I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Reading!

Growing Independence and Fluency
Anne Joseph

Rationale:  Becoming a fluent reader takes lots and lots of practice.  Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically.  Over time, the more and more children read, the more fluent their reading becomes. When their reading begins to come smoother and easier, it will also become more enjoyable.  This is ultimately what we want for them, fun, fluent reading. 


Materials: Poster board

       Ice cream cone for each student

                 Scoops of ice cream for them to add to their cone

                 Stopwatches for each pair of students

                  Clifford’s Sports Day, Norman Bridwell

        A book for each pair of students, must be on their instructional reading level


1.  First I will begin by introducing the lesson to the students.  I will explain what fluent readers are and demonstrate how they read.  “Today we are going to do a lesson that will help us become smoother, faster readers.  I know that if I read something over and over, I will be able to read it faster and smoother.  This is what you are going to practice today.”


2.  “I am going to read a sentence out of this book and I want you to tell me which way sounds better and which way you want to read like.” “The gym teachers had planned a day of races and games.” Or “Th-e g-g-y-m t-e-e-a-c-h-e-r-s h-a-d p-l-a-a-n-n-e-d a d-a-y f-u-u-l-l o-f r-a-c-c-e-s a-n-d g-g-g-a-m-e-s.”  While I read it the second way I am going to struggle with some words and use the cover-up method to teacher them how to do it.  If you need to cover-up, then remember that you can cover up letters to help you figure out the word.  The more we read and the better we get, the more fluent we will become. 


3.  Next I will write another sentence on the poster board, I saw a crazy monkey swinging on a branch far in the jungle.  I will have the students in pairs (kind of in ability groups for a later activity) and have them read this sentence out loud to each other.  “I want you to read this sentence to your partner out loud then I want you to practice it silently about five times.  We want to be able to read this sentence very smooth and fast. After you finish reading it silently, I want you to read it out loud to your partner again.  Did it sound better the second time you read it our loud?  Rereading things help you be able to read with speed.”


4.  “Now I am going to read you a story.  This is Clifford’s Sports Day by Norman Bridwell.  This is a story about a big, red dog named Clifford.  He decides to go to field day with his friend Emily.  Clifford is so huge, I wonder if he will be able to participate in the field events.  Let’s read and find out what Clifford gets to do.”  I am going to read this story very smoothly and give them an example of how we want them to read.


5.  Next I am going to give each of the pairs a book and a timer.  I have the books by ability so I will assign them according to the pairs I put together.  “I am giving each group a timer and a book.  While one person reads, the other person will be the timer.  We will read for one minute.  Mark how far you got so next time you read, you will be able to see if you read further than the time before.  If you come to a word that you are not sure about, use the cover up method to help you out.  Read as many words as you can.


6.  “After one minute is up, you will count how many words you have read.  Write it down so next time you can see you if went further.  If you went further on your next try, you can get a scoop of ice cream and add it to your cone.  Continue to switch off with your partner.”


7.  I will assess the children as they work with their partner.  I will walk around to make sure they are reading and understand the directions correctly.  I will also have the scoops of ice cream to hand out to the students who have read further each time.  I will have the students turn their cones in for me to assess as well.



 Meg Betbeze, Speedy Reading:   http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/innov/betbezegf.html


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