Cloudy with a Chance of Fluency!

Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Ana Eagerton

Rational:  Fluency is developed after learning many correspondences and becoming automatic with word recognition.  Reading fluently is reading at a pace that keeps others interested and can be read for understanding.  When students read with fluency the story flows together and becomes exactly what it is, a story.  By working with a partner the students will help record their partner’s fluency by marking words that are stumbled through or a lot of time is spent on certain words.  The students will gain a better understanding of what it means to read fluently and ways that will help them improve their fluency as readers. 


- Book- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (one for every student) 1999.

- Copies of pages(1-5) that will be read by each student,

the copies are for the students to record their partners fluency

on and the copies will also have the words numbered so it is

easier for the students to record their time and words a minute

- Stopwatch

- Pencils

- Crayons

- Fluency bar graph chart


1.  “Today students we are going to work on reading fluently.”  “What does fluency mean to you?”  “Fluency is not just how fast you read, but it is reading smoothly and allowing the words that are being read to sound as if they are just being said, like you are talking to somebody.”  “I am going to read a page from this book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; I want you to pay close attention to how I am reading.”  I will proceed to read a page or two from the book, and I am going to drag out my words, reading them choppy and sounding out most words that I am trying to read.  “Did you enjoy me reading this story?”  “Could you tell me what the story was about?”  “Ok, now I am going to read the same thing to you a second time” I will begin to read the same pages a second time this time reading regularly with fluency and expression.  “Did you enjoy me reading that to you?”  “Why, tell me what you enjoyed about my reading.”  “Did you understand what I read?”  “Well I want us to practice your reading so that each and every one of you will read fluently and with expression.” The teacher will model reading a passage from the book with expression.

2.  I will write a sample sentence on the board after introducing fluency to the students.  I went to the beach this summer with my friends.  “I want you to read this sentence with me sounding out each letter in each word slowly.”  “Did this sentence come together and make sense to you?”  “Ok, I am going to read it to you super fast.” I went beach this summer friends.  “Did I leave out any words or mispronounce anything?”  “Now, I am going to read this sentence to you using fluency.”  “I want you to read it with me the second time.”  The students join in with me and we read the sentence together using fluency and saying each word correctly. 

3.  I am going to explain to the students that they will be paired up with a partner, and they are going to read 3 pages from the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, until they are reading it fluently.  “Your partner is going to help you with mistakes and they are going to keep count of the words that you read correctly.  You will then make note of how many words you read correctly.  You are going to take a break while you listen to your partner read. I will use the equation wordsX60/seconds to test the fluency of the student’s reading. I want you listening because you need to make marks of words that your partner skips through or has a hard time reading.  If someone is having a hard time reading, and you are not sure of the word I want you to try your best at decoding the word, but as I’m walking around you can point the word out to me and I can try to help you decode it.  We will then go back and reread the sentence to put it all together to make sure that you understand. Ok, I am going to show you an example of what you are going to be doing with your partner.  Ok, Sadie and I are partners.  I will listen to Sadie read.  I am going to mark all of the words that she misses, and then either when the stopwatch goes off or she is at the end of the chapter, I will count up all of the words and make note of that.  I will share the number of words that Sadie has read per minute.  She is going to color in that number in her bar graph.  Then we will switch, Sadie is going to listen to me read and do the same for me.  After I color in my number of words a minute, she will read again.  We are going to repeat this for about 20 minutes.  The idea here is for you to read the same passage over and over that way you become familiar with how reading with fluency sounds and feels.  After reading this a few times you should start getting familiar with the text and with the story.” 

4.  The students are going to break into their pairs.  Each student will be given a copy of the pages that they will be reading, and will also be given the book that the copies were made from.  The stopwatch will help them keep track of their 1 minute reads, and will be better for the student to hear the alarm to go off instead of their partner interrupting and yelling at them STOP! Or TIMES UP!  The students will use the copies of the story to mark their partner’s words that have been missed and to record where their partner stopped reading. By having the students color in the different bar graphs for each time they have completed reading for 1 minute, hopefully the students will begin to see a curve going up because of them becoming familiar with the text and with the words that are being read.


Assessment:  I am going to walk around to each group and listen to them read.  I will determine if the students are reading quickly and fluently by using the formula wordsX60/seconds. Looking at this formula for each student will help me determine if the students are reading fluently or if they need more help before moving on to a more difficult book.


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by: Judy and Ron Barrett, 1978

Stewart, Nicole. Sailing Away with Reading!


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