1, 2, 3, READ!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Gina Campanotta


Rationale: Children must learn to decode words in order to read.  Reading as you decode is slow and requires effort to think about each word and its letters as you decode. In order for a child to read fluently he or she should be able to read faster and smoother than when they first started to read. When a child is able to decode a word automatically and effortlessly reading becomes much more enjoyable experience for them.  The way to accomplish this is for the child to read and reread decodable words in a connected text. The more children work with a particular piece of text, the more fluent the text becomes to them.  In this lesson students will learn how to read faster and more smoothly.   



Marker board with the following sentence: “A bug sat on a log”

Individual strips with the following sentence for students: (I went to the store with my mom)

charts to record one-minute reads (one for each child)-the chart is going to be a racecar that moves forward on the track as the students increase their words per minutes.

Multiple copies of James and the Good Day



1. Let’s begin by talking about how important it is for readers to read both quickly and smoothly.  Not only does it sound better when we read this way, but it also helps us to make more sense of what we are reading.  This makes the stories more interesting and fun to read.  I’m going to show you how a beginner reader reads a sentence and then I’m going to read it like a good reader would.  Listen closely for the difference.  “A b-u-g s-a-t o-n a l-o-g”.  That didn’t sound quite right did it? Now let me read it again. Notice my speed this time. “A bug sat on a log”. What are some things that I did differently in the second sentence than in the first sentence?


2. Now I want you to get into groups of two.  I am going to give you each a sentence to work with (I went to the store with my mom). I want you to read the sentence through for the first time out loud to each other.  Listen to the way that it sounds the first time that you read it.  Then I want you to read the sentence silently to yourself at least five times through.  Reading the sentence repeatedly will help you with your speed.  Then I want you to read the sentence again out loud to your partner. Notice how different it sounds this time.  What makes it sound better? Did it sound better when you rad it fast or slow? Good job everybody!


3. Now let’s try this with a real book.  I am going to give everyone a copy of James and the Good Day.  First I want everyone to read the book to themselves before getting back with partners. When students are done reading have them answer questions to check for understanding. 


4. While one of you read the book the other one is going to the timer.  You will be timed for one minute.  Read as many words as you can.  If you come to a word that you don’t know, use the cover up method to try to figure it out.  If you still can’t figure it out look at the rest of the sentence.  If that doesn’t work, ask your partner for help.  I will be walking around to help you.  We are going to do this several times so everyone becomes faster and faster. 


5. After one minute is up you will count how many words you read and place your race car on that number on your track.  Then you will switch and your partner will do the same thing.  Before you start all over, make a star with your pencil on your track on the first number of words that you read so that we can see how much faster you are getting.  I bet after a couple of times reading your race car will be moving farther and farther down your track.  Let’s see….1, 2, 3, READ!!!!



I will assess the students by looking at their progress chart.  They will mark on the track where they began and where they ended and turn it in to me. I will also have the children come to be and read individually. I will time two readings to check their fluency.



Bennett, Shelley.  Speed Read.  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/bennettgf.html


Orso, Jordan. On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!!! http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/orsogf.html


James and the Good Day.  Educational Insights: Carson, CA. 1990. (Auburn University)

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