Building phonemic awareness at the outset is the key to reading fluently at later stages in any reading development program. In reference to the debate on avoiding students from sounding out the word, I am of the opinion that this holds good for students past the emergent stages of reading. During the first year, a Kindergartner is learning the sounds of the letters of the alphabet and decoding and blending is an effective prelude to reading of the CVC words that build for later fluency. Once the student has passed the emergent stage, other strategies other than sounding out the letters may be employed.
One resource that I found particularly useful to build reading fluency for my Kindergartners was the ‘Fluency Readers’ featuring 144 CVC words.
These Readers double up as accordion-style foldables for interactive notebooks or a collated collection of reading fans. Just attach a brad to the individual strips and fan out as words are read.