Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson Design
Rationale: Fluency means reading faster, smoother, or more expressively. Improving fluency requires the direct approach which involves modeling and practice with repeated reading under time pressure and the indirect approach which involves encouraging children to read voluntarily in their free time. This lesson focuses on the direct approach with timed repeated readings.
Materials: Multiple copies of In the Big Top (Educational Insights) and of Charlie by Richard Vaughan (enough of each book for every two children) (both books should be marked with pencil after every ten words so that the children can count the words), stop watches (enough for every two children), charts with a race car driving up the race track towards the number of minutes the child or children read the story (some of the charts should go up to 75 and some up to 100, the numbers will be in the intervals of 5), tape (to hang up the race track), Velcro (attached to the race track charts at different intervals and to the race cars), personal grids for each student (see bwlow), and pencils.
1.) I will introduce the lesson by briefly explaining the importance of reading with speed and fluency: TODAY WE ARE GOING TO WORK ON MAKING OUR READING SOUND A LITTLE BETTER. LISTEN TO THE FIRST WAY I READ (I will read a couple of pages from In the Big Top like a non-fluent reader would). THAT ISN'T VERY FUN TO LISTEN TO IS IT? LET'S SEE IF THE SECOND WAY I CAN READ SOUNDS ANY BETTER (I will read the same pages with fluency and expression). WHICH WAY DID YOU LIKE BETTER? ME TOO, THE SECOND WAY! WELL, IT TAKES A LOT OF PRACTICE TO LEARN HOW TO READ LIKE THAT. ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO WORK ON THIS IS TO GET OUR READING FASTER AND FASTER. THEN IT IS EASY TO ADD EXCITEMENT TO OUR READING BECAUSE IT ISN'T AS HARD TO READ THE WORDS ANYMORE! TODAY WE ARE GOING TO PRACTICE READING FASTER AND FASTER AND BECOMING A SPEADY READER!
2.) The students will have already read In the Big Top or Charlie with their reading groups depending on their reading level (In the Big Top for the lower levels and Charlie for the more advanced readers.
3.) Pair the students off homogenously so that they can share a graph and be able to use the same book.
4.) I will show the students the racecar and racetrack recorder game but not pass them out yet. HAS ANYONE EVER SEEN RACECARS OR PLAYED A RACECAR GAME? WELL TODAY EACH OF YOU WILL HAVE A RACETRACK LIKE THIS ONE WITH A RACECAR. THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL USE TO SEE IF YOU ARE GETTING FASTER. BOTH OF YOU WILL GET A TURN BUT ONE OF YOU WILL BE THE RACECAR DRIVER WHILE THE OTHER PERSON READS. THE DRIVER HAS A STOPWATCH AND NEEDS TO PRESS "START" (show the students the stopwatch and press "start" on it for them to see) WHEN THE READER BEGINS. THE STOPWATCH WILL BEEP TO LET THE READER KNOW IT IS TIME TO STOP READING! ONCE IT HAS BEEN A MINUTE AND THE READER HAS STOPPED READING, THE DRIVER HAS TO COUNT THE WORDS THAT THE READER READ. I HAVE MARKED EVERY TEN WORDS IN THE BOOKS SO WHEN YOU SEE A LINE LIKE THIS (show the students a page from one of the books) YOU CAN COUNT BY TENS. THEN ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ADD ON THE ONES FOR THE LEFTOVER WORDS. THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO AFTER YOU COUNT THE WORDS IS TO FILL IN THE FIRST BOX OF YOUR PARTNER'S CHART (hold up a personal chart for the students to see and point to the box they should write the number in) NEXT, IF YOU LOOK ON THE RACETRACK THE LINES ARE MARKED BY FIVES. THE DRIVER SHOULD PUT THE RACECAR NEXT THE SPOT CLOSEST TO NUMBER OF WORDS THE READER READ IN A MINUTE. FOR EXAMPLE, IF MY PARTNER READ 52 WORDS IN A MINUTE I WOULD PUT THE RACECAR BETWEEN THE FIFTY LINE AND THE FIFTYFIVE LINE (show students on a racetrack) I KNOW THIS SOUNDS LIKE A LOT SO WHY DON'T YOU WATCH ME DO IT FIRST. DOES ANYONE WANT TO HELP ME? (Choose a volunteer and show the students how the 1-minute read works with In the Big Top making sure to fill in the personal chart and putting the racecar on the track) DOES EVERYONE UNDERSTAND? I WANT EACH PERSON TO READ FOUR TIMES. THAT MEANS YOU HAVE FOUR TRIES TO GET BETTER AND GET YOUR RACECAR FARTHER!
5.) Pass out appropriate books to each pair along with two personal reading charts and a racetrack chart with a racecar that is appropriate to the pair's reading level.
6.) The students will read their book four times while their partner graphs their progress on the racetrack chart. I will walk around and help students who are having trouble and encourage students as they chart their progress.
7.) Once everyone has finished reading four times I will ask the students to be sure their names, the date, and the title of the book they read are on their personal charts and then ask them to turn them in to me.
8.) For assessment, I will evaluate each child's reading speed from the beginning of the fluency lesson to the end, to see speed improvement.
www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/cdavisgf.html (Christie Davis-Racing to Read).
In the Big Top. Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Educational Insights.
Vaughan, Richard. Charlie. New
Zealand, Scholastic, 1990. 24.
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