Growing Independence and Fluency
Rationale: Fluency involves reading with speed, intonation, accuracy, and comprehension. It is an incredibly important concept to master in order to become a successful reader. Fluency can be cultivated through repeated readings of the same text. Repeated readings build confidence in young readers through exposure to familiar texts.
Sentence strips: "You are a wonderful friend!" "We like to sing and dance."
A Job for Zack (for each student)
Stopwatch (one for each pair of students)
Cover-Up Critter (for each student)
Fluency checklist (for each student)
2. Say, "Now I will show you the difference between a fluent reader and a non-fluent reader. I have written two sentences on these paper strips. I will read the first sentence like a non-fluent reader would. (Read the first sentence slowly, without feeling, and with errors.) After reading the sentence once, I now know more about it. It will be much easier for me to read a second time. Since I am familiar with this sentence I can begin to add emotion to my voice. (Read the sentence fluently.) Can you tell me any differences between the first time I read the sentence and the second? The first time I read the sentence it was very hard to understand what I was saying and was not very interesting. The second time was much easier to understand and more fun to listen to. Let me read you the second sentence and you can tell me if you think I read it fluently. (Read second sentence fluently.) Right! I read that sentence quickly, correctly, and with feeling. I read it fluently.
3. Say, "You are now going to read the story A Job for Zack with a partner. Zack's mother has given him an important job. He must go to the store by himself to get hotdog buns for dinner. As he leaves the store, he sees a small box fall out someone's van. The box has a name and address on it, so Zack decides to return it to the owner. What could be in the box and will Zack make it home with the hotdog buns in time for dinner? Reading fluently will help us find the answer to this problem! Remember to use your Cover-Up Critter if you find any words that you do not know. Reread the sentence to make sure what you have just read makes sense. Reading without making mistakes is part of fluency."
4. The students will be paired with a child of similar reading abilities to prevent them from becoming embarrassed during this first practice lesson. Say, "You and your partner will each be reading the story three times. At first, one partner will read the book, while the other times them using your group's stopwatch. Write that time on top of your partner's reading checklist so you remember it. Trade jobs so that each partner has read and has timed the story once. The first partner will then read the story a second time. Your partner will time you again, but this time they will follow along in their own book to keep track of any mistake they hear. Write their time over the 2nd time column and check off any boxes that apply; remembering more words, reading faster, smoother, and with more expression. Trade jobs again and then you should both read and time the book a third time. Take the same steps as you did during the second time."
Assessment: Students will come up to the teacher's desk and read A Job for Zack for one minute. The teacher will record any miscues and note fluency progress from their peer checklists. The teacher will then ask each student comprehension questions about the story.
Sims, Matt. A Job for Zack. Novato, CA: High Noon, 2002. Print.