Ready, Set, Read!

Lauren Reynolds

Growing Independency and Fluency



Rationale: One of the primary goals of reading instruction is for students to comprehend the text and read automatically. This lesson focuses specifically on fluency. For students to become fluent readers they must read words quickly, smoothly, and with expression. One way to improve reading is to reread decodable words in connectable texts several times. The more a student works with a particular text, the more familiar they will become and this will help fluency. In this lesson, students will practice with repeated readings and reading fluently. 




∙Stopwatches for each pair of students

∙Speed Reading Record sheet for each student (see below)

∙Fluency Literacy Rubric for each student (see below)

∙Class set of Fuzz and Buzz

∙Class set of Tin Man Fix It

∙White Board

∙Cover-up critter for teacher to model

∙Popsicle stick for each student

∙2 googly eyes for each student

∙Glue for the students to use with their cover-up critter


∙Paper for teacher to record assessment notes


Speed Reading Record Sheet:


Name: ______________________________               Date: _________________________



1st time: ____________        2nd time: ______________       3rd time: _________________



Fluency Literacy Rubric:


Name/(Reader): ___________________________     Date: _________________________________


Evaluator/(Recorder): __________________________________________


I noticed that my partner:


                                                         1st observation               2nd observation                    3rd observation


Remembered more words   __________________                ___________________                 ____________________


Read Faster (with time)        __________________                ___________________                  ____________________


Read Smoother                        __________________                ___________________                   ____________________


Read with Expression           __________________                ___________________                   ____________________




1. I will start off the lesson by explaining to the students what it means to be a fluent reader and why this is important to be a fluent reader. Today we are all going to practice reading with accuracy and speed. Both of these things help us to be more fluent readers. Reading a story multiple times will also help us to become fluent readers. If we become fluent readers it will help us to read things easily and with an appropriate speed. Another thing that fluent readers do is they are able to focus on the meaning of the words and this will help us to understand the comprehension of what we are reading better.


2. After discussing why fluency is important to have as readers I will go over the cover-up technique with the students. I will remind them how we use our cover-up critter and how these help to decode words that we are unsure of. (Cover-up critter is made out of a Popsicle stick with googly eyes on it.) We sometime come across words that we just don't know and we can use our cover-up critter to help us figure out these words. I will show the class what the cover-up critter is, and I will model how we use the cover-up critter to decode words. Let's see if we can use our cover-up critter to help us figure out this word. I will write the word strike on the board. Now I want you all to watch what I do. I will cover up everything but the vowel i. I will cover up str and the k. I know that i_e=/I/, so next I will sound out what comes before the vowel, which is str. I will say each sound that these letters make and then blend them together to get stri. Last I will look at the end of the word, k and I will blend stri together with k. When I read it all together the word is strike. This strategy of covering up the letters and starting with the vowel sound will help us figure out tricky words more easily. Therefore, next time you come across a word that does not look familiar to you, you can use your cover-up critter. (I will distribute the cover-up critter materials to each student and they will make their own to help them decode words.)

3. Next, I will show the students the difference between reading with and without fluency. I am going to show you how important it is to read with fluency. Listen to me read a sentence with fluency and read a sentence without fluency. I will write the following sentence on the board: The big kid took a jump in the pool. First, I will demonstrate how a non-fluent reader would read the sentence. Look at this sentence (point to the sentence on the board). I'm going to read it first without fluency. T-th-the b-b-bi-bi-g-g-big k-ki-i-d-d-kid t-t-to-too-k-took a j-j-ju-m--jum-jump i-i-n-in t-th-the p-p-pp-poo-pool. Did you notice how slowly I read the sentence and how there was hardly any expression in my reading? I am going to read it again, but this time I am going to read the sentence with fluency. I will read the sentence more smoothly, and with a lot more expression. The big kid took a jump in the pool. Did you notice that my words were closer together and they were a lot smoother? Which time was easier to understand? The students will respond (hopefully saying the second time I read the sentence it was easier to understand.) Right! It is much easier to understand text when you read it fluently. I will explain to the class that it was hard to understand the non-fluent sentence is because the words were all chopped up and did not flow together to make sense; also I will explain to the students that I got better when I was modeling fluently because I learned all the tricky words.

4. I will distribute the book, Fuzz and Buzz to each student. Fuzz and Buzz is about a bear cub that gets into mischief and gets stung by a lot of bees! What do you think the cub is going to do when he gets stung by so many bees? Let's read and find out how he gets out of this interesting situation. The students will read the book individually, and we will then discuss the story as a class to assess their comprehension on the book.

5. I will split the students up into groups of two. I will explain the Speed Reading Record Sheet and Fluency Literacy Rubric. Then, I will explain and model how we are going to do our class activity. Now that you all have heard me read the book as a fluent reader, I want you all try. You are going to be reading fluently with a partner. I will divide the students into pairs and give them one stopwatch and two copies of the book. Explain to the students that one will be the reader and the other will be the recorder and then they will switch roles. When you are the reader, see how many words you can read smoothly in one minute. Remember not to skip any words. Place a sticker where you left off at the end of one minute. Then continue reading the book without the timer. Now go back and then count the number of words that you read in one minute and write that number down on your speed reading record sheet. Then switch with your partner until you have both read the book three times each.

6. After the students have recorded the one minute read aloud, they will fill out a fluency literacy sheet about their partner's performance. I will be walking around the room listening and providing assistance where needed.

7. In order to assess each student, I will call them up to me one by one and have them read Tin Man Fix It aloud as monitor their fluency by taking notes on their ability read smoothly and quickly. I will also record the student's miscues. After the student has read the book I will ask the following questions to check for comprehension:

1. Who is Tim?

2. What was the kid riding on that hit Tim?

3. Were they able to put Tim back together?

I will also 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 their last read. While each student is doing their assessment with me, the rest of the students will be at their desks practicing their fluency while reading a decodable book.


Montgomery, Greer "Read Fast to Win the Race!"

Murray, Bruce. "Developing Reading Fluency"

Cushman, S (1990).  Fuzz and the Buzz.  Carson, CA:  Educational Insights.

Tin Man Fix It. (1990) Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.

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