It’s Fun Reading Fluently!

Growing Independence and Fluency

By Anna Day


Rationale: Students must become fluent readers by learning how to read quickly, effortlessly, and using expression. Fluent reading is a student’s ability to read words accurately and automatically. In order to read automatically, comprehend text, and become a fluent reader, word recognition should be automatic for students. In order for students to achieve word recognition automatically, reading and re-reading decodable text must happen. Fluent reading is accomplished through repeated readings, and timed reading. This lesson is designed to help students learn tools that will help them to read fluently and become more successful readers.


Materials: A Day at the Lake by Matt Sims (enough copies for each student), white board, dry erase marker, stopwatches (one per pair of students), pencils, fluency time sheet




1. Say: Today we are going to work on some reading skills that will help you become fluent readers! When you are a fluent reader, you speak and read the same way. When we speak, we use expression and our words are smooth. We want our reading to come out the exact same way! So, to be fluent readers you need to be able to read words correctly, quickly, and with emotion. The ability to read fluently allows you to read a passage in a short amount of time without stopping to sound out individual words. One way we can work on reading fluently is to read a text more than once. With each reading of the text, you get a little faster. Today, we will practice fluency by reading a text more than once. This is called repeated reading.


2. Say: Before we get started I am going to model being a fluent reader and not a fluent reader. (Write the sentence on the board: The dog laying down on the rug) First I'm not going to read it fluently. The  d-o-g   i-s   l-ay-ing   d-own-n   o-n   the   r-u-g. Could you hear how choppy that was? Could you really get the meaning of the sentence when you heard it that way? Now let's piece it together slowly to make sure we all understand the sentence and exactly how to read it fluently. The dog is on the rug. Isn't it easier to understand the meaning of the sentence as you start to read it fluently? If you still have trouble reading words in a sentence you can always use your cover up sticks or use the cross checking method.


3. Say: We are going to do a learning exercise called repeated reading! Each time you reread one certain text you read it faster and faster because you start to become more and more familiar with that text. I am going to let you read the first chapter in A Day at the Lake by yourself once and then I am going to pair you up with a partner. You and your partner will read the chapter out loud to each other twice. You will also have to fill out fluency charts so that you can help your partner improve his/her fluency and you can also see your improvement.   


4. Say: In this story, A Day at the Lake, Ben, Pat, Jim, and Jean are excited about spending a day at the lake. While they are swimming and play, they start to get hungry. When they go to get their lunch boxes, they realized they are missing. All the sudden they see a dog run away with their lunches. Where did this dog come from? Do the boys help the dog? Lets read to find out! (Hand each child a book).

5. Say: I am going to read the first paragraph in book out loud to all of you and I want you to let me know which one sounds the best to you all! (Read the first page without fluency -pause, incorrect timing, no blending) How did that sound? It sounded weird and was hard to understand wasn’t it? How can I make my reading sound better? Now, I am going to read it again, but this time I’m going to read it with fluency. (Reread the first page fluently.) Now I’m going to let you practice reading by yourself and then in a couple of minutes I’m going to match you up with a partner. When you read I want you to read fluently and read just like you are talking to your best friend. (After a few minutes of individual practice, break the class up into groups of two and let them read to each other.)

5. Say:  Now that you have had some practice on your own, I want you to try reading while your partner marks a fluency chart and times you. Your partner will write down how long it took you to read the chapter and how well you fluently read. This is not a grade and is not suppose to hurt your feelings. This is suppose to help you become a better reader. If you have any question or feel confused, just ask me for help. (Hand out stopwatch, fluency chart, stickers and progress sheet.) Now that you have all your materials, you can get started and I want to hear you working on being a fluent reader. Read the whole first chapter all the way through and then let your partner read it. Try to read with speed, read the words correctly, and read with emotion.


6. Say:  Great job! Now, we are going to try it again one more time to compare scores. Do it the same way you did it last time and remember to record on your fluency sheet. (Let the students reread with their partner and fill out the rest of their fluency charts) How do you think you did? Was it helpful to read the story multiple times? Remember when you read fluently, you ready automatically, accurately, and with expression, just like if you were talking to a friend.


Assessment: Each student will come up to me individually to talk about their fluency sheet and how the activity went. I will then have them read the first chapter of A Day at the Lake to me. I will take notes on their fluency and time them to see how long it takes for them to read the chapter. I will also assess their comprehension of by asking them to answer questions about what happened in the chapter.




“Timed Reading Fun” by Lizzie McCalley


“Fantastic Fluency!” by Brantely Cole


A Day at the Lake by Matt Sims


Fluency Chart




Partner’s Name: :_________________________





After 1nd Partner Reading


After 2rd Partner Reading






______min ______sec



______min ______sec


Read words correctly








Read with speed








Read smoothly








Read with expression








1 = Needs Improvement



2 = Good


3 = Great



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