Fluent Readers are Fabulous!

By: Magen Campbell


Growing Independence and Fluency:




Reading fluency is being able to read with automatic word recognition. When readers become fluent their ability to read text quick, smooth, and with expression will increase. The strongest research evidence supports the method of repeated to gain fluency. The goal of this lesson is to improve student’s fluency through repeated readings and timed reading.



1. Student copies of Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel. (HarperCollins 1990)

2. Stopwatch or timer for teacher and each student

3.  Fluency Checklist for each student (see Bottom)

4. Reading Record time sheet for each student (see Bottom)

5. Cover up Critter for Each student: A cover up created is created using a colored Popsicle stick. You are to glue two small “googly eyes at one end creating a “cover up critter!

6. Sentence strip that reads: I really like being with friends!

7. Pencils for each student



1.  The teacher should introduce the lesson by saying “ We are going to be learning how to become better fluent readers today”.  Teachers should explain to student what fluent reading means by saying “ Fluent reading is when students can read with expression to make the story more interesting. “Fluent reading have the ability to read smooth and quick!”.

Put the sentence strip on the board that reads: It is Kite Day at Pine Lake. Read the sentence in fluently “ I-I-I-t  r-e-a-a-l-l-ly l-i-i-k-e b-e-e-i-n-g w-w-i-t-t-h f-r-r-i-i-e-n-d-s. Now read with smoothly with expression. As the class “can you tell a difference between the first time I read and the second time I read?”. (Wait for student’s response). “Which time was harder for you to understand?” Yes. When I read the first time you could hardly understand the sentence I was forming, this is because I was not reading fluently. Today we are really going to focus on reading smoothly, with expression, and fast so that others can understand what we are reading.

“When you are reading and you come across a word that you do not know you can use your cover up critter to figure out the word” “ I will show you an example, Write the word strand on the board. “ I am going to pretend that I do no know this word. First, I am going to find the vowel and cover up all the other letters. The vowel is a, I know that short a makes the /a/ sound. Then I will uncover all the letters before the vowel, which in this case is s-t-r I will pronounce that /s/t/r/a/ then I will uncover the rest of the word and sound it out. /n/d/. If the cover up critter does not work you may try asking your partner for help.

Engage Students in a book talk about the story Frog and Toad are Friends. Book talk: “ This story is about Frog and Toad and the relationship they form. Frog and Toad go through some hard times. Frog begins to fell sick, but what will Toad do? We will have to read to find out!

The teacher should now pass out a copy of the book to each student. say: “ I am going to read the book to you the first time. I want you to follow along and pay attention to how fluently I am reading”

The teacher should now tell the student around their re-reading activity. Make sure to explain to students that because of repeated readings reading gets easier and the words start jumping out at you, it is easier for you to understand the story, and when you read other can focus on the words of the story because you are reading with a lot of expression.

The teacher should now pair up students and assign them different spots in the room. Make sure that each pair of students receives a fluency literacy rubric, a timer, and a copy of Frog and Toad are Friends, and a reading time sheet.

The teacher needs to take time to explain that one student will be the reader and the other student will be the recorder. "Once you have finished reading you will switch jobs and listen to your partner read." "The first person to read will open the book a wait for their partner to tell them when to start”. “The person that is the recorder will start the timer and let it run until their partner has finished the whole book.” “Be sure to stop the timer when you partner is finished.” “I want you to record that time on your timer Record Sheet.” “Then you will go through the fluency checklist after each time you partner reads.” “Once you have completed the fluency checklist and the Time Record sheet you will then switch jobs.” “The person that was recording will now be the reader!”

I am going to ask a volunteer to come up and we will model the steps quickly!

The teacher should float around the room making sure students are writing on their time record sheet and fluency checklist after their partner reads each time.

The student will assess each student by looking over both the fluency checklist and time sheet. The teacher should use the formula: Words X 60 divided by amount of time-spent reading. The teacher will get this information from the time record sheet complete by each student’s partner. The teacher will also have each student write a small paragraph summary of the text after they are done working with their partner. This will allow the teacher to understand if the student is reading fluently as well as comprehending the text.






Hamann, Abby. Zoom! Lets Go Go Go!



Hausfeld, Alle Let’s Go Fly a Kite for Fluency



Frog and Toad are Friends. Arnold Lobel. HarperCollins 1990.


Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie "Developing Reading Fluency"



Time Record Sheet:





1st Time:______________________

2nd Time:_____________________

3rd Time:______________________


Fluency Literacy Rubric:






I noticed that my partner…. Check the space

After 2nd Reading……


___ Remembered more words

___ Read Faster

___ Read Smoother

___ Read with expression

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