Learning to Read With Jet Speed
Catherine Kirsch
Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  An important aspect of reading is being able to do so fluently and proficiently.  Student's success in school depends on the accuracy at which they can read their materials in the expected amount of time.  If students do not learn to read accurately, quickly, and effortlessly they may fall behind their classmates, becoming discouraged and frustrated.  Therefore it is important that a child practices reading to become fluent and proficient.

Materials:  graph paper, color pencils, bookmarks, a class set of Go-With Words by Bonnie Dobkin

1. "Today we are going to work on reading a book with jet speed.  Before we start let's review what you do when you come to a word that you do not know.  Everyone take out your book, Go-With Words, and your bookmark.  Cover up a word all except for the first letter and say its sound.  Move the bookmark letter-by-letter sounding out the word until you can read the whole word.  If you still cannot read the word go back and reread the sentence and see if you can figure out the word based on the sentence.  Do not skip a word if you cannot read it.  If you still do not know the word after sounding it out and rereading the sentence, ask me for help."
2.  "Everyone listen I am going to read a sentence the slow way and then I will read it the fast way, which is how we are going to practice reading our books.  First the slow way, 'P-a-ge  go-es  w-i-th  b-oo-k.'  Now the fast way, 'Page goes with book."  Which one do you think sounds better?  I think the jet fast way sounds the best too."
3. Now pass out the graph paper and colored pencils.  Demonstrate on the board how to label the x and y axis and how the graph works.  "Watch me while I set up my graph on the board to track my progress.  Trace a big L on your paper, just like I am doing.  On the vertical line you drew number 1 ­ 30, this will be the number of pages that you read.  On the horizontal line number 1 ­ 4, skipping five spaces in between each number.  This will be the number of times you read the book."
Book Talk:  "We are going to read a story about things that go together.  For example, "Read goes with story.'  Can you think of some things that go together?  Well let's read our book, Go ­ With Words, and see all the things that go together."
4. "We are now going to read our books silently to ourselves four times.  I will give you five minutes to read each time.  When I say stop you will see how far you have read and then mark that on your graph.  Your time should increase and you should fully understand what you are reading."
5. "Wait for the me to tell you when to start reading."
Time the students for five minutes.
"Stop.  Time is up.  Use your bookmark to mark where you stopped and close you books."
6. "Everyone get your graphs and then count the number of pages you read.  Remember this was our first time.  Put a dot by number of pages you read over the number one, like I did."  Demonstrate this on the board for students who may be confused.
7. Now ask the class if they can name all the things that go together.  You can make a list on the board.  Repeat this every time after they have graphed their progress to make sure the students comprehend what they are reading.
8. After the students have read four times, graphed their progress, and discussed the book, show the students how to connect the dots on their graph.  Explain that if the line goes up hill they increased their reading time.  But remind them once again that this was the first time doing the activity and that over time they will improve their speed.

Assessment:  Collect the graphs and record each student's results.

Dobkin, Bonnie. Go-With Words.  New York: Children's Press. 2000

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