Riding Down Reading Mountain!

Big Mountain

By: Ms. Carly Ellis

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson 07/25/10

Rationale: In order to be a successful reader, one has to read fluently. A great way to become a more fluent reader is by reading frequently and reread what you have already read. When one becomes a fluent reader, they recognize words automatically. After this recognition, they read faster and faster. Eventually, fluent readers read silently. Children who only read orally can comprehend text. However, when they stumble over words, it slows them down. Whenever they become fluent, this does not happen as much. It is important to teach children to read fluently and at a fast or normal-speaking speed.


Di-Cut Bicycles (Four for every student and one for the teacher)

Four sticky notes for each student and one for the teacher.

A copy of the decodable book Nate's Bike Ride (Murray 2010)

One copy of a fluency time sheet for each student.

A whiteboard

A Mountain Biking trail for every two students and the teacher. Divide the "trail" into four parts. At each part, place a small checkpoint flag.

Checkpoint flag stickers for the trail.

One mini racing flag for every two students and the teacher.

One stopwatch for every two students and the teacher.

Document camera

One class progress time chart ranging from 0-85 (make accommodations for students who need higher numbers). For instance, the number could be erasable colored pens. Each student could have their own color.

Colored erasable pens for each student.


1.) At the beginning of the lesson, explain to the students what fluency is and what it means to be a fluent reader.

"Class, today we are going to work on fluency. Fluency is yet another important skill for reading. When you become a fluent reader that means that you say your words with easily, quickly, and with expression. When you become a fluent reader, you read like you are talking to your friend. For instance, if Sam were talking to Ashley, he would not say 'H h hey Ashley, wuh-ould you lik like to go to the p a errr k?' (Wait time) No! He would say something like, 'Hey Ashley, would you like to go to the park?' We want to remember not to read like the way I said it the first time because it is hard to remember and understand. When you become a fluent reader, it makes what you read easier to understand.

2.) Let the students know that they will be working on their fluency today. "Class, today we will be working on becoming fluent readers by doing repeated readings. Repeated readings are what we do when we reread certain passages over and over. Today, we will do this by each reading a story for one minute. That is what our stopwatches will be for. After one minute is up, we mark where we stopped and count the how many words we read. We want to read quickly. However, we also want to understand what we read so that is why it is important to read like you are talking to your friend."

3.) Pass out a copy of the book Nate's Bike Ride (Murray 2010) to each student. Place one copy on the document camera.

"Here is our story for the day. The title of this book is Nate's Bike Ride (Murray 2010). Book talk: This is a story about a boy named Nate. He is lazy and does not want to play outside. Jan and Tim are Nate's friends. They could not get Nate to leave the couch. However, they come up with a pretty great surprise! Can they get Nate to go outside? Let us read it to find out!' We are going to time ourselves reading this book for one minute, mark where we stopped and count how many words we read." Read the first page just as a beginning reader would to model the wrong way to read (Example: "Tiiim wuh, wuhanted, wanted to t ake a hik, hike..."). Then, read it again the way that a fluent reader would. Post the class fluency trail and time chart on the whiteboard in front of the class. Then, start the stopwatch and read with the whole class for one minute ("Get ready, get set, go!"). When one minute is up, mark where the class stopped with a sticky note. "Now class, we just read the story for one minute. We are going to count how many words we read in one minute (1, 2, 3…). How many words did we get? Great (mark on time and words read on the fluency chart)! Now, let us have a look at our trail chart. How many of you have been mountain biking before? That is what we are going to do today! Now, which color line do you think we should be? Blue or red? Great! Since we had one round of reading, we are going to place a bicycle at flag number one on the ____ line. We will write our time and how many words we read on our bicycle and on our fluency chart under 'Round 1.'"

4.)  "Great job everyone!" Pass out a mountain bike trail, checkered flag, and eight sticky notes to every other student. Then pass out a fluency time chart to each student. "I am going to pair you off. Today, we are going to partner read. When you get your bike trail chart, decide which of you will be blue and which will be red. One of you will read a page while the other waves the checkered flag and times you. Say 'Ready, set, go!' After one minute has passed, the student that read will record their time and how many words they read under 'Round 1' of their fluency time sheet and place a sticky note right where they left off. Then, they will also write their time and words read on one bicycle and place the bike on their line on the first marker. Then, you will switch! The other person will start back at the beginning and read while the other times their reading. Read as many words as you can! Remember that if you come to a word you do not know, you can use your finger to cover up part of the word. Then, sound it out! If you still cannot get it, ask your partner for help."

5.) After each student has read once for one minute and has recorded their time and words read, have them reread and follow the same routine three more times. Each time, they will start back at the beginning of the book and reread. This also means that they will then fill in "Round 2, 3, and 4" on their fluency time chart. "Now that every student has filled in their charts, I want you to talk about the story. Discuss how long it took you to read the story each time. Did you finish it?"

6.) While students are still partnered up, have a brief class discussion. "Did any partners both finish the story? How did it end? Did you read faster the more times you read? Why or why not? You have all done a fantastic job!"

7.) Assessment: Call each student up to do a one-minute read. "I am going to call each of you up to my desk one at a time. You will each do a one-minute read for me with this same story. When you come up to my desk, please bring me your copy of the story along with your fluency time chart. I will time you as you read and mark your reading on my own chart. Each of you will have a corresponding colored pen. This is how I will know how each of you read.


Hooper, Liz. On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Odysseys Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson: The Reading Genie. Website: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/hoopergf.html

Murray, Geri (2010). Nate's Bike Ride. The Reading Genie: Decodable Books. Website: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html

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Mountain Biking Fluency Chart

Mountain Biking Fluency Chart


Name: ____________                                                                                          Date: ___________

Time/Words Read

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4






Words You Read:






Example Bike:

Big Bike(Clip Art)