“What’s all the buzz about….READING!”

By: Brittany Bailey

Growing Independence and Fluency


Fluency is an essential part of reading comprehension.  Fluency includes the ability to decode words automatically and effortlessly.   With automatic word recognition, reading becomes faster, smoother, and more expressive, and students can begin to read silently. In today’s lesson we will use timing and fluency checklists to increase fluency.


-Copy of Fuzz and the Buzz for each student

-Stopwatch for each pair of students

-Chart with sentence (I have a dog and his name is Spot.)

-Chart with sentence (I got him at a pet shop.)

-Fluency checklist (1 per student)


1.  Introduce the lesson to the students by explaining how important it is to read fast and fluently.  “Our goal for today is to read accurately, fast, and smoothly.  Reading fast and smoothly makes us understand what we are reading better.  Isn’t it important that we understand what we read?  It is important that you are fluent when you read because this helps you become a better reader and helps you to better understand what you are reading.Today we will be working on repeated readings in partners.” 

2.  “I am going to read a sentence from the chart in two different ways.  I want you to decide which reading sounds better.  I also want you to notice which reading you understand better.”  Read the first sentence in a word-by-word slow reading.  “I h-h-h-a-a-v-e a d-d-d-o-o-g and his n-n-n-a-a-m-m-e is S-s-s-p-p-o-o-t-t. Now I am going to read it differently.”  Repeat passage, but model fast, fluent reading. “I have a dog and his name is Spot.  Which reading was easier to understand, the first one or the second one?  Good, the second one.  This is how we are going to practice reading today.  We are going to practice reading fast and accurately today.

3.  Have the students practice reading in pairs.  “I want everyone to look at the chart on the board.  The sentence says ‘I got him at a pet shop.’  I want you to read it to your partner and then have your partner read it to you.  After you both read the sentence, I want you to read it silently to yourself five times.  After you have read it five times, I want you to read it aloud to your partner.  Did you read it faster the first or second time?”

4.  Model fluent and timed reading.  “I am going to show you how to read fluently.  Today, I am going to read Fuzz and the Buzz.  This book is about a cub named Fuzz who gets bopped on the head by nuts, buzzed by bugs, and falls in the mud.  To find out what happened to Fuzz we are going to have to read the book.  Model how to read Fuzz and the Buzz fluently by reading the book aloud to the students. “Did everyone notice how I read the book smoothly and my voice went higher and lower, faster and softer, and louder and softer?” 

5.  Have students get back into partners.  “You are going to take turns being the reader and the listener.  We are going to be reading Fuzz and the Buzz.  I want you to read as many words as you can in one minute.  You will hear the stopwatch go off in one minute.  The reader will read the book three times and the listener is going to fill out the checklist after the second and third time the reader reads the book. If you miss a word use cover-ups and then go back and reread the word(s).  Show students the chart with sections: remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, and read with expression.  Explain to the students not to be critical of each other’s reading because becoming fluent readers is a process that takes time. 

6.  I will walk around the classroom to monitor them reading and to assist with the fluency checklists if needed.

7.  To assess, I will call each student to my desk one by one and have them bring their fluency checklist that they completed with their partner. I will review it with each student, highlighting their areas of improvement.  Then, I will have each child read Fuzz and the Buzz once more and monitor fluency by jotting down whether they read smoothly, quickly, stopped rarely, or less smooth, less quick, or stopped frequently. 



“Buzz, Buzz, Buzz!”  by Katie Lincoln

“ZooM! ZooM! ZooM!” by Lauren Rockwell

 Murray, Bruce. Reading Genie Website. “Developing Reading Fluency.”           
(1990). Phonics Reader Short Vowel, Fuzz and the Buzz. Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.

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