Speedy Reading


Reading for fluency

Erin Frasier 

Rational: Children first learn to read by decoding, but fluency is also important. Children need to be able to recognize words automatically to be fluent readers. Fluent readers read smoothly and swiftly. This can be achieved through repeated readings of the same book.

Materials: "Owl at home," book for every student, one "Uncle Elephant" book for teacher to read from, a beach ball chart and moving beach ball for every student, overhead to show example book, Fluency checklists for each student.

1.Start out by telling the students, "It is important for us to become fluent readers. Fluency is when you are able to read fast and you recognize words automatically. You also use expression while reading. In order for us to become fluent we have to practice our reading, and we can do this by reading the same book several times. You'll know this when I say we are going to be doing a repeated reading."

2.I will then pull up a page from a book on the over- head for everyone to see. I will say, "I am going to read a passage from this book. You tell me if it was hard or easy for you to remember and understand." (Read Passage from Uncle Elephant, By: Arnold Lobel) "Mo-th--er and Fath-er went for a sa-sa-sail in their bot..no boat. I could not go with them. I had a run-run-runny t-tru-trunk and a sore thr-o-throat. I -went –home- to bed." I will read the passage slowly and choppily. I will even make a few mistakes but decode and self- correct them. Then I will ask students, "What did you notice about my reading? Is there anything that you would change? Okay, I think I know of a better way to read that will want you to listen and know more about the story. Now I will read it a different way.(Read passage) " Mother and Father went for a sail in their boat. I could not go with them. I had a runny trunk and sore throat. I went home to bed." "Did that sound better?" Sometimes when we read something for the first time and we have to decode, we read slowly. When we read repeatedly we read faster, smoother, and with more expression, like I did the second time that I read it."

3.I will tell the students, "To help us see how much you have accomplished, you will each have a beach ball chart. Every time that you read this book and it takes you less time to read and you use all parts of fluency while reading, your beach ball will move up, until it has crossed the volleyball net.

4.I will first give a book talk of "Owl at home." "Owl lives by himself in a warm little house. One evening he invites Winter to sit by the fire. Another time he finds strange bumps in his bedroom. He goes for a walk alone one night, and stumbles upon something. You'll have to keep reading to find out what!" Have the same book for each student to read. "Owl at home," by Arnold Lobel. I will instruct them to read the book quietly to themselves. Then I will pair them with another student. They will have the opportunity to practice reading fluently aloud to one of their friends. It will not be timed but the goal is to get better and better each time that they read. They should read the story to each other at least two times. While your partner is reading, you take notes on a fluency sheet about their reading. Did they remember what they read? Did they read fast? Did they read smoother? Did they read with expression? Make a check beside the one/ones that they accomplished on the repeated readings. Tell students, "I will be watching to see that you are really giving your partner fair and accurate checks on their list."

5.For assessment, I will have every child read to me independently. They can read it once a day during the reading time, and every day try to improve their fluency each time. (Speed, smoothness, comprehension, and expression) Each time that they make progress I will move up the beach ball until it has successfully crossed the volleyball net. The ball moves up every time a student improves the amount of time they spend reading.


Wallingsford, Darby. Gaining Fluency: Speedy, Speedy Students Reading Fast. Reading Genie website.


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