High in the Sky with Fluency
Growing Independence and fluency in Reading

Rachel Edmundson


In order for children to be able to use their comprehension strategies, they must first become more fluent readers.  Without knowing how to decode words, comprehension can become very difficult.  Fluency must be mastered, but only after the student has learned the major correspondences.  Through repeated readings, children can become more fluent, and will begin to grasp the content of the story easier, their site vocabulary and reading speed with also greatly increase.

Arthur’s Reading Race by Marc Brown (Multiple copies), a small di-cut kite for each student to monitor their progress, butcher paper with a picture of the ground and sky on it (to move their kites up as the read faster).

1. I will read a simple sentence such as “ I have to take the dog on a walk”.  I will dramatize how it sounds when someone does not know how to read fluently, but making my words choppy and spaced out. I will then ask the students if they enjoyed listening to me read like that. (They should say no). Can anyone tell me what fluency means? (Wait for answer) Well, it is when you can read quickly without trying to sound out every word that you come to. When you can do that, you know you can read fluently.

2. "Now, I am going to show you how to read more fluently.  What does fluent mean again?  (Wait for answer).  Good job!  So, I am going to read without sounding out all the words, and let's see if it is more fun to listen to."  I will read “I have to take the dog on a walk.”  "Well, wasn't that much more fun to listen to?  I thought so.  That is how I want each one of you to try to read each time you pick up a book."

3. "Do you see this paper behind me?  Well, we are going to use it to show how much faster you are getting in your reading.  Each one of you will have a kite with your name on it.  We are going to get a partner reader and each group will get one copy of the book.  I will also pass out stopwatches to you.  In your group, you will have a timer and a reader.  The timer's job is to time the reader for one minute.  Can anyone tell me how long one minute is?  When you have timed the reader for one min. tell them to stop, and the reader needs to write down how many words they read.  Now I am putting you on our honesty system, so be fair when you decide how many words they read.  You need to do this four times, rereading from the beginning each time, then exchange jobs and do it all again.  When you have both finished, then you can bring all your times to me, and I will count them and put your name where it needs to go on the path to the sky.  Remember, this is not a race between you and your partner; it's only to help yourself get better at reading.  If you are racing against your partner, I will know, so try your hardest to your very best."

“We are going to read Arthur’s Reading Race in our partners! In this book Arthur learns to read, he likes it so much he reads in the car, in the bed, to his puppy, and even to his sister D.W. Arthur tells D.W. he will teach her how to read, but she says she already knows how to read. Arthur doesn't believe her and they set out to see if she could actually read. Let's read to find out if D.W. proves Arthur wrong.  Since we will be practicing how to increase our reading speed. We will be reading the book several times, so we can increase fluency while

4. I will model how to do the one-minute reads, with the class timing me.  I will read fluently and then count the number of words I read.

  "I want you to go to your seats and I will bring your stopwatch to you."  Show the students how to use the stopwatch to start and stop the timer.  Then let them begin.

5. I will count the words and place the children's names on the butcher paper where their kites need to go.

Assessment:  I will do one-minute reads with the children at the teachers desk, and move their names accordingly and I will discuss progress with the students individually.

Web Site: Reading Genie Website

Allison Ward: "Pathway to Fluency" - http://www.auburn.edu/~murraba/discov/wardgf.html

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