Vrrrm Vrrrm…Speed Reading
Growing Independence and Fluency

Liz Copenhaver



Beginning readers place a strong emphasis on decoding each word slowly.  It is harder for them to focus on the meaning of the overall text because of this emphasis on decoding each individual phoneme/word.  It is important for children to gain fluency in their reading.  When they start reading faster, more accurately, and with expression, they will start comprehending.  In this lesson, the children will practice fluency by reading and rereading texts with a partner.  They will then assess each other by giving one minute reads.



            Book James and the Good Day.  CA:  Educational Insights, 1990.:  1 per student

            One minute read charts with numbers going up by 10 starting at 30 wpm

                        (graphic of a race track on chart and race car cutout to move up chart):  1 per student

            Stopwatch:  1 per pair of students

            Pencil:  1 per student



1.  Begin the lesson by reviewing the correspondences used in this book:  a_e, ai, and ay = /A/.  Review that these spellings make the letter a say its name.  I will remind the students that the silent e on the end of a word makes it say its name.  I will also remind the student that you spell words with ai usually when the /A/ is in the middle of the word, and you spells words with ay when the /A/ is at the end of a word.  I will write words on the board and have the students say them.  Some words are make, play, spray, bait, main, pale, and pail.

2.  Next discuss the importance of fluent reading.  Say:  Today we are going to be practicing reading fluently which is faster, more expressive reading.  When we read faster and with expression, we are able to comprehend better.  We are going to be practicing by reading and rereading a book. 

3.  I will model how to reread a sentence to gain fluency.  Say:  I am going to read a sentence from this book James and the Good day.  I am going to read it three times.  I want you to play close attention to how I am reading the sentence and tell me the differences after I am finished. The first time I will model reading the sentence slowly by decoding each individual phoneme.  The second time I will model reading a little faster by chunking the words, but I will not change the tone in my voice.  The third time I will model reading fast and with expression by changing my tone.  Say:  Who can tell me the difference between the first and last time that I read the sentence?  Which way was I reading more fluently?  Which way am I going to understand the best?  Also notice that each time I read the sentence, I read a little bit faster and with more expression.  This rereading skill is what you will be practicing today.

4.  I will pass out the books and have the students get into their buddy reading pairs.  Say:  Now I want you to get into your buddy reading pairs, and you are going to practice reading and rereading this book James and the Good day.  I will do a book talk.  Say:  James wakes up knowing it will be a good day.  He will sail his tug in his tub.  He keeps the water running and leaves the room as he is waiting for a big lake to form.  Uh oh!  What happens when he leaves the water running???  I want you to read the book together with your partner one time.

5.  Now I will model how to do a one minute read.  I will show them how to work a stop watch.  Say:  Now we are going to time each other as we read.  We are going to see how many words we can read in one minute.  I will start the timer and have it go off in one minute.  I will read for one minute to demonstrate.  I will model crosschecking also.  Say:  The goal is to read smoothly and accurately.  The goal is not to make up words to get finished quicklyDo a one minute read and show them how to count the words.  Hand out one stop watch per pair of students, a chart, and cut out racecar.  Say:  Now I want you to take turns giving each other one minute reads.  Count the number of words you read after each time, move your racecar up your chart, and then record it with a pencil on your chart.  You are going to try and get your car to “vrrrm vrrrm” and go faster up that chart each time.  You are each going to do this three times.  Be sure to record your words per minute on your chart.  I think you will notice that you get faster each time you REread the book.

6.  I will take up the students’ recordings at the end of the lesson for assessment.  I will also be walking around and observing the students as they are giving the one minute reads.  I will pay close attention to see how each student has increased in fluency or see those students who maybe need more individual practice.



Ison, Tanya.  “Let’s Read”  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/isongf.html

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