And the Race is On…

 Coleman Ellis

Growing Independence and Fluency



In order to become successful readers, students must be able to read fluently. In this lesson students will reread texts and practice with one minute reads to gain the ability to read fast, smooth, and with expression. When children become fluent readers, they increase their comprehension which is the ultimate goal of reading.




Teacher copy of Lee and the Team

1 copy of Lee and the Team per pair of students

1 stopwatch per pair of students


Speed Record Sheet

Name:________________    Date:__________

1st time:____

2nd time:____

3rd time:____



1. “Today we are going to work on becoming more fluent when we read. Fluency is when someone reads fast, with expression and correctly. Becoming a fluent reader takes a lot of time and practice, so today we are going to practice and work on becoming fluent readers. We are going to practice becoming fluent readers by reading the same book three times. Remember that sometimes you will not be able to read every word that you come across. If you come across a word you don't know try reading the rest of the sentence or use the cover up method (Which is simply covering up a part of the word to give clues about the word) to figure out the word as you sound it out.”

2. "Why do you think it is important for us to be able to read fast? I'll give you an example. I will read the first sentence very slow. What do you think I could do to make this sentence sound better and make it more fun for you to listen to? Your right! I can do this by adding expression to the sentence. Today we are going to work on reading with expression and fast. We are going to read the story Lee and the Team  three times so that we become very familiar with the story, this will help us be able to read more fluently.”

3. Next I will split the group up in pairs. Each pair will receive one book, one time sheet per student and one stopwatch per pair. . (If there is an uneven number, I will be a child’s partner). I will pass out the book, Lee and the Team out to each child and then give each child a Speed Record Sheet. Book Talk: “This book is about a boy named Lee. He is on a baseball team.  On the day of his game, the team is going to be late.  The team is supposed to run to the game so they will be on time, but they do not want to. Will the team make it to the baseball game on time?  We will have to read to find out!” I will explain that the student that is not reading should be timing the other student for one minute, and then figure out how many words the student read. I will call for a volunteer, and show the students how I want them to do this activity.

4. "We are going to do this two more times. Remember to use the same directions as before. If you have any questions raise your hand and I will come to your group."

5. "When you have completed the reading three times. I want each partner to come up with three questions relating to the story. I want you to discuss the answers while in your group. This will help the students remember that although they are reading fast they are also building comprehension.


For assessment I will collect the speed sheets. I will look to see that they have increased their word count each time. The groups will tell the class what they have learned from reading the book to ensure that they have built comprehension.



Brown, Mary Cox. Speeding into Fluency.

 Lee and the Team. Educational Insights.1990

Mosley, Meredith. “On your mark, get set, GO!!!”

Ciampi, Meghan. “Score with Fluency”


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