Growing Independence and Fluency

Lindsay Rutland


Rationale: In order for children to find the true joy in reading they must learn to read fluently. Being a fluent reader means a child must read consistently, fluently, accurately, and with emotion. Fluency is also intended to help increase comprehension skills. In order for the students to become fluent readers, we will work on reading speed. They will accomplish this by rereading the same book over and over again.



Stopwatches for each pair of students
Monkey reading chart for each student (this includes a monkey that is progressively trying to reach a higher level on a tree.  Each time a student reads, you move the monkey to the number of words they read in that minute)
A copy of the book   One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root and Jane Chapman (one for each pair of students)


  1. WE have all worked so hard on learning many of our letter correspondences, and now it is time to become the best readers we possibly can.  In order to be the best readers, we have to try to make our books sound interesting and read without pausing very much. We want to read as smoothly and as accurately as we can.  This is called expression and fluency.  We are going to try to say all of our words with emotion and to read them very fast, without messing up.


  1. I am going to read you all a sentence in two different ways, I want you to listen carefully and tell me which sentence sounds the best.


  1. Read one sentence sounding out each phoneme, short and choppy, and then read it again in a normal reading voice.  "I...h.a..v..e.. a…p…e..t…d..o..g.....   Now here is the sentence a second time, I have a pet dog."  


Which sentence sounded best?  That’s right, the second one did.  That’s because I read it the best that I could and really tried to show emotion and feeling.


      4.  We are going to read a book called, One Duck Stuck!  This is about a duck who goes down to a pond and runs into a little bit of trouble. He gets stuck in the mud around the pond, and several different animals come by to help him try and get out.  They try this a lot of times, and the duck is beginning to wonder if they are ever going to get him out.  Does the duck have a chance to get out?  Let’s read and find out! Allow each student to read the book to themselves.


5. Now, we are going to try to read this book even better and faster.  We are going to do something called quick reads.  We will read one minute.  After we do that, we will count all of the words we read in that minute.  Then, we will move our monkey on our chart to that number of words.  We are going to try to get our monkeys higher every time we read.  Let’s do it all together to start with to make sure we are all on the same page. Model for the children by setting a timer and reading for a minute.  Then, count the words and move your monkey accordingly.


6. Put the students in pairs and allow them to read while a partner times for a minute.  They will then count the words and move the monkeys.  Each reader will do this 3 times.  The teacher will walk and assist where necessary, and also make sure children are on task.


7. Assess the students by recording their first reading and comparing it with their last reading.  The students should have been able to read more words per minute during the last read.



References: - Faster, Faster, Faster by: Rachael Williams
- Speedy Reading by: Jessica Pie plow  Racing Readers by: Melissa Hensley

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