Ready, Set, Read!

Growing Independence and Fluency


 Beth Kelley

Rationale: When students learn to automatically recognize words they can read faster, more smoothly, and with more expression. When students read fluently, they are more likely to understand and comprehend the text. In order for students to become fluent readers, they must read and re-read decodable books, practice decoding, and decode at a quick speed. This lesson will have students read a decodable text and partner up for buddy reading in order for them to improve speed and develop a better understanding of their readings.



-A copy of “Paws and Claws” for each student

-Cover up critter, popsicle stick used for decoding (one for each student)

-Dry erase marker

-White board

-Stop watch (one for each pair of students)

-Speed Reading Record sheet (one for each student)

-Reading fluency partner check sheet (one for each student)

-Pencil for each student


 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                   _______          _______







Step 1: Explain to the class what fluency is and how important it is to be a fluent reader. “Today we’re going to talk about fluency!  To read fluently means to read words quickly and correctly!  This makes the story easier to understand! Fluency is very important when it comes to being wonderful readers.  I know that all of you can be great readers! One way we can practice fluency is by reading a story over and over again.  I want each of you to set a goal to become faster and faster each time you read today!”


 Step 2:  First, pass out the cover up critters and show them how to use the critters when they come across a word they do not know.  “Whenever you are reading and you come to a word that you don’t know, you can use your cover up critter to help you sound it out!  I’m going to show you an example.”  Write the word ledge on the board.  Start by covering all of the letters besides l.  Pronounce the sound of  l = /l/.  Then uncover the next letter before the vowel /e/. /l/ /e/ leee. Then uncover the letters after the vowel dge. “Dge says /j/ so when we blend our letters together it says, /l/ /e/ /j/. Oh the word is ledge!”


Step 3: “I want you all to see what a fluent reader sounds like, so I’m going to read a sentence aloud.  First I’m going to read it slowly and choppy without fluency.”  Write the sentence, “The bad man took off with the van!” on the board.  Then read it slow, “Thheee. . .  bad. . . m m annn. . .  took. . .  off. . .  with. . . the. . . van.” “That is how a non-fluent reader would read that sentence. Does that sound good?  I’m going to read it two more times to work on my fluency.  The bad… maaann. . . took off. . . withhh. . . the van.  That time was a little better, but I still need practice to be able to read the sentence fluently. The bad man. . . took off with the van.  See how every time it becomes quicker and more accurate?  That is because rereading the sentence helps us to become more fluent readers.  Fluent readers read easily like this, “The bad man took off with the van.”


 Step 4: Pass out the book Paws and Claws.  Give students a book talk.  “Can anyone tell me what paws and claws are?  What do they have in common?  In our story today, we are going to see many different animal paws and claws.  However, there will come a time when we will have to identify some for ourselves!  You need to pay close attention to the characteristics of different animal paws and claws so that you can identify them!”  Instruct students to do repeated readings.  “I want you all to read the story one time and then we will discuss the story.  Then I want you to read it again by yourself.”


 Step 5:  “Now, I’m going let you work with a partner to practice your fluency.  One of you will be the reader and the other will be the recorder.”  Explain the Speed- reading record sheet.  “The reader will read the passage three different times and the recorder will write down the time it took each time.  After the third try the reader and recorder will swap positions.”


Step 6:  After the one-minute reads the students will fill out the fluency literacy sheets for their partner.  They will evaluate how their partner performed on the second and third timed reading.




Assessment: I will use the speed reading record and fluency checklist as an assessment. I will also have students come and read a passage from the book to me to check their fluency, and ask them questions to check their comprehension.





Reading Fast is a Blast! by Ali Long


Ready, Set, Read! by Mary Kathryn Johnston


Farber, Erica, John R. Sansevere, Billy Steers, John Lund, and Diane Dubreuil. Paws and Claws. New York: Beginner, 2000. Print.


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