Crosschecking Cats

Developing Fluency

by: Kim Brackin

Rationale:  For children to become successful readers it is important that they practice fluent reading.  By reading fluently children can recognize words automatically, accurately, and at a steady pace.  This is helpful because students should be spending their reading time comprehending the text rather than decoding individual words.  An important strategy that students must use is crosschecking.  By using crosschecking students can make sure that what they are reading is understood.  When students use crosschecking for understanding they are a step closer to fluent reading. 



 Book: Up the Hill by Matt Sims.  Novato, Ca: High Noon Books, c1999.  (Copies for teacher and each student),

class copies of Crosschecking worksheet

class copies of reading passage



1.  Introduce the lesson.  “Today we are going to learn about a helpful tool that will help us become good readers!  This tool is going to help us read faster and help us understand what our story is about!  When we are able to read faster we can understand what our story is all about. That can make it fun to read!!”

2. Crosschecking is an effective was for students to read unfamiliar words.  Introduce crosschecking to the students.  “Crosschecking is figuring out the correct word when we get stuck on a word or our sentence doesn’t make sense.”  Model crosschecking with a simple sentence.  “I am going to read you guys a sentence and show you how crosschecking makes it easier for me to understand.  I like to go swimming in the pole in the summertime. Wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense.  You can’t swim in a pole.  But I can swim in a pool.  Let’s try that. I like to go swimming in the pool in the summertime. Ahh! Much better! It makes sense because you can’t swim in a pole, but you definitely can in a pool.”

3. Give the students an opportunity to try. “Now, I want to try and crosscheck this sentence that I will read.  Raise your hand when you think you know which word should be in the sentence. My favorite foot is an apple.” Give class a few second to think about the sentence.  Once they give their response ask them to explain why they changed the word. 

4.  Pass out copies of short passage.  Explain this practice to the class.  “Now I want to you to follow along as I read.”  Read the passage pretending to read slowly, missing words, skipping punctuation, etc.  “Wow, that didn’t make much sense at all.  Maybe I should read it again.  This time I will crosscheck as I read.  Follow along with me.”  Re-read the passage this time crosschecking as I read.

5. Assessment Part 1: With the students more familiar with crosschecking now we can give them independent practice.  Pass out the Crosschecking worksheet (see attachment).  Do the first sentence together as a class.  “On this worksheet you are going to read the sentence.  Then you are going to cross out the incorrect word and write the correct word in the blank.  We will do the first one together.” 

6. Now, allow students to practice individual reading.  “Now, let’s practice our new skill.  Remember to crosscheck and to read fluently so that we can all become better readers! Today we are going to read Up the Hill.  It was six in the morning and Kim was not out of bed yet.  Kim got out of bed and made breakfast.  She got in her car to go meet Jan for a run.  You will have to read to find out if Jan and Kim get to go on a run." Instruct them to read on their own quietly.

7. Assessment Part 2: Have students come up one at a time and read a page aloud to you.  Check their reading for fluency, accuracy, and crosschecking. It is important that the teacher keep a running record of each students’ progress.   


Up the Hill.  Educational Insights, 1990.

Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.

The Reading Genie Website 

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Mail to : Kim Brackin