The Speediest Reader of All

Growing Independence and Fluency

Tori Hunsucker


          The goal of this lesson is for the students to read faster and learn how to grow in their sight vocabulary so that they can turn from decoding words to automatically recognizing words. Students begin by decoding, cross checking, and mentally marking to understand spelling; then they re-read passages to build instant access to newly decoded words. In this lesson, students will work in pairs to increase fluency by reading and rereading two pages of text to reach a speed criterion of 85 wpm.


          Student copies of “Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes” by Louis Sachar

          Stop Watch

          Speed Reading Record/ Partner check list

Speed Reading Record:

  Name:_________________________            Date:___________


     - After 1st read            _______

     - After 2nd read           _______

     - After 3rd read            _______


-Partner Check Sheet for students to assess their partner's fluency:

 When I listened to my partner read:

                                                         After 2nd           After 3rd

       1. Remembered more words         _______          _______

       2. Read faster                               _______          _______

       3. Read smoother                         _______          _______

       4. Read with expression               _______          _______





      “We are going to be learning how to read faster today children. The faster your reading gets the more words you can read over time. To be able to read fast, you will need to turn most words into words that you can automatically recognize. We will learn this by learning how to turn a decodable word into a sight word .”


     “I also want you all to keep rereading sentences that are difficult to you. The more you reread words the more understanding you have of them and the more you will remember the word for future reading. When you start automatically remembering words, it allows you to be more concerned with what is going on in the story instead of trying to decode words. It will also allow you to read more words per minute and understand what is going on in the story. Reread as much as you can so that all words become sight words to you.”


      I will now model how to become fluent with a sentence that you might not know at first glance. First I will demonstrate a nonfluent reader. The /c//a//t/ /r/a/n/ in the /s/t/r/ee/t/.  I had to decode three words I wasn’t sure of and I’m still not sure what they are. I’m going to try that again. [The teacher repeats the text by blending the phonemes together and crosschecking.] The /ca//t/ oh, cat – The cat /j/u/m/p/s/ jumps – The cat jumps in the /s/t/r/ee/t street?  I’m going to read it a third time because I know the more I reread the more smooth and easy the sentence will become: The cat jumps in the street. Do you see how much easier and smoother it was the third time I read the sentence. I hope a car did not hit the cat!


      Split class up into pairs and if there is not an even number teacher can be a student’s partner. I will then pass out a book to each pair along with a time sheet and a partner check sheet to each student.


      “Now we are going to work on fluency. Within each pair one person is going to start by being the reader and the other person will be the recorder. After one round we will alternate. The reader will begin by starting at the beginning of the book and reading the first two pages. When the reader is done reading, I want the partner to stop the stop watch to see how long it took to read two pages. The recorder needs to fill in the time sheet along with the partner check sheet after each round. We will do three rounds per person and we will alternate jobs each round. Read the same two pages each time!  After the three rounds are finished, I want each partner to answer three comprehension questions. Who is the main character? What is a conflict that has already been addressed in the story? Summarize the two pages? This presumes they know what main character means, conflict means, and how to summarize – a difficult procedure. Better to ask direct questions that are very specific from the book. If you need the book, it’s probably still in 2423, or the AU library may have it.  Open ended questions invite more response.  “Today we will be reading “Dogs Do Not Tell Jokes”, by Louis Sachar. This book is all about how to become a true class clown. It will teach you to be a clown that everyone loves and someone who never talks bad or puts down anyone. We are going to have to read the whole book to find out how to become truly funny.


      I will give them thirty minutes to finish this assignment. I will assess the students by taking up their time sheets. I will be looking for an increase in the student’s fluency the more times they read.









Shealy Melton. (2005) Ready to Race! Reading Genie:

Copenhaver. (2005) Vrrrm Vrrrm…Speed Reading:

Louis Sachar. (1992). Dogs Do Not Tell Jokes.

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