Touchdown! Reading

Improving Independence and Fluency

Laura Beth Anderson



To gain fluency in reading you must practice. Developing fluency leads to reading faster, smoother, and with more expression. Your comprehension as well as automaticity improves where there are improvements in fluency. Today we are going to work on fluency by using repeated readings, one-minute reads, cover-ups, and crosschecking.



Class set of the book Miss Nelson Has a Field Day by Harry G. Allard. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1985.

*Class set of the fluency checklist (space for reading faster, remembered words, read smoother, and read with expression)

*Class set of football speed record sheets (football fields with yard lines used to mark the student’s words/minute progress)

Class set of stopwatches

Drry erase board and marker

*Examplees at Bottom


Begin lesson by saying, “We have all been working hard to improve our reading skills, and today we are going to continue to work hard. Today we are going to talk about fluency. Fluency is when we are able to read words in groups of words smoother and faster. It is important to have fluency when you are reading because it will help make the stories more interesting and you might be able to understand the story better as you read.” 

First, let’s review how we can sometimes use cover-ups when we are reading and we come to a word we don’t know.” (Write the word sat on the board). Let me show you how to use the cover-ups. “If I am reading and come to the word sat and I do not know what that word is what am I going to do after I try finishing the sentence? That is right! I am going to use cover-ups. First I am going to cover-up all but the vowel a. I will then think in my head what does the a sound make, /a/. Then I am going to uncover the letters before the /a/ sound and think about what sound it makes, /s/. Now let’s combine our two sounds, /s/ /a/. Next, I will uncover the letter after the /a/ which is t. The t makes the /t/ sound. Now I am going to add all of my sounds together /s/ /a/ /t/, and we have the word sat. Great Job!?

Now let’s work on our fluency. To help with our fluency I am going to read you a sentence and I want everyone to listen closely to how I read it.” (The sentence is…Max went to play with the dog. It will be written on the board). “M-m-a-a-x w-e-e-n-n-t to p-p-l-l-ay- w-w-i-i-th t-h-e-e- d-d-o-g-g.” (Review cover-ups with the word dog.) “Now I am going to read the sentence one more time, and I want you to tell me which sentence sounds better. Max went to play with the dog. That is right the second one. The second one is better because I blended all of the sounds in my words together instead of taking a second to sound out each sound that I hear. It flowed out of my mouth much better didn’t it? Good Job!” 

Now I am going to give everyone our book for today, Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. Miss Nelson Has a Field Day is about the Smedley Tornadoes who have a big football game coming up, so Miss Nelson calls in dreaded substitute teacher Viola Swamp to whip the team into shape. Will Viola Swamp be able to get them into shape before the big game?”

“I know everyone cannot wait to read our new book but first let’s all get out their fluency checklist so we can know what we are trying to do as we read. Everyone will get with a partner and each of you will listen to your partner read. Everyone will read Miss Nelson Has a Field Day three times to their partner. I want the listener to mark what their reading partner improved on (space for reading faster, remembered words, read smoother, and read with expression). Remember we are only giving positive feedback to our partners. I am going to be coming around and watching you as you read and I want all of the partners to be looking for the areas in which their partner is improving.” 

“Now I would like for each partner group to get out their stopwatches and football speed record sheets. Now that we have read our new book several times we are going to time our partners as they read. One partner will read the story while the other partner uses the stopwatch to time their partner reading for one minute. When your minute is up you must stop reading and put your finger on the last word you read. You and your partner will count the number of words you have read in one minute and place a mark on that number (yard line) of your football speed record sheet. You will then swap roles with your partner and they will read as you time them for one minute. We will keep swapping until each partner has read and timed three times. Make sure to mark each of these three times on your football speed record sheet.” Our goal for this is for you to improve your number of words/minute each read.           

For the assessment I will call each child up one at a time and have each child read Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. I am going to do a one-minute read and record this data for future assessment. I will also be walking around observing during their partner time and recording anything I need to. I will also collect their fluency checklist and football speed record sheet.



Allard, Harry G. Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1985.

Home Run Reader by Amy Bright

Connect back to Constructions

Fluency Checklist



Reading Faster

Remembered Words

Read Smoother

Read with Expression

Check if Improved







Football Speed Record Sheets