Pathway to Fluent Reading!
Growing Independence and fluency in Reading
Alison Ward

In order for children to be able to put more resources into comprehension, they must first become more fluent readers.  Without learning all the skills needed for decoding, comprehension can become very difficult.  Fluency must be achieved, but only after the major correspondences have been mastered.  Through repeated readings, children can become more fluent, and will begin to grasp the content of the story easier, their site vocabulary will increase, and their reading speed will also increase.

Horrible Harry in Room 2B by Suzy Kline (Multiple copies), butcher paper with a school bus at one end, di-cut girls and boys with magnets or tape on back (for however many kids you have), stopwatches.

1 I will read some of Horrible Harry in Room 2B by Suzy Kline.  I will model how the students are not to read by making my sentences choppy, and sounding out words.  I will then ask the students, "Did you enjoy listening to me read this book?" (The answer should be 'no'.)  Did I make this sound like an interesting book?  No, I didn't.  I guess I need to learn how to read more fluently.  Can anyone tell me what you think fluent means?  (Wait for answers)  Fluent means that I am reading quickly and I am not trying to sound out every word I come to.  Then, when I get really good at reading fluently, I can understand the story better.  Does that sound good to you?  Plus it's a lot more fun when you can read faster.

2 "Now, I am going to show you how to read more fluently.  What does fluent mean again?  (Wait for answer).  Good job!  So, I am going to read without sounding out all the words, and let's see if it is more fun to listen to."  I will read the first chapter and assess the situation for behavior problems and such before moving on to the second chapter.  "Well, wasn't that much more pleasant?  I thought so.  That is how I want each one of you to try to read each time you pick up a book."

3 I will tell the children what the paper on the board is for.  "Do you see this paper behind me?  Well, we are going to use it to show how much faster you are getting in your reading.  Each one of you will have a little girl or a little boy with your name on it.  We are going to get a partner reader and each group will get one copy of the book.  I will also pass out stopwatches to you.  In your group, you will have a timer and a reader.  The timer's job is to time the reader for one minute.  Can anyone tell me how long one minute is?  When you have timed the reader for 1 min. tell them to stop, and the reader needs to write down what page and what word they stopped on.  Now I am putting you on our honesty system, so be fair when you decide what word to write down.  You need to do this four times, then exchange jobs and do it all again.  When you have both finished, then you can bring all your times to me, and I will count them and put your name where it needs to go on the path to the school bus.  Remember, this is not a race between you and your partner; it's only to help yourself get better at reading.  If you are racing against your partner, I will know, so try your hardest to your very best."

4 I will model how to do the one-minute reads, with the class timing me.  I will read fluently, and reread the same passage every time.  "I want you to go to your seats and I will bring your stopwatch to you."  Show the students how to use the stopwatch to start and stop the timer.  Then let them begin.

5 I will count the words and place the children's names on the butcher paper where they need to go.

Assessment:  I will do one-minute reads with the children in a teacher conference, and move their names accordingly.  If some students need to drop back to learning some correspondences, I will take the time to do letterbox lessons with them.  I will discuss progress with the students individually.

Ribbit, ribbit, Leap into Speedy Reading.  Kara Oglesby, Reading Fluency Lesson.  Retrieved from Reading Genie website from Auburn University, July 18, 2003.  World Wide Web:

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