On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!!

Growing Fluency and Independence Design

Stephanie Pollak


Rationale: Reading fluently is an important aspect of beginning reading. Beginning readers typically struggle from word to word and their reading is not smooth. Not only does reading become smooth and less choppy but also being a fluent reader brings skills such as automatic word recognition, faster reading, and more expressive reading. This lesson will allow students to learn fluency skills through the direct approach, which is where teachers model fluency skills. Students will gain fluency skills and become better at one-minute reading tests.



- Stopwatch (one per student)

- Speed Reading Chart (one per student)

- Content of chart:

-  Name: _________________________ Date: ___________
                  After 1st read             _______
                  After 2nd read           _______
                  After 3rd read             _______


- Repeated Reading Checklist (one per student)

- Content of checklist:

- Partners' Names___________________________
As I listened to my partner read, he/she:
                                                            After 2nd           After 3rd
 1. Remembered more words              _______          _______
 2. Read faster                                     _______          _______
 3. Read smoother                               _______          _______
 4. Read with expression                     _______          _______


- Pencils

- Class set of Tiny Goes to the Library by Mavis Smith




1. To start out the lesson, let the students know that you are going to be going over fluency today. Also let them know what fluency actually means. "Today we are going to be learning how to be fluent readers. That means that when you read, you read at a quick but normal speaking speed. If I spoke to you all like this, 'Hiiii… mmmy… nnnameeee… is Ms. Pppolllak' wouldn't that sound silly? Yeah, I think so too. Instead we want our reading to sound like the way we speak, which is smooth and makes sense to those who listen to us. So today we are going to practice at being better, fluent readers."


2. "To learn how to become fluent readers, we are going to read a book many times. Now that may sound silly to you all but it's going to help you remember words better and read smoother. You will read the book and your partner is going to time you with a stopwatch. We are going to read the story three times each! I want you to write down the time it takes you to read the story during each reading. As your partner is reading the story, I want the other person to be listening to see if the person reading is reading faster, reading with more expression, reading smoother, and/or remembered more words. If your partner does any of these things during their 2nd or 3rd readings, check it off on the 'Repeated Readings Checklist'."


3. "Now I am going to show you how to work with a partner to practice being a fluent reader." Call up a student to be your partner. "Now I am going to read a few pages (remind the students that they will read the whole book) of this book." Show the students that the first time you read through the pages it takes a longer time than the second time. "See how much better I did the first time. I am not perfect yet. If I read it more times, I will get much better."


4. Hand out the books and checklists/charts to the students. "Today we are going to read Tiny Goes to the Library. This story is about a BIG dog named Tiny. He and his owner love to go on wonderful adventures! They end up going to the library but Tiny isn't allowed to go inside! I wonder what is going to happen to Tiny. You will need to read this whole book to find out. Oka so now I want you to get with your partner and find a place to sit. Do not forget to bring your pencil and book. If you want to work at the desks you can but if you want to work on the floor, I want you to sit and not lay down." Telling the students that they can work on the floor but must sit makes the decision as to where to work easier for many students.


5. Pass out stopwatch to each pair of students. "Now that you have your partner, worksheets, pencil, book, and stopwatch, I want you to work with your partner on reading through the book one at a time. Remember to write down your time after each reading. Also remember to listen to your partner read and see if they improve after their first reading."


6. During the next lesson or immediately after all the students are finished, it may be good to have them take a test or ask them questions to test their comprehension skills.



Assessment: I will look over the checklists and charts that each student worked with during the lesson. I will see if they are improving based off these sheets. Also, I will have them come work with me individually and see how they are doing with fluency. I will record a time with the book we used during this lesson and a new book that we will read a few times.


Go, Speed Racer! By Brandi Gainor



Ready, Set, Read! By Amy Lewis



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