Speed Read
Growing Independency and Fluency Lesson Design
Shelley Bennett

Rationale:  First children learn to decode words in order to read.  Reading as you decode is slow and requires effort as have to think about each word and its letters as you decode.  One cannot rely on decoding strategies and remain at this speed and level of reading always.  In order I become a skilled reader, one must begin to read fluently with speed and accuracy.  Reading must become automatic and effortless.  Fluent readers place all their focus on the meaning of the text they are reading. We will practice fluent reading by rereading.  Students will practice fluent reading by rereading.

charts to record one-minute reads (one for each child)- the chart could be a racecar that moves foward on a track as the students increases words per minute
multiple copies of James and the Good Day
fluency checklists (The checklist will include headings such as: read fast, read slow, stopped many times, or no stopping during reading.)

1. Explain to students that to become better readers we must begin to read fluency which mean reading faster, automatically, and effortlessly.  Say:  Becoming more fluent readers will make reading easier and more fun!  One way to becoming a fluent reader is by reading the same story more than once and each time getting faster because you are more familiar with the book.  Another way of saying this is rereading.  Today we are going to read a book and then reread a book with better fluency.  First letâs review how you can figure out a word own your own that you are stuck on.  First use cover-ups: for example, if you wanted to figure out the word fast, first you would cover up everything but the vowel, a. The a makes the /a/ sound.  Then uncover the first letter, f.  The f makes the /f/ sound.  Now combine the sounds.  Next uncover the second to last letter, s.  The s makes the /s/ sound.  Next uncover the last letter, t.  The t makes the /t/ sound.  Combine all the sounds, fast.  Also remember to crosscheck.  If you stuck read the rest of the sentence to see what would make sense.
2. Demonstrate to students what reading fluently is compared to reading without fluency.  Say:  I am going to read the same sentence twice (write the sentence on the board). The first time without fluency. A    b-u-g   s-a-t   o-n   a   l-o-g.  Notice that I read very slowly and it is harder to get the meaning of the sentence when the words are choppy and do not flow.  Now listen to me read fluently.  A bug sat on the log.  It is easier to understand the meaning of the sentence when the sentence flows and is read faster.  This is what I want you to do as you read your story today. Practice reading faster with fluency while understanding the meaning of the story.
3.  Say: The book we will be reading today is James and the Good Day.    Give a booktalk:  James wakes up early in the morning.  He thinks it will be a good day, because he wants to sail his tug in the bathtub.  He starts running the water in his tub and forgets about it while he goes to play.  What happens to the water in the tub?
4. Handout a copy of the book to each student.  Have the students read the story quietly to themselves first. If students finish early they can reread the story.
5. After reading discuss the story.  Ask questions to check for students understanding of what they read.  Allow students to reflect and make comments.
6. Divide the students into partners.  Have each partner read the story to his/her partner all that way through one time.  Next have the partners take turns reading to each other while the one listening fills out a fluency checklist on the student reading.  Then they will switch and the other will read. Before beginning partner work go over how to fill out the fluency checklist with the class.  The checklist will include headings such as read fast, read slow, stopped many times, or no stopping during reading, ect...  The students will have to make a check under the headings that apply.
7. Assess the students by having them individually come to teacherâs desk and have the students read the book to you as you do a one-minute read.  Record each studentâs time and chart his or her times on a graph.  As you test students have the other students read a new book that you will reread tomorrow.

Darby Wallingsford.  Gaining Fluency:  Speedy, Speedy Students Reading Fast.   http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/wallingfordgf.html.

James and the Good Day.  Educational Insights:  Carson, CA.1990.

Return to Discoveries