sound wrong in words like hopping. He knows
many vowel-team words by sight, but does not decode unknown words well.
1. Jonah needs to become automatic at recognizing the orthographic (spelling) patterns
when the patterns are embedded in words. Using the Worksheets, this usually takes
1 to 2 minutes of practice a day for 3 to 5 days for each pattern.
2. When Jonah is automatic at recognizing the visual pattern, he needs to become
automatic at adding the appropriate sound when there is a choice of sounds, such
as with the c. Using theContrast Cards, this will take less than a minute of practice
for 3 to 5 days. Then Jonah will be ready to read words containing these patterns.
3. Jonah needs to develop automaticity at reading words and fluency in context.
Speed Drillsdevelop that automaticity, andthe Word Lists let Jonah’s teacher custom-design
decodable text to fit his needs and interests. (Alternatively, our Stories from
Somerville readers will provide good decodable text to help Jonah develop an extensive
These fluency materials can be used to supplement virtually any phonics-based reading
To accommodate the differing sequences in which the vowel sounds are taught in various
programs, the speed drills come in two different versions:
Concept Phonics Speed Drills(ISBN 1-881929-06-X) This set of 164 pages of drills
follows the sequence of the Concept Phonics™program, which introduces long and short
Multi-Sequence Speed Drills(ISBN 1-881929-14-0) This set of 179 pages of drills
follows a traditional Orton-Gillingham spelling/sound sequence, featuring all short
or all long vowels on a page.
For more information about these speed drills, including a sample, click on either