Growing Independence and Fluency

Amanda Lyle


In modeling and directing children in skills necessary to become a skillful reader, it is imperative that children understand the importance of fluency in reading. Fluency is reading with automatic word recognition thus helping to eliminate frustration and making text enjoyable for young readers. The strongest research based link in fluency is improving reading speed. In this lesson reading speed will be encouraged by modeling and practicing re-reads and cover-ups with timed reading of decodable text.


Feed Red charts for each student.

Red Gets Fed book or each student.

Cover-up with word “dog” written on board or chart to model.

Stop Watch- one for each pair to share.

Piece of paper and pencil with students name and chart to easily list number of words read.


1. “Let’s began by discussing the new correspondence we have been working on this week. I need one volunteer to remind the class of how to pronounce and represent our creaky door short vowel sound. That’s right. Our creaky door short e says eeeeeee.” (Model by actually making the open door gesture) “We are going to read a book today with the creaky door e, but first we need to discuss how we can become better readers.”
2. “Since we have been talking about being a skillful reader, I want to let you know of another important part of our reading secrets that will help make excellent readers. To be a skillful reader you must read with fluency. This would be reading quickly, without pausing, and effortlessly. This can be done by being familiar with the words and re-reading stories to become faster each time you read. Everyone whisper our new secret to being an excellent reader together…Fluency….that’s right.”
3. “How could you figure out a word that you are stuck on quickly without interrupting a sentence?” Listen to the students’ answers and respond. “I want to show you a great way that I have learned called cover-ups.” Give the students an example of using a cover-up by actually modeling figuring out a word such as dog. Show how to cover up everything but the vowel and then find each individual sounds. Remind the students that if they are stuck on a word they should cross-check by re-reading the sentence to see what makes since.
4. “I am going to read a sentence to you twice, and I want you to carefully listen to the difference in understanding the sentence I am reading.” Read aloud to the students … “I am learning secrets to become a more skillful reader.”  As the sentence is read the first time it should be read pausing to figure out individual phonemes in larger words such as s-e-cr-et-s. Re-read the same sentence for the students by reading it quickly stopping on one word to model a cover-up and then re-read the sentence for cross-checking. “ I am learning secrets to become a more skillful (ea) (r-ea) (rea-d) (read-er) oh..(reader).” “I am learning secrets to become a more skillful reader.” “Students which one of these sentences sounded the best? So in which one of these did I use my secret skillful reading tactics? That is correct; the second one.”
5. “We are going to practice our fluency skills by reading the book ‘Red Gets Fed’.” Red is a dog. Meg is the girl who owns Red. One night when Meg goes to bed, Red begs and begs. He even goes to Meg’s dad’s bed and begs. Do dogs want something when they beg? What could it be that Red wants from Meg and dad? Let’s read to find out why Red is begging.Please read the book one time silently for practice.”
6. “Now let’s get into pairs and practice our reading speed by reading smoothly without pauses or breaks. I am going to give each of the reading pairs a stop watch and a chart. Please listen carefully for instructions.” Explain to the children how to use the stop watch for a one minute read. The chart is of Red the dog and his dog dish. The words are just like the bones, however many words are read equals how many bones Red the dog was fed. At the end of each minute the students should take turns counting the number of words read and placing the dog on the same number of dog bones represented on the chart. The student’s should also list this number on a sheet of paper with the partners name on it for charting. Allow the students three one minute reads each, and remind them of the importance of reading speed in fluency.
7. Assess the students by the first and last recordings of their one –minute reads. Encourage the students to discuss their improvement on words read and how they think this improvement came about. Allow time for the class to give hypothesis and ideas on how to continue to improve reading fluency.

 Feed  Red Speed Chart

    = 10 Words

                                                                               1 st Read            2nd Read         3rd Read

                                                               __________          _________         _________

                                                     _________            _________         __________

                                       __________           _________         __________

                               __________            _________         __________

                  __________            __________         __________


Cushman, Sheila. Red Gets Fed. Educational Insights. Books 3. 1990.  (EI-6170C)

Jill Overstreet- Racy Reader

Jessica Pieplow- Speedy Reading

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