Reading Race


Jamie Self


Rationale: Fluent reading is reading in which words are recognized automatically.  With automatic word recognition, reading becomes faster, smoother, and more expressive, and students can begin to read silently, which is roughly twice as fast as oral reading. The direct approach to improving fluency involves modeling and practice with repeated reading under time pressure. In repeated reading, children continue working with each text until it is fluent. In this lesson, the students will practice fluency using repeated reading and graphing their progress on a chart.


Speed Record Sheet


Name:________________           Date:__________

          1st time:______

    2nd time:______

    3rd time:______



Fluency Literacy Rubric

Name:____________         Evaluator:____________         Date:___________

I noticed that my partner… (color in the circle)

After 2nd                         After 3rd

O                                    O                        Remembered more words

O                                    O                        Read faster

O                                    O                        Read smoother

O                                    O                        Read with expression




1. Explain to the class that today they are going to practice reading faster and smoother, which is called reading fluently.  I’ll give you an example.”  Read the first sentence of Doc in the Fog very slowly.  “How did that sound?  It was too slow and my words didn’t flow together.  Let’s see if I can’t make it sound better.”  Read it again, this time faster.  “Did that sound better?  What did I do differently?  That’s right, I read it faster.  Let’s see if I can do it even better.”  Then I will reread the sentence like a skillful reader using speed, fluency, and expression.  “That time, not only did I read it faster, but my words flowed together smoothly.  Also, did you notice how my voice went up and down as I read certain words?  That is called expression.”


2. “This is what we are going to work on today.  We are going to read the same book three times until we are more familiar with the words in the book.  When we become more familiar with a book, we are able to read it more fluently.”


3. Divide the class into groups of two.  Pass the books to each pair along with two speed record sheets and fluency literary rubrics.


4. In each pair, students take turns being the reader and the listener. Explain that after the first person has read, they will switch jobs.  Tell them that they will start at the beginning of the book and read for one minute.  Time each reading with the countdown timer.  When the timer goes off, the reader will place their finger on the last word they read.  The listener will count how many words the reader read and record the number on the speed record sheet while the reader moves their racecar to that number on the track.  The listener will check the appropriate boxes on the fluency literacy rubric.


5. Once everyone has finished reading three times and filling out the charts, I will ask the students to be sure their name and date are on their charts and then ask them to turn them in to me.



Evaluate the Speed Record Sheet and the Fluency Literary Rubric.  Compare the first and last readings.  They should have increased with each time. 


Murray, Dr. Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.


Tucker, Hannah.  Ready, Set, Go.

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