Growing Independence and Fluency


Casey Morrow



Students read slowly when they first begin to read.  They usually experience difficulty, while trying to comprehend the text, if they read slowly. In order to read faster and smoothly, the student must learn to read fluently.  A student will enjoy reading when he can decode words automatically and effortlessly.  For students to read fluently, they need to read and reread connected texts.  5-4-3-2-1 BLAST OFF TO READING! will help students read faster and more smoothly. 



Sentence strips for each student with (The dog runs down the street.) and (Sal hit Bill for loosing his ball.); record chart for each student (a space rocket going to different planets); the poem If School Were More Like Baseball and Perfect by Kenn Nesbitt, for each student; a stop watch for each group; a variety of books to practice with



1.  Explain what a beginning reader versus a fluent reader sounds like.  “Ok class today we are going to practice reading fluently.  Who knows what the word fluently means?  Right it means fast.  A good reader learns to read fast and automatically.  Listen to the difference between a beginning reader and a fluent reader.  Thhhheee dooog ruuuunnns doooowwwn thhhhe stttrrreeet. Or The dog runs down the street.  Which way sounds like how a fluent reader would read?  Right the second way.  Now that you know all of your sounds and have had a lot of practice reading, we are going to learn how to be a fluent reader.”

2. Practice with the sentence strips.  “I am going to give each of you two sentence strips with a different sentence on each one.”  I want you to get into groups of two and practice saying these two sentences over and over again.  A way to becoming a fluent reader is read and reread texts.  I want to show you how to do it.  First Michael will read.  The dog runs down the street.  Sally will read the dog runs down the street.  You will both take turns a few times and then switch to the new sentence, and do the same.  Ok now practice reading and rereading your sentences to your partner.  I will walk around and observe you working with your partner.”

3. Handout practice poem and work with partner.  “Great job on reading those sentences, you worked very well in your groups, and I heard some very good reading skills.  I am now going to hand out a poem to each one of you.  You will again work with your partner to read and reread the poem.  Along with the poem, you will get one stop watch per group.  After you have read the poem a couple of times, I want you to practice timing yourself for one minute noting how far you get each time. Do not panic if you come to a word you do not know; use cover-up.  Remember for the cover-ups we first cover everything up except the vowel and say the vowel sound.  Next we cover up everything except the letters before the vowel and say it with the vowel.  Last we cover up all of the letters except the ones after the vowel and say them.  When all is done, put all of those sounds together to help you read the word.  If the cover-ups still does not work, read on or ask your partner for help.  We will do this several times so your reading becomes smoother and more fluent.  I will be walking around to help you if you need it.  Let me show you how to do it.  John has his poem and Tom has the stopwatch.  When Tom says go, John will start reading and Tom will push the start button.  John will read the entire poem and when he is finished, tom will push stop and they will record his time.  I want you to switch with your partner and do this until I come and hand you something else. Now start on your reading.”

4.  Give the students a new poem for assessment. I will go to each group one at a time and hand them the new poem.  After giving them a few minutes to read through it I will come back and do a one minute assessment of their reading.  While a couple groups are doing this, the other groups will still be working on the first poem.  Once they finish the assessment they may go and practice the same skills with a book of their choice. “I heard some good reading as I walked around the room.  Now I am going to give you and your partner a new poem.  You are going to have a few minutes to practice reading the poem to each other a couple times.  After a few minutes, I will come to your group and time your reading for one minute, taking note of how many words your read in one minute. I will give you your own reading chart that helps you keep track of your improvement.  I will write the amount of words you read, in one minute, on the chart and move your space ship up the chart, to the different planet, as you improve and begin reading more fluently. After I finish timing your reading, you may go and get a book of your choice, to practice the fluent reading skills, while I finish with the other groups.”



I will assess the student by how well they read the poem to me in one minute.  I will also do a long term assessment with the reading chart as this would be one of many lessons with reading fluency.



Jillian Wyatt.  On your Mark. Get Set. READ!


Nesbitt, Kenn.  Perfect.  2005.  http://www.poetry4kids.com/poem-302.html


Nesbitt, Kenn.  If School Were More Like Baseball.  http://www.poetry4kids.com/poem-312.html

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