"Reading Fluently is Easy as One, Two, Sea!"

Christie Blomeyer


Materials: Speed record sheet (one per student), Fluency Literacy Rubric (one per student), stop watch (one per pair), dry erase board and marker, book- The Deep Sea (one per student), coverups


Rationale: By this time in reading, students should be able to decode and automatically recognize words. The next step is reading fluency. Fluency is an important step in reading because fluency leads to more automatic reading. Reading becomes effortless, leaving time and thought for reading comprehension. In order to comprehend a text, the reader must store the words in short-term memory so that the text can be connected at the end of the sentence or paragraph. It is very important for word-by-word readers to progress into automatic readers so they can reach the goal of reading instruction: comprehending text. Students will build their fluency skills through repeated readings with peer fluency checklists.



 Tools students will use when working in pairs:


I noticed that my partner:

After 2nd reading:


   Remembered more words

   Read Faster

   Read Smoother

   Read with expression


After 3rd Reading:

   Remembered more words

   Read Faster

   Read Smoother

   Read with Expression



Speed Reading Record:



Time:- First Time:     _______

- Second Time:   _______

- Third Time:   _______


-Partner Check Sheet for students to assess their partner's fluency: When I listened to my partner read:

                                                          After 2nd                       After 3rd

1. Remembered more words                            _______                       _______

2. Read faster                                           _______                       _______             3. Read smoother                               _______                       _______4. Read with expression                             _______                       _______



1.           Introduce the lesson by saying, "Now that we are all awesome at decoding, it is time we put all we have learned to work. We know that we can read the words in stories, but do we understand what we are reading? For us to better understand books, we must be fluent while reading. If we are fluent while reading we read fluently and accurately. Reading fluently means to read accurately, quickly, effortlessly, and with appropriate expression. To be fluent readers we must read a story many times so we can recognize words quickly. I know you will all show me what good readers you all are!"

2.           Review how to decode words and use the word scrunch. The cover-up method is the most effective way to accurately decode a word. Start in the center with the vowel. "If I saw this word while I was reading, I would cover up everything around the vowel", show them that you would cover up the scr and nch. "Now that I have those letters covered, I know that u = /u/. That makes the uhhh sound. Next, I would look at what comes before the vowel (remove cover-up). This makes the sc sound, so if I blend this together I have  sc= /sc/. Then I would cover up just the nch. Now, we are looking at "scru" and now we know /r/ says "rrrrr". All together so far we have /sc/ /r/ /u/ and /scru/ altogether. Then we have /n/, which says "nnn".  Then, I would look at the last cover-up and I have ch = /ch/. Put all of these sounds together and I have scrunch. Be sure to use your cover up when you come across a word that you are unsure of when you are reading."

3.           Next, I will demonstrate how fluent readers read. Write the sentence "I went to the pumpkin patch yesterday" and read it twice, the first time read it broken, "IIII/ wwwwwwent/ toooo/ theeee/ ppppumpkinnn/ ppppatchhh/  yyeestterday. Notice how that was not very smooth. I am going to try it again and try to make is smoother, 'I wentt to tithe ppumkin patchhh yesterdayyy'. Notice how my reading is becoming smoother each time. Now I will try it one more time, 'I went to the pumpkin patch yesterday. Ask the students "Did anyone notice a difference in how I read those? Which one was easier to understand?" Very good! It is easier to understand when you read with fluency.

4.           Next, I will pass out the book The Deep Sea. Have each student read the book once in whisper reading voice or in their "whisper phones" if available. Once they have read it through one time, I will draw sticks for partners, then pass out Speed Record Sheet, Fluency Literacy Rubric, and the stopwatch. Explain to the students that they will record on the speed record reading first, then the fluency one after your partner has read twice to you. Explain to the students that one student to be the reader and one to be the recorder.  The reader will read one chapter of the story (depending on which one they read the time before) and the recorder will keep track of how many times or how far their partner gets into the story. The recorder tells the reader when to begin and when to end. Each time the recorder will record how many words were read per minute. Once the reader has had two read aloud turns, the students will switch roles. (three total if you count the whisper read)

5.           Once the students have finished recording the two rereadings, have the students fill out the Fluency Literacy Sheet for their partner.

6.           The students will be assessed during reading centers by reading the first chapter of The Deep Sea aloud to me. They will be timed.



Adams, Marilyn. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Urbana, IL: Center for the Study of Reading,1990, 93

Murray, Geralyn. Powerpoint: Adams Chapter 6.


Sims, Matt. The Deep Sea. High Noon Books: Novato, California, 1999.



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