Zoom through Reading!

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By: Lauren Vacca

Growing Independency and Fluency


Rational: The goal of this lesson is to assist students in developing reading fluency and expression. To understand and enjoy reading students need to learn to read with fluency and efficiency. For students to become fluent readers they must read words quickly, smoothly, and with expression. One way to improve reading is to reread decodable words in connectable texts several times. Students should read a particular text several times so they will gain a better knowledge of the text and this will help with fluency.


-     Speed reading record sheet for every student (see below)

-     Fluency literacy rubric for each student (see below)

-     Stopwatch for each pair of students

-     White board

-     White board marker

-     Class set of Fuzz and Buzz

-       Class set of Tin Man Fiz It

-     Cover up critter for every student and one for the teacher

-     Pencils

-     Paper for assessment notes


Speed Reading Record Sheet:


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   __________________                ___________________                 ____________________


Read faster (with time)        __________________                ___________________                  ____________________


Read Smoother         __________________                ___________________                   ____________________


Read with Expression        __________________                ___________________                   ____________________





1.     I will begin the lesson by explaining to the students how important it is to become a fluent reader. If we read stories multiple times it will help us become fluent reader’s .A fluent reader is able to read things easily and with appropriate speed. Today, we are all going to practice with accuracy and speed .Both of these things help us become to be more fluent readers. Fluent readers are also able to focus on the meaning of the words which helps us to understand what we are reading better.


2.     After I discuss with the students why fluency is important to have as readers I will explain and model how the students should use the cover-up technique. I will begin by reminding the students that we use the cover-up critter to help us decode words that we are unsure of. Sometimes we come across words that we do not know and when this happens we can use our cover-up critter to help us figure out these words. Coverup critter is made out of Popsicle stick with googly eyes on it.  I will model how we use the coverup critter to decode words.

Say:  First we are going to review how we decode words that we do not recognize when we read. I will write the word splotch on the board. Ok, let’s see if we can use our critter to help us figure out this word. Now I want you to watch what I do. I will cover up everything but the vowel i. I know that i_e =/I/ , so now I will sound out what comes before the vowel, which is str . I will say each sound that these letters make and then blend them together to get stri. Then I will blend the last part stri with k. I will say the word, strike. I will remind the students that next time they come across a word they do not recognize they should use their cover-up critter. I will also remind the students to use this strategy, covering up the letters and starting with the vowel sound because it will help us figure out tricky words more easily.


3.     Next, I will make sure the students understand the difference between reading with and without fluency. I will write the following sentence on the board: I like to ride my bike fast.  First I will demonstrate how a non fluent reader would read the sentence.

Say: Look at the sentence on the board. I am going to read it first without fluency. III l-l-iii-k-e ttt-oooo r-r-ii-d-e m-yyy b-b-iiii-k-e f-aaaa-sss-t.  Did you notice how slowly I read the sentence and how there was hardly any expression?  I am going to read it again but this time I am going to read the sentence with fluency. (I will read the sentence smoother and with a lot more expression). I like to ride my bike fast.  Did you notice how my words were closer together and a lot smoother?

Ask the students if they were able to understand better the first time I read the sentence or the second time I read the sentence? (If students do not respond with correct answer I will read the sentences again). When I read the sentence without fluency it is hard to understand because the words are all chopped up and do not make sense. However, when I read the sentence again (modeling fluency) I knew the words a lot better because it was my second time reading the sentence. Rereading will help you become fluent readers.


4.    Next, I will give each child the book, Fuzz and Buzz. Fuzz and Buzz is about a bear cub that is very curious. He is so curious that he normally gets himself into mischief. One day he stumbles across bees and he gets stung by a lot of bees! Ouch! I wonder what the cub will do. Do you think he be curious anymore? Let’s read and find out what happens. The students should read individually then we will discuss the story as a class to assess their comprehension of the book.


5.     I will explain and model how we are going to do our class activity. Now that you have heard me read the book as a fluent reader, I want you all to try. You are going to be reading fluently with a partner.  I will divide the students into pairs. Then each pair will receive two copies of the book, one stopwatch. Explain to the students that one person will be the reader and one person will be the timer then you will swap. I will number the students as partner one or partner two. Then I will tell the students that I want partner one to start off as the timer and partner two to start off as the reader. The timer will set the stop watch to 1 minute. The reader will read until the timer goes off. The timer will count the number of words the reader read in 1 minute. Then, you will graph it on the chart. After, you graph the readers’ number; I want you to swap jobs. “Do this three times and use a different sticker each time to mark where the reader stops. Each partner should have three stickers on the chart marking their number for each read.


6.     After the students record the one minute read aloud and fill out a fluency literacy sheet about their partners’ performance, then I will walk around the room and provide assistance. To assess the students comprehension (individually), I will have each student read Tin Man Fix it to me while I monitor their fluency and make note of their miscues. I will ask the student questions regarding the book.


1)     What hit Tim?

2)      Were they able to put Time back together?

3)     Who is Tim?


I will assess the students by recording their first reading and comparing it with their last reading.



-Crenshaw, Beth “Ready, Set, Race to Read”.


-Montgomery, Greer “Read Fast to Win the Race!”


-Murray, Bruce. “Developing Reading Fluency”



-Cushman, S (1990). Fuzz and the Buzz. Carson, CA: Educational Insights.


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