Race to the Finish Line!

Dorsey  Tippett 

Growing independence and fluency


Rationale:  “Good readers decode rapidly and automatically” (Adams 92).  In order to gain fluency repeated readings have been found to aid in this matter.  Repeated readings help readers develop skills such as reading faster, smoother, and with expression.  The goal is to help children to become fluent readers in order to increase their comprehension of the text. 


Materials:  class set of decodable books, Bud the Sub, stopwatch for every two children, post-it notes, progress charts of monkey and banana for each child and my own personal one for one-minute reads, repeated reading checklists, pencils.



  1. Start the lesson by explaining to the students the importance of fluency. Explain how rereading the text helps with comprehending it.  “Today we are going to learn a something new that will help us read faster and with more expression.  This is called repeated readings.  Can you tell me what repeated means?  Great job explaining it!  Repeated reading means to read a text over again.  We are going to practice this together!  Are you ready? Yeah!”
  2. Model how to reread a passage from the text.  “I am going to read a sentence to you in two different ways.  When I am finished I want you to tell me which way sounded the best to you.”  Bud the sub is not big.  First read the sentence like a beginning reader, choppy and slow emphasizing each phoneme.  Then read it again smoothing the words together with more expression.  “Okay, which way sounded the best to you?  Me too, I think the second way was the best! Could you tell how my reading improved the second time I read the passage?”  Now the children will practice becoming more fluent readers.
  3. “Now it is your turn to practice rereading the text like I just did.” Pass out, Bud the Sub, the decodable book to each student.  “Please read the book quietly to yourself.  If you miss more than one word on a page you might want to choose a new book to read.”
  4. Introduce the fluency checklist to the class.  “You will listen to your partner read the story through once.  On the second time your partner rereads the story you check the boxes that tell how they read.  For example, if they read smoother check that box, if they read faster check that box, and if they read with more expression check that box.  You will do the same thing for the third time they read.  Once you are finished switch with your partner and do the same thing.” 
  5. Put the students into pairs and allow them to time each other for one minute as they read a book.  Pass out stopwatches, post-it notes, repeated reading checklist, and a chart with a monkey and bananas.  “You and your partner are going to read for a minute.  You will take turns timing each other.  Once your minute is up and your partner says stop you will mark the place where you stopped with a post-it note.  Then you will count the number of words you have read and place the monkey next to the correct number.  You will do the same thing for the second and third time you read.  Your partner will also fill out the checklist for you.  Once you are done with all three reading switch with your partner.  I will be walking around to help you, as you need help.  Okay, let’s start!”
  6. I will assess the children as I walk around the classroom observing them do their one-minute reads with their partner.  Their chart with the monkey will indicate the progress they are making on their one-minute repeated readings.  I will also assess them by having each child read to me for one minute and then I will record their progress on my chart.   For one-minute reads  use the formula:  words times  60 divided  by seconds.




Adams, M.J. Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print.  Department of

Education, University of Illinois:  1990.    


Bud the Sub.  Educational Insights.  1990.      


Lunceford, Valerie.  Hop into Speedy Reading!  www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/luncefordgf.html


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