Ready, Set, READ!

Growing Independence and Fluency

by Katherine Crum


Rationale: The goal of fluency is to read with automatic word recognition. It is important for students to work towards fluency in reading because fluent readers are able to comprehend different texts better and easier because they are not completely focused on decoding and sounding out words slowly. To become fluent, readers must make all the words of text into sight words. Through practice of re-reading decodable texts, students will begin to easily read faster, read more expressively, and move their way into becoming fluent.



- a copy of "Champs" for each student

- cover up critter (popsicle stick) used to decode

- paired reading check sheet

- reading record sheet for each student

- stopwatches

- have "I really like to read, especially at school!" written on the board

- have "brush" written on the board



1.   Say: "Who in here thinks reading is fun? I do! It is so important to practice reading every day so that we can become a fluent reader! A fluent reader is someone who can read almost every word in a book! Why do you think it is important to become fluent? It's important because the better we get at reading, the easier it is to understand what we are reading! The more that you practice, the faster you'll get and the better you'll get! Everyone in here wants to be a good reader, right? Well today we are going to work on fluency!"


2.   Pass out the cover up critters and model for the students what to do if they didn't know how to read a word. Say: "Let's review some different things that we have been doing to help us while we read. Remember, most letters make different sounds! This is important to know while we sound out different letters in a word together." Write the word "brush" on the board. Say: "If I was reading a story and I came to a word that I didn't know, what would I do? Exactly, I would sound it out! Let's use the word brush as an example. I'm going to slowly try and decode it, and sound it out! Let's see here.. I know that 'b' makes the /b/ sound, and 'r' makes the /r/ sound.. so /br/ then 'u'.. in this word 'u' makes the /uh/ sound.. then 'sh'. I know what sound that makes! That makes the shhh sound! So all together that would be... brruuussh! Brush!"


3.   Say: "When we read slowly and use our critters to decode, becoming a fluent reader gets easier and easier! This is because our critters our helping us to decode each sound. The more practice we have reading and decoding, the better we will get at it! What about reading a sentence? Do you think we can do it? I do!". Model reading the sentence on the board fast. Say: "I really look to rad, special at school!". Did that sound right? Hmmm.. I don't think so! I'm going to use my critter to help me read this again. Watch as I cover up certain parts of the word. I really loo..liiikeee.. to raa..reeeaaad, spe..eeespeccially at school!. When I covered it up and sounded it out, it was a lot easier!"


4.   Pass out a copy of the decodable book "Champs" to all of the students. Say: Today you guys are going to work in pairs to work on your fluency! You're going to do this by doing something called repeated reading, and then using a checklist to help your partner! Repeating reading is how really good readers get better at reading aloud! When you read something a few times, words get a lot easier to read and easier to understand! In the book "Champs", a big game is coming up. Unfortunately, the star player has broken his leg! Oh no, what do you think they are going to do? Together, you are going to read and find out! Choose one chapter to re-read and have your partner assess you on!". Pass out the paired reading check sheet. Explain to the students that as they are listening to their partner, they need to check off what their partner did on the checklist. Say:"As you are listening to your partner, check to see if they are remembering more words each time they read? That means, are they able to read more words the second time they read than the first? Next, are they reading faster? Third, are they reading smoother? Reading smoother means that they get better and better at sounding out the different words in the story. And lastly, is your partner reading with expression? Reading with expression means that you have excitement in your voice, especially when someone is talking! The first time your partner reads the story you will not mark anything down but just listen. The second and third time they read, make sure you check on the checklist to show where they have improved!"


5.    Say: "The last activity that you guys will do to help you become more fluent readers is to time each other! Yep, you guys are each going to get a stopwatch and get to record your partner's time each time that they read. Instead of reading the first chapter again, you are now going to read the second chapter in your book "Champs". You are going to read as fluent as you can! Remember that you will need to read with expression, smoothly, and easily! Your partner will record how long it took you to read your first time, your second time, and your third time. It will be fun to see how much your reading improved without you even realizing it! To let your partner know when to read, you are going to say "Ready, Set, READ!" Start your stopwatch right when they start and stop it right when they finish!"


6.   I will do my own personal assessment of each individual child by having them come up and read a page of "Champs" with me. I will go over their checklist with them and see how their partner assessed them, and if they think they did well or not. I will also be checking to see if their expression while reading and ability to read smoothly has improved at all. I will talk through the page they read with them, asking them questions to see if they were able to comprehend what they read.


 Reading Check Sheet


Speed Reading Record:

Name:______________               Date:______________


-  After 1st read   ______

-  After 2nd read  ______

-  After 3rd read   ______




  Sims, Matt. Champs. High Noon Books, 2001.

  Blackman, Mary Jo. "Speedy Reading".



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