Growing Independence & Fluency

By: Nicole Lawyer



Rationale:  To become a successful reader one must read fluently, accurately, with expression, and consistently.  This goal of this lesson is to help students with their fluency while reading by working on their reading speed.  The best way to do this is to transition from decoding to automatic word recognition. Fluent readers can better comprehend the text they are reading because they no longer have to concentrate on decoding each individual word and are able to read at a faster and smoother pace. Students’ reading fluency will increase through this lesson by charting reading times.




              Timer/stopwatch (1 per student)

                        Reading charts (one for each student):

                            Name:_________________________            Date:___________


                                    After 1st read           _______

                                    After 2nd read         _______

                                    After 3rd read          _______


Repeated Reading Checklist (one for each student to use with a partner):


                              Partners' Names___________________________                                

                             As I listened to my partner read, he/she:

                                                                                            After 2nd           After 3rd

                                1. Remembered more words          _______           _______

                                2. Read faster                                       _______           _______

                                3. Read smoother                               _______           _______

                                4. Read with expression                   _______           _______


                Class set of the decodable book: Amelia Bedelia







1)      Introduce the lesson by explaining to students what it means to be a fluent reader and why it is an important part of learning to read.  “Today we are going to talk about fluency.  Fluency is a reader's ability to read words quickly, smoothly, and with emotions.  Whenever a fluent reader is reading it sounds like they are having a normal conversation with someone.  So, let’s talk about why it is important for readers to be fluent.  Becoming a fluent reader makes reading more enjoyable and you are able to concentrate more on the meaning and storyline of the whole text instead of individual words. Is everyone ready? Great now lets get started!”


2)      Pass out copies of “Amelia Bedelia” to students.


3)      “I bet all of us in the classroom have read a book before that was really good and very interesting but just weren’t able to read it fast enough to finish quickly.  Well, today we are going to work on that and practice ways to become fluent readers."  "It is helpful to go back and re-read words until you are able to make it flow together as if it is normal talk.  This tool is called rereading.  We have discussed rereading in the past as a self-help strategy.  It is the same thing we do whenever we come across unfamiliar words.  Well, rereading can also be used to help with fluency because the more times you read something the more automatic it comes.”


4)      Model for students.  “The first time you pick up a book there is usually a number of words that are unfamiliar."  Read the first page of the book. (the first sentences).  "For me, the first time I read through a new book it is difficult to understand it all because I have to read slow and figure out the unknown words."  Read the sentences again non-fluently. (slow, take pauses, and struggle on some words.)   “Oh, A-m-e-l-ia Amelia Bed-e-l-ia, your f-i-r-r-s-t fi-rst first day of w-o-rk, and I can’t be h-e-r-e.” "Did everyone notice how hard it was for me to read some of the unfamiliar words the first time through?  It was not very smooth and it was hard for me to enjoy reading it.  So, I then read the sentences again for a second time." “Oh, Amel-ia Bedel-ia, your fi-rst day of w-ork and I can’t  be he-re.” "That time I was able to read a little bit faster because the unfamiliar words are becoming more familiar and I did not have to slow down to figure them out as much.  Though it was easier, it still was not smooth.  So I will reread it again."  "Oh, Amelia Bedelia, your first day of work, and I can’t be here." That time it was smooth but it did not have any emotion in it."  Reread it again with emotion. "I   learned that the more times I read it the easier it got and I eventually could read the book straight through quickly, smoothly, and with emotions.  I really started to enjoy reading because it wasn’t as difficult.  Now you are all going to try reading the books you chose several times today so that you get better each time you read the text.”


5)     “Everyone now take this time to read the book, Amelia Bedelia. " 

Book talk:  "This book is about a girl named Amelia Bedelia. She is a housekeeper who upsets the household when she does everything wrong that she is suppose to do. Will they stay mad at Amelia forever? I guess we’ll have to read to find out!”


6)  Read until I tell you to stop.  If you finish reading your book before I tell you to stop, then start reading it again from the beginning.  (Give the students seven minutes to read individually.)      When seven minutes is up stop the students and then place them in pairs. This will give students the opportunity to read the selected text to individually, building confidence, followed by a time for an informal assessment.


7)      Instruct students on what to do.  “I want you to work with your partners.  I want one of you to read while the other times you as you read using the timer that I have given to you.  Then switch roles.  Each of you should read your book three times all the way through and make sure you record the time for all of the reads on the handout."


8)      After each student has read to a partner instruct him or her, “Now I want everyone to evaluate their partners to see if they are improving on their fluency each time they read it.”


9)   In later lessons students will be given one-minute to read a book through over and over again to chart how many words per minute they are reading. Take the opportunity to listen to each student individually to assess his or her improvement.  Also assess them to be sure that there are not other skills they need to improve on first in order to succeed as a fluent reader.  Use the information gathered from the assessments to plan future lessons.






The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency


 Hood, Laura Lee. "Ready, Set, Read!"



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