“Can You be a Speedy Reader?”

Growing Independence Literacy Design

By: Michel Fields


Rationale: Once students have begun to master the phonics and correspondences, it is important they become fluent readers. Fluency is a result of practice, practice, practice. Repeated readings are great for jump starting fluency. They also need to be able to comprehend what they are reading. It is important to check for comprehension as the students are reading. The students will listen to each other read a chapter and time them to get a reading rate.

Materials: The Case of the Disappearing Dinosaur by James Preller (enough for the whole class), timers, fluency charts



1. Say: Today we are going to work on building fluency! If you are a fluent reader, you read smoothly, accurately, and automatically! Sometimes we mess up on a word. That’s okay, you can crosscheck yourself to correct your mistakes. If you get to a word and you aren’t sure you read it correctly, finish the sentence. If it doesn’t make sense, go back and try the word again. [I will write a sentence on the board and model crosschecking].

2. Before I split the students into partners, I will give them a book talk about the book.  Say: Danika likes to perform magic tricks. Her friend Bigs asks her to perform a magic show at his birthday party. She practices and practices. She decides her big act is going to be to make Bigs’s favorite toy disappear. His favorite toy is a dinosaur. When she makes the dinosaur disappear, it doesn’t come back. Danika doesn’t know where it went! Jigsaw and Mila put their detective skills to work. Where do you think they find it?

3. I will read the first page of The Case of the Disappearing Dinosaur without fluency. I will say, “When I am not reading fluently, I pause and sometimes I stop and decode and it sounds choppy, like this…” [Read a page.]When I am finished, I will ask the students several questions. Say: What did you notice about my reading? Was it easy to listen to? Did you enjoy listening to me read like that? Now I’ll read it fluently. Listen to how smooth I sound when I’m reading fluently. I get almost all of the words right and it flows.[Reread the page with fluency]. I will ask the same questions and see which one the students liked listening to you better.

4. Say: We’re going to practice reading fluently like I just did.  I will divide the students into partners. Each student will have a copy of the book, their fluency chart and one stop watch. I want you to take turns reading and timing each other. Each of you should read the first chapter of the book and mark how long it took you to read the chapter. [I will have counted the # of words in the first chapter so they can calculate their reading rate.] Once one partner has read and recorded their words, you will switch places with your partner. I will be walking around the room listening to you read. Raise your hand if you have any questions.

5. Once the students have finished reading to each other, I will have the students read to me independently. The students will continue reading the book silently until it is their turn to come read to me. I will ask the students to retell what they read.




1. Reading Genie Lesson, Brittany Cain: Galloping to Fluency! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/caingf.htm


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