Go Speed Reader!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Niki Streeter

Rationale: Fluency is a very important thing for young students to learn. Fluency is the act of reading more automatically and with better speed and precision. This lesson will teach students to become more fluent by reading and re-reading to build speed and accuracy.


-     Classroom set of Speed Racer: The Great Plan

-     Timers for each partner group

-     Chart for each student to show their progress through each reading

-     Cover-up critters that each student has made (if needed)


1. We will start the lesson off with me explaining what fluency is and why it is so important. Fluency in reading is when you are able to read more accurate and without trying very hard. It is important because when you are able to read text smoother you will be able to understand it more easily.

2. I will then go over the cover-up critter technique for the students that need to use it. I will remind them how we use our cover-up critter and how it helps us decode words we do not know. "What can you do when you come across a word you do know? Something we can use to help us figure these words out is to use our cover-up critter. It will help you decode the word and be able to read it accurately." I will then show the class the cover-up critter and model how to decode a word using my own cover up critter. "Let's see if we can use our cover-up critter to figure out this word." I will write the word drive on the board. "Follow along with me. I will cover-up the dr and the v. I know that (i_e) says /I/, because we reviewed that last week. So next I will sound out what comes before the vowel, which is dr. I will then blend the dri. I will then look at the end of the word, v. I will blend them together to get the word drive. So next time you come across a word you do not recognize try this process to figure it out."

3. "One way we can become more fluent readers is by reading and rereading text. I am going to read this sentence two times and I want you to judge which one sounds the best." 'I want a piece of cake.' is written on the board. "I-I-I ww-a-nnnn-tt a-a pp-ii-eee-ccc-ee o-fff c-AA-k." I will then ask the students how that sounded. "Right, not very good, so now I will try again. " I want a piece of cake." That time I sounded much more fluent. This is what you will be working on today. If you cannot read a sentence fluently the first time it helps to go back and re-read it."

4. "I am going to give you some sentences to read with a partner. I want you to practice the sentence a few times in order to be able to read it fluently." Give students copies of the sentences. Walk around and listen as students read to see if they are improving.

5. "Did you see how you get better as you read the same sentence a few times? We are going to do a couple of one minute reads using Speed Racer: The Great Plan and you will record your progress so you can see how it helps to reread.

6. Book Talk: "Speed Racer enters the Sword Mountain Race, but some of the competitors are more interested in stealing the new plans for Speed's car than winning. Can Speed cross the finish line in one piece? Will he win? Let's read to find out!"

7. "Now you are going to get with your partner,  one person will be the reader while the other will be the timer. The timer will time the reader for one minute. You will record where your stopping point was. You will repeat this three times making sure you are recording each time you read. The timer will count the words from each read and the reader will write them on his/her record sheet. The timer will also observe the reader and fill out a checklist after each read. You will then switch jobs and repeat the procedure. After you both go you can finish the book together."

8. Assessment: After students have read to each other, have them individually come up to your desk and read two one minute reads. Ask them questions about what they just read to see if they are gaining comprehension skills as well. Make notes for each student on what you noticed they did as they read and if they understood or were just reading. Also collect their graphs they made to see if improvements were made.


(2008) Speed Racer: The Great Plan. Chase Wheeler.

Noie Yancey: Read, Read, Read as Fast as You Can. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/yanceygf.htm

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