Drop Everything and Read!


                                                                  Growing Independence & Fluency                                                                     

Kelly Adams

Rationale: In order for children to become successful readers, they must be able to recognize words quickly and effortlessly. In this lesson, students will practice reading quickly by doing partnered timed readings and repeated reading. 


Copy of Just a Bully for each student                                                                                                                                                                                   

Bookmarks/cover-up critters for each student                                                                                                                                                                  

Fluency checklist for each student                                                                                                                                                                                         

Stop watches (one per two students)                                                                                                                                                                                    

White Board                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Dry erase markers


1.) Explain to students that in order for them to become fast and effortless readers, they must develop fluency. Fluency is the ability to recognize words instantly and therefore be able to read the book fast. One way to work on fluency is to participate in repeated reading (reading the same text more than once). By reading it several times, the story becomes more familiar, and it becomes simpler to read through it quickly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

2.) Let’s think back to when we learned about how to use decoding skills to help us read. What if I was reading a story and came across a word I didn’t know? Let’s say the word was dress. (Write the word dress on the white board). What could I do to figure it out? That’s right; I can use my cover-up critter to help me! (Model for students how to use cover-ups). Cover all of the letters except for e; leave it by itself. We know that the letter e makes an ehh sound. Now look at the rest of the word and let’s sound out the rest of it together. Ddddd-rrrrrr-ehhhh-sssssssss.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

3.) You all did great using cover-ups so now we’re going to learn how to practice fluent reading. I will read a sentence out loud to you, and I want you to listen very carefully to how it sounds. I will write it on the board for you so you can follow along with me as I say it. I am going to read the same sentence twice, and I want you to tell me which time it sounded better as I read it. “Babe is big, but he is tame.” “Babeeeeee isssss biggggg, butttttt heeeee isssss tameeeee.” Good; you are right by saying that it sounded best the first way I read it! The best way to improve our reading and become more fluent is to practice. You can practice repeated reading where you read the same passage several times until you can read it quickly and effortlessly.                                                                                                                                                                       

4.) Now I’m passing out to you a copy of Just a Bully. Big Brother’s parents tell him to always stick up for Little Sister. One day, a bigger kid was picking on Little Sister on the playground. Big Brother says to the bigger kid “Hey, leave my little sister alone!” Is the bully going to stop? You’ll have to read the rest to find out! After the book talk, I will explain to the students that they will be reading this story multiple times and then completing a fluency checklist for their partner. A fluency checklist makes sure that each student: remembers the words, is reading faster, reading smoother, and is reading with expression. Each one of you will turn to the person next to you and one at a time you will read the story to your partner. As your partner is reading, don’t forget to look for the following things: Does your partner remember the words? Do they read faster than the last time they read it? Do they read it smoother than the last time they read it? Are they reading it with expression? The first time your partner reads the story, do not mark anything. During their second and the third times reading the story, you will complete the chart to show where they have improved.                                                                                                                                                                          

5.) The last activity that we will be doing today is partnered reading. Your partner will time you as they listen to you read, and see how many words read correctly. You will get three chances to read through the book, and hopefully by the third time you’ll get it all right! (Words x 60/seconds)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

6.) To assess students, I will have them each timed read Just a Bully to me. I will look to see if their number of words increases, and also check if their partners recorded on their sheets correctly. The students should be showing a higher level of fluency through the partner reads and the fluency checklists.

Fluency Literacy Rubric:

Name: _____________________________ Partner's Name: _________________________

Date: _____________

I noticed that my partner… (check the circles that apply)

After 2nd                    After 3rd

  O                                     O                            Remembered more words

  O                                     O                            Read faster

  O                                     O                            Read smoother

  O                                     O                            Read with expression


Speed Record Sheet


Name: _________________________ Date: ______________________

1st time: __________     2nd time: ___________ 3rd time: ___________



 Mayer, Gina and Mercer. Just a Bully. Golden Books Publishing Company: New York, 1999. Print.

The Reading Genie. Mary Jo Blackman. “Speedy Reading.” http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/blackmongf.htm

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