Read, REad, REAd, READ…Faster, FASter, FASTER!

Anne Larkin Oaks

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale: One of the primary goals of reading instruction is for students to comprehend the text and red automatically. For students to become fluent readers, they must read words smoothly, quickly and with expression. One way to improve reading is to reread decodable words in connectable texts several times. The more practice a student gets with a text, the more familiar they will become.


Materials: stopwatches (1 for each pair of students); speed reading record sheet; fluency literacy rubric; class set of the books Fuzz and Buzz and Tin Man Fix It; white board; cover-up critters; popsicle sticks for each student; 2 googly eyes for each student; glue; pencils; paper




*The teacher will start the lesson off by explaining to the students what it means to be a fluent reader. They will be told that fluent readers read words smoothly, quickly and with expression. Then we will practice reading stories to help us become fluent readers. Reading a story multiple times help readers become fluent readers because we are practicing texts that are familiar to us. Fluent readers are able to focus on the meaning of the words while reading. This helps them understand the meaning that the words are telling them. It helps us comprehend the text.

*Next the teacher will model the cover up technique with the students. The teacher will explain that sometimes when we are reading, we stumble on words that we do not recognize automatically. Our cover up critter can help us figure out these words. Then I will show them the critter and model how it is going to help me figure out the word that is written on the whiteboard. (The word is clock.) The teacher explains that we start with the vowel o. We cover up all of the other letters expect for the o. What is the sound of this letter? O = /o/. Next she will uncover the c and the l. She will read clo then she will uncover the rest of the word and read clock. After the teacher has modeled how to figure out the word using the cover up critter, she will practice with the class.

*Students will be given 2 popsicle sticks and 2 pair of googly eyes to construct their own set of cover up critters.

*Then the teacher will show the students the difference between reading with fluency and without fluency. Listen to me read a sentence with fluency and a sentence without fluency. I will write the sentence on the board. (The sentence is Todd went to the diner to get some chicken. I will read this will fluency and then the next time I read it, I will read it like T-t-t-o-o-o-o-d we-e-n-t went to the d-d-d-i-i-iner to get s-s-s-o-o-m-m some ch-ch-ch-i-i-i-ck-ck-en-en. Which sentence sounded better to you? Which one was read fast, smooth and with expression

*Next the teacher will pass out the book Fuzz and Buzz. This story is about two bear cubs that get into a lot of mischief. They always get stung by bees!  What do you think the cub is going to do when he gets stung by so many bees? Let's read and find out. Students will read the book individually and then we will discuss the book as a whole group when everyone is finished reading.

*The students will split up into groups of two. After they are in the groups then I will explain the Speed Reading Record Sheet and the Fluency Literacy Rubric as a whole group. Then I will explain how they are going to be fluently reading with their partner. I will explain to the students that one will be the reader and the other will be the recorder and then they will switch roles. When you are the reader, see how many words you can read smoothly in one minute. (Students will have a stop watch as well.) Remember not to skip any words. Place a sticker where you left off at the end of one minute. Then continue reading the book without the time. Now go back and then count the number of words that you read in one minute and write that number down on your speed reading record sheet. Then switch with your partner until you have both read the book three times each.

*After the students have recorded the one minute read aloud, they will fill out a fluency literacy sheet about their partner's performance.

*To assess the students, I will have them come up individually and read Tin Man Fix It to me. I will monitor their fluency by noting miscues and seeing if they are reading smoothly, quickly and with expression. When the student finishes the book, I will ask these questions to determine if they are comprehending:

a. Who is Tim?

b. What was the kid riding that hit Tim?

c. Were they able to put Tim back together?



Murray, Bruce. "Developing Reading Fluency." genie/fluency.html


Tin Man Fix It. (1990). Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights


Fuzz and Buzz. (1990). Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights






Name: _________________________         Date: ______________________________


1st time: _______________    2nd time: ________________        3rd time: ______________




Fluency Literacy Rubric:


Name/(Reader): ___________________       Date;______________________


Evaluator/(Recorder): _______________


I noticed that my partner:


                                      1st observation               2nd observation     3rd observation


Remembered more words       ___________               ___________             ____________ 


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