Speed Reader

Growing Independence & Fluency
Jennifer Lilly

Rationale:  Fluent readers read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  The formula that seems to help readers improve their fluency is to read and reread decodable words in connected text.  The more children work with a piece of text, the more fluent the text becomes to them.  This lesson will help children learn how to read faster.  They will work on their reading fluency through repeated readings under time pressure.  By rereading the text, students will learn to master more words per minute.

Materials: board and chalk, book- Arthur’s Loose Tooth—by: Lillian Hoban (one copy per student or pair of students), markers, crayons, and pencils, rubric (one per student), graph, stopwatches (one per pair ), and, teacher checklist (one checklist per student).

1. Begin by reviewing cover-ups. "Class, we have talked about what to do when you are reading and come to a word you do not know. Who can tell me the strategy we use?”  “Right, cover- ups.” For example, (write strip on the board) if I saw this word I would cover up everything but the i, like so (cover the str and p). I know that i=/i/. Now look at what comes before the vowel, str=/str/. Blend them together to get /stri/. Now look at the end of the word- p=/p/. Put it all together and you have /strip/.  Whenever you see an unfamiliar word, use the cover up method to try to decode it."

2. Explain fluency. "Good readers are able to read fast because they read and reread a text. The more times you read a book, the easier it is because you become more familiar with the words. I am going to read a sentence from the story you will read with your partner. “Ar---th----ur h-h-ad had an l-l-loo-s loose t-t-t-oo-th tooth.” This is difficult to understand because I am not reading fluently. Practice reading the sentence over and over getting more words correct with each try. Finally read the sentence smoothly: “Arthur had a loose tooth.”

3. Fluent readers must read fast, but they must also understand what they have read. Crosschecking is a way to make sure what you read makes sense. (Write this sentence on the board: The cat ran away from the dog.) If I read this sentence quickly and say 'The can ran away from the dog', I would have to use my crosschecking skills to notice that a can does not run from a dog, so the sentence does not make sense. I would then look back and say 'Oh, the cat ran away from the dog.”

4. Now have the students pair up (partners should already be assigned) and give each pair a stopwatch, a copy of the book, markers, crayons,  pencils,2 rubrics, and 2 graphs (Each child will receive a rubric and graph). Explain the directions.”I want you to read the entire book together. Then go back to the beginning. One person will be the reader and the other person will be the timer. The timer will start the stopwatch as the reader begins to read. At one minute, the timer tells the reader to stop. After the reader has finished, they should count how many words they read and record that number on the rubric then use markers and crayons to represent the number of words read on the graph. After the first reader has finished coloring the graph, switch roles with your partner. The reader will now be the timer and the timer will be the reader. Each student needs to be the reader 3 times. Make sure to record both numbers on your rubric and graph. Any questions?"

5)  For assessment, I will have each child read a passage to me in the reading center out of Arthur’s Loose Tooth the passage will contain approximately 60 words.  I will assess how fast they read by timing them and recording their time on a checklist.  After they have read the passage once, I will show them their score.  They will then be able to read the passage through two more times and try to improve their reading score.  While assessing each child, the other children can work on their repeated readings toward the goal of 85 words per minute.

Hoban, Lillian Arthur’s Loose Tooth  New York: HarperCollins. 1985

 Roehm,S.Go Speed Racer http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/roehmgf.html



Child’s Name___________________ Date________________
Book Title______________________

Read 1


Read 2







One-Minute Read Graph




Book Title________________________________




Words Read per Minute.















              Read 1              Read 2                    Read 3


Read Times

 One-Minute Read Rubric




Book Title_______________________________














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