Dr. Phyllis Fischer’s


Automaticity and Fluency

Once students are successful at decoding words, their reading needs to progress from accuracy to fluency.  An essential component of 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 words.


Contrast Cards
– train the brain’s speech processor to say the sounds for the letter units.

Contrast Cards

Speed Drills
– put the visual and speech processors together to read whole words automatically.

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.

Three-Step Solution:

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 the Contrast 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 Drills develop that automaticity, and the Word Lists let Jonah’s teacher custom-design decodable text to fit his needs and interests.  

These fluency materials can be used to supplement virtually any phonics-based reading program.

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  
This set of 164 pages of drills follows the sequence of the
Concept Phonics program, which introduces long and short vowels simultaneously.

Speed Drills

Multi-Sequence Speed Drills
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 picture.

Made by Serif

Speed Drills Word Lists