ZooM! ZooM! ZooM!

Lauren Rockwell
Fluency Design



Fluency is a very important component of reading comprehension.  Fluency includes the ability to decode words automatically and effortlessly.  “The speed at which one hears words or decodes them definitely affects listening and reading comprehension” (Eldredge 151).  In order to comprehend a text, a reader must be able to read fast enough to hold all of the words in short-term memory by the end of the sentence.  It is very important for word-by-word readers to transform into fluent readers, so they reach the goal of reading instruction: reading comprehension. 



Bud the Sub (class set)

Class set of Educational Insights decodable books

Stopwatch with quiet beeping signal for every student pair

Chart with sentence (I like to hop and jump.)

Chart with sentence (Dad and mom went to the pet shop and got a dog.)

Fluency checklist (1 per student) (picture below)



1.Introduce the lesson to the students by explaining how important it is to read fast and fluently.  “Fast reading is going to be our goal today.  Reading fast and smoothly makes us understand what we are reading better.  Isn’t it important to understand what we read?  Today we will be working on repeated readings in partners.”  Explain that repeated reading helps us read faster. 

2.“I am going to read a sentence from the chart in two different ways.  I want you to decide which reading sounds better.  I also want you to notice which reading you understand better.”  Read the first sentence in a word-by-word slow reading.  “I l-l-l-i-i-k t-t-o-o h-h-o-o-p a-a-n-d j-j-u-u-m-m-p-p.  Now I am going to read it differently.”  Repeat passage, but model fast, fluent reading. “I like to hop and jump.  Which reading was easier to understand?  Good, the second one.  This is how we are going to practice reading today.  We are going to try to read as fast as we can.”

3.Have them practice in pairs.  “I want everyone to look at the chart on the board.  The sentence says ‘Dad and mom went to the pet shop and got a dog.’  I want you to read it to your partner and then have your partner read it to you.  After the first read, I want you to read it silently to yourself five times.  After you have read it five times, I want you to read it aloud to your partner.  Did you read it faster the second time aloud to your partner?” 

4.Model fluent and timed reading.  “I am going to show you how to read fluently.  Today, I am going to read Bud the Sub.  Do you know what a submarine is?  Well, today we are going to read about Bud who is a submarine.  Gus is the man who drives the sub.  One day they discover that another boat is in trouble because it has wrecked.  Do you think Bud and Gus can save the boat?”  After reading the book talk about fluent reading.  “Did everyone notice how I read the book smoothly and my voice went higher and lower, faster and softer, and louder and softer.” 

5.Have students get back into partners.  “You are going to take turns being the reader and the listener.  We are going to be reading Bud and the Sub.  I want you to read as many words as you can in one minute.  You will hear the stopwatch go off in one minute.  The reader will read the book three times and the listener is going to fill out the checklist after the second and third reads. If you miss a word use cover-ups and then go back and reread.  If you miss more than one word on a page you might want to choose a new book to read.  I have got a class set of books that you may choose from.”  Show students the chart with sections: remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, and read with expression.  Explain that no criticism is allowed. 

6.I will assess the students by looking at their fluency charts.  I will also monitor students’ progression during one minute reads. 

Betbeze, Meg. Reading Genie Website. “Speedy Reading.”

Eldredge, Lloyd J. Teach Decoding Why and How.  2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ.  Pearson             Merrill Prentice Hall: 2005. Page 151.  

Murray, Bruce. Reading Genie Website. “Developing Reading Fluency.”           

Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990.

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