Flying High with Fluency


Growing Independence and Fluency

Brannon Bynum


Rational:  For students to reach the goal of reading comprehension, they must first be able to read fluently. Reading fluently means students can read quickly, accurately, and smoothly while also reading with expression!  To be fluent readers, students must practice reading and rereading decodable words in connected text.  In this lesson, students will become more fluent readers by reading and re-reading text with partners to further their skills.


Reading fluency check sheet, pencil, dry erase board with “Sally and Jan are going for a bike ride”,  Ants in a Can By: Geri Murray for each pair of students


1.     Begin by telling the class what fluency is.  “Today we are going to learn about fluency.  Fluency is the ability to read more quickly, accurately, and automatically.  Did you know you have to practice reading and rereading to become a fluent reader!  When you learn to read fluently, you will be able to read faster and use tons of expression.  When this happens, you will be able to enjoy and understand the story better.  Now we are going to pair up and get ready to read.”

2.     Show dry erase board with “Sally and Jon are going for a bike ride.”  Demonstrate a reader that is not fluent and then demonstrate a fluent reader.  “Let me read the sentence for you, ‘Sss-aa-lll no Sallllly and J-a-n aaa-r-e g-ooo-ing, going on a b-iii-k-e r-i-d, wait ride.’  See how slow and choppy that sentence was?  I went back and crosschecked my reading, the word ride confused me, and I thought it was rid. As I went back and crosschecked my reading it helped me make sure the sentence made sense.”  Read sentence again faster and with some expression.  Re-read sentence one last time with full expression and fluency.  “Now I am going to show you what a fluent reader reads like, “Sally and Jan are going on a bike ride!” Did you see how smooth that one was compared to the first time I read it? Did you hear the difference from the last time I read it and the second time? Can anyone tell me what they think was different about all three times I read the sentence?” 

3.     Write “The cat tried to eat the fish out of the fish tank.” “Now I am going to write a sentence on the board and I want everyone to practice reading the sentence to themselves three times.”  Give a few seconds for students to read the sentence.  “Who thinks they can come up and say the sentence with fluency and expression?”  Have a couple of students come up and say the sentence, getting quicker and reading more smooth after they reread it.  Ask the class if they can tell a difference between each student and a difference between the first time they read it out loud compared to the third time.

4.     Put students in pairs of two.  Hand out reading fluency check sheets and Ants in a Can.  “I want everyone to listen very closely to their partner as they read.  Listen to how high or low your partners voice goes, how fast or slow they read, and their expression while reading.  While your partner is reading I want you to listen to them carefully the first time.  After the first time, I want you to check off on the check sheet that I gave everyone what your partner improved on after reading for a second time and then a third time.  Make sure you pay extra close attention to your partner and no one else around you.  Some questions to think about are: Did your partner read faster than the first time? Did your partner read smoother? Did your partner read with expression?”  After the first student reads three times have the students switch and repeat the process.

5.     After students are finished with the reading, I will discuss with the whole class if they could tell a difference in their own reading and their partners readings.  “Did you read better the first, second, or the last time you read? Do you feel more comfortable reading with expression compared to before?”

Assessment:  To assess students, I will call them one by one to the desk.  I will ask the student individually what their conclusions were about reading and rereading.  I will also look over their fluency check sheet.  Students will then read the story to me; I will be noting miscues along the way.  I will also ask questions to insure the student comprehended what they read.


The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency

The Reading Genie: Genie Books in Power Point Ants in a Can by Geri Murray

“The Race is on” Growing Independence and Fluency by Lindsay Phillips

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