Growing Independence and Fluency
Mark Gullion
Read For Me!

Rationale:  To become fluent readers, children need to learn how to read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  Students will be able to work on their reading fluency through repeated and dyad reading.  By rereading text, students will learn to read more words per minute.  By working with partners, students may learn new decoding skills and will get more practice reading.  The more the students read, the more they’re reading skills will improve.

Materials:  Copies of The Rainbow Fish (Scholastic) for every pair of children in the class, stopwatch, and fluency rubrics

Fluency Rubric:
Reader _________________         Evaluator__________________
Circle one:
Expressive Reading-   Good        Great
Smooth Reading-         Good        Great
Fast Reading-              Good        Great

Procedures:
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that reading expressively, smoothly, and quickly is important to fluent reading.  Explain to the children the meaning of these words so they understand them.  Tell them that reading with expression means to put a lot of feeling in their voice as they read.  Reading smoothly is being able to read with few pauses or stops.  Finally, reading quickly is being able to read so that you are able to understand the text.  Reading fluently results in reading that is more enjoyable and today we are going to be working on becoming fluent readers.
2. First, we are going to review some of the vowel sounds we
have learned.  Ask: Do you hear the /a/ sound in lap or bus?  Do you hear the /e/ sound in cat or jet?  Do you hear the /i/ sound in sip or push?  Do you hear the /o/ sound in kit or job?  Do you hear the /u/ sound in fun or peg?  Then, write the words on the board with phonemes that need review.  Have the children read the words to see if they recognize the sounds made in each word.  Tell the children that knowing vowel sounds will help them be able to read better.
3. Now that we have reviewed our vowel sounds, we are going to
practice reading.  First, I will read some passages from The Rainbow Fish that you all have heard me read before.  Tell me what you think about my reading.  Read first passage and model how to read fast and smoothly.  Then, model the way that is not so fun in reading, slow and choppy.  After each passage, allow the children to discuss the different ways that were read.  Explain to them how the first way is the way fluent readers read and that makes reading fun.
4.   Have each child partner up with another child.  In their groups, they should take turn reading from The Rainbow Fish to each other practicing their fluency.  Give the children time to discuss the story with each other.
5.   Explain to the children that they are going to read the story again, but this time, they are going to be timed on their reading.  Explain to them how fast fluent readers read and how they should all practice reading at a quicker pace.  Tell them that the goal they should all be trying to reach is 85 words per minute.  Show them how when one person reads, the other will count how many words are read.  I am going to time you for one minute.
6.   Allow students more time to practice reading silently.  Also, have more time for repeated readings so that children can work towards the desired goal for number of words to be read a minute.
7. For assessment, give each child the reading fluency rubric.
Give each child another assigned partner to read the same story.  Tell each child that they will listen to their partner read and rate it according to the rubric.  Make sure you explain the rubric to them.  Tell them they will chart their partner’s reading as great and good in the categories of expressive, smooth, and faster reading.  These results can be used to assess the children so they can see their own progress.

References:  Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1995. pp. 122-145.
http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/simmonsgf.html
http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/clantongf.html

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For more information email me at gullimr@auburn.edu.