How to get beginning readers to read faster is a common concern. While some beginning readers progress very quickly to the fluent reading stage, others take a bit longer. Since everyone learns at different rates, this is a normal occurrence. Still, there are some things you can do to help move this process along for all of your kids.
1. Make sure you have given them all of the tools they need to become successful and fluent readers. To decode unfamiliar words accurately and effectively, they must know "the magic five": letters, sounds, how to blend, "tricks," and some some "sight words."
2. Make sure you are taking time each day to show them how to decode effectively through some sort of guided reading in which you read the "slow and fast way" with them. (Literacy charts are a wonderful tool. Use a different chart each day to ensure your students are actually decoding and reading rather than simply memorizing and reciting.) Don't forget to make sure all of your students are participating. It's easy to lose your slower and more distractible students when conducting whole group activities. Sit them up front and call on them often.
3. Give your students plenty of practice reading! The best way to get your students to read faster is to give them lots of guided opportunities to practice their new-found skills. The more they read successfully, the faster they will get. Don't worry if they are sounding everything out in the beginning -- the brain needs them to do this until it understands the word fully. Once it understands the word fully, it will allow the reader to read it upon seeing it. Until then, forcing this recognition will only result in a partial and often inaccurate image of the word. This can cause words to be misrepresented later on, both in reading and spelling.
4. Give your students daily opportunities to write stories. Writing is the other side of reading, and helps students better understand all of the mechanics needed to read effectively. Give your students lots of time each day to write whatever is on their minds. Tutor as many children as you can during this time, floating from child to child and helping as needed. Let kids who have written something impressive share their work with the class, the principal, or a fellow teacher.
5. Get kids reading at home. Talk to parents about the importance of reading practice, and show them how to help their kids at home. Send appropriate books and homework assignments that will get them reading. Do NOT send memorized passages or books whose pictures tell the story. Rather, send decodable books and homework assignments where students are encouraged to sound out the words before them.
6. Really build up the joy of reading. Let kids know how much fun it is, how exciting it is, and how proud you are of them for learning how to do it! The more you motivate and inspire them, the more they will WANT to practice and learn.