Growing Independence & Fluency


Nicole Pender


Rationale: The purpose of this lesson is to help students improve their pace of reading. They can better comprehend what they are reading if they do not read with a slow monotonous pace.  In this lesson the students will be practicing and charting timed reads in order to become motivated to read faster and more fluently.



    ~copy of the poem "It's Raining Said John Twaining"  By, N.M. Bodecker. Athenuem Books for Young Readers, c1973

     ~stopwatches for each group

     ~paper people with students names on them

     ~bulletin board with a swimmers‚ pool on it

     ~progress chart for each student that has: starting date, starting time, goal time that is a swimming pool

     ~schedule that will record their time twice a week in a chart form



1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to the children what fluency means and why they need to increase their speed in reading.  „We are going to work on increasing our reading speed.  When you increase your reading speed you will be able to better understand what you have just read and will be able to read a longer book in a smaller amount of time.

2.Now we are going to read a poem in several different speeds and styles and I want you to tell me which way is easier to understand and why.š  Read a poem slow and choppy and then read it fast and upbeat.  I think it was harder to understand the slow and choppy reading.  Now I‚m going to read another sentence two different ways and you tell me which is harder to understand.  Next ask the students which speed and style was easier to remember what I had just read.   Have them comment on why it was easier to understand the faster and more upbeat reading.  Explain to the students how I improved.  I was able to read the words fluently without stopping and it was fast enough that I could understand what I was reading.

3. I want you to practice reading faster with a partner.š  Give the students a copy of the poem I have just read and a stopwatch for each group.  „One partner will read as the other one times them then you will swap turns.  You can do this several times with your partner.š

4. Give the children a progress chart, to record their progress.  Record times twice a week.  Explain to them that two times a week they will get with their partner and do this timed reading activity again only with a longer text.  We will use a longer book.  Tell them that with more practice their speed will get faster and faster and this will make them more rapid readers!

5. In order to assess their abilities, set three specific goals, individualized to their abilities, for each child to accomplish within the five weeks of charting their speed on reading their poem.  Each child will get a paper person with their name on it that will be placed at the starting line of a swimmers pool on the bulletin board.  Under the pool will be the numbers one through three.  When the child accomplishes their first set goal their paper person will move to the number one.  This process will keep going until the child meets the finish line, which is their last set goal under the number three.


J.     Llyoyd, Eldredge (1995).  Teaching Decoding In Holisitic Classrooms.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ.  Page 95.

Tamra Swindall  Speedy Readers  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/inroads/swindallgf.html

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