Kate McNamara

Rationale: In order to help children gain confidence and fluency in reading, there are many approaches that can be taken. You should work with a fifty to one-hundred word passage, choose a passage at the students' instructional level, and have them read this same text over and over until they have mastered it by becoming a faster reader.  It's also important for you as the teacher to emphasize the importance of re-reading as well as reading expressively and speedily. The fluency formula is this: students should read and reread decodable words in connected text. There is no room for guessing using context when students are able to decode the words.

Materials:     Vast selection of decodable books in classroom (color coded for different levels)
Books for each child at their instructional level
Butcher paper to graph children's reading results

Procedures:
1) "Let's review how to blend words that we don't recognize by sight. If I see the letters b r u s h, but I cannot read the word, I first look at the vowel sound. In this word, u says /u/. Next I go to the beginning sounds. Br says /bbbb/ /rrrrr/. If I add the vowel sound at the end, I have "bbrrrrruuuu." Finally, I look at the last sound. It is /sh/. So, now I can combine all three sounds to read "bbbbrrrruuuush." "Brush!" When you see any words you don't know today, you should use this vowel-first method to figure it out."

2) "Have you ever wanted to read your favorite books a little faster? Well today we're going to learn how to practice reading so we can get a little bit faster. When we read books faster, we can also read with more expression. We can make parts happy, sad, suspensful, or really exciting!  I would like you to go to the shelf and pick a book with the colored dot that represents your own reading level." (Teacher needs to have a book ready so he/she can model next.)

3) After students return to their seats, show them your book. "When I first picked up this book, there were some words I did not know. First, I read the book once and used the vowel-first method we talked about to figure those words out. Then, I read the book again. Do you know why? Because the more times we read a book, the easier it gets to read!"

4) "Let me show you how I read this book the first time." Out loud, read a few sentences from your selected book very slowly and use the vowel-first method to decode some words (out loud so children can hear you). Then read again a little bit faster. "Since I decoded the first time, now I know all the words so I can concentrate on reading faster." Finally, read the sentences at conversation speed. "See how I got a bit faster each time I read? That's what happens!"

5) "Now I'd like you to read the book you chose at your desk. Keep reading until I say stop. When you finish reading it once, read it again so it will get easier. Remember to use our vowel-first method!"

6) After about 10 minutes, say, "STOP!"

7) Now have students partner up and read to each other. The student who is not reading should time the other with a stopwatch and record the time it took for their partner to read. Switch accordingly. Have each student read their text two times and record both times.

8) After all students have read to a partner, say, "Now let's chart our results and see how we read just a bit faster the second time we read!"

9) "You may take your book home to read to your family. Show them how fast and how well you can read the story! Be sure to use expression so your family will enjoy the book as much as you do. I'm so proud of all of you. Isn't it fun to read books a bit faster? All it takes is reading the book a few times over and over, and you'll become speedy readers!"