Ready?  Let’s Read!!

Growing Independence and Fluency
  Wendy Robinson

Rationale:  Children learn sight words by decoding them.  Decoding, however,  begins to get in the way of fluency because readers have to think about each word and its letters as they read.  As they begin to get more practice, fluency eventually leads the way for children to become successful readers.  Fluency is the ability to read words fast, automatically, and effortlessly.  Once children can read effortlessly and fluently, they can focus more on what the text means.  This lesson will help children to increase their fluency by rereading texts and becoming more familiar with it.  Children will learn what it is and is not to be a fluent reader and they will have opportunities to practice reading fluently.  Students will practice in activities that will aide in strengthening their ability to read fluently.

Materials:  Chalk and chalkboard, Class set of Lee and the Team.  Educational Insights.  Cushman, Sheila. 1990, Fluency checklist (see below) for each student (Content:  on the second and third time my partner:  remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, read slowly, stopped many times, and did not stop at all during reading), Progress chart (see below) for each student (This chart will list the date, book read, and how many words per minute the child read in one minute), and a stopwatch.

Introduce the lesson by saying, “In order to become a successful reader, you must be able to read fluently.  Fluency is when you are able to read fast without stopping to sound out each word.  You recognize the words automatically and you read them with little or no effort.  Once you become fluent readers, the text will begin to make more sense because you do not have to try so hard to read each word.  One way that we can work on fluency is by reading a text more than once.  Each time you read the text, you get faster because you are becoming more familiar with the text.  Today we are gong to practice fluency by reading a text more than once and seeing how much we can improve.”

“First, let us review the steps that we take if we are not able to read a word.  The first thing that you do is the cover-up method.  Remember when we went over this?  Let’s use the word dish to practice.  Fist we would cover everything except for the vowel i.  The i makes the /i/ sound.  Next, we would uncover the d  which makes the /d/ sound and say /di/.  Now, what is it called when two letter make one sound?  Right a digraph.  So we would then uncover the sh that makes the /sh/ sound and put the word together to get dish.”  Lastly, we would read a sentence with the word dish to see if it made sense.  “Now that we have done our review, let’s move on.”

Demonstrate reading a sentence with fluency and without fluency.  “I am going to write a sentence on the board and I am going to show you how to read it fluently and how to read it without fluency.”  (Write on the board, I had fun at the zoo)  Teacher reads it   I   h-a-d   f-u-n   a-t   t-he  z-oo.  “Could anyone understand what I just read?  Not very well right?  Now I am going to read it again.  I had fun at the zoo.  Now does it make sense?  It did because I did not have to spend so much time on each word.  This is what we are going to be working on today, reading so that the words begin to flow together.”

“Now, we are going to do some practice.”  Pass out class set of Lee and the Team.  “This book is called Lee and the Team.  Lee is a boy who plays baseball.  He and his teammates are late for a game but nobody will listen to Lee when he says that they need to hurry up.  Will Lee’s team show up late to the game and have to forfeit or will they make it on time?  You’ll have to read the story to find out. We are going to read this several times, so go ahead and read once to yourself.  When you finish, go ahead and start reading it again.  Remember to use cover-ups and crosschecking.”  After students finish reading the story, ask if there are any questions about the book.  Next, pair each student up with a reading partner.


Explain how to fill out the fluency checklist for a partner.  The checklist includes (on the second and third time my partner:  remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, read slowly, stopped many times, and did not stop at all during reading).  The students will begin reading with their partners.  Each person will read through the story once.  On the second and third reading, their partner will check all that apply to the readings.  The partners will then switch tasks.

For assessment, each student will come to my desk and read the book aloud.  They will bring with them their checklists.  I will do a one-minute reading with the student assessing his/her fluency.  I will have a progress chart for each student, and I will mark the progress from the one-minute reading.  Each time that a fluency test is done, the progress will be charted.  The charts will be posted in the classroom.

Fluency Checklist


I noticed that my partner..........



After 2nd Reading            After 3rd Reading   

                                Remembered more words                  

                                Read faster                                                            

                                Read smoother                                    

                                Read slowly                                                         

                                Stopped many times                                  

                                Did not stop at all                                      

                            Progress Chart                                                 Child’s Name______________________



































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Gainor, Brandi.  Go Speed Racer!!


Bright, Amy.  Home Run Reader


Pettus, Kasey.  Ready Set Read




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