Let’s Become Fast, Smooth, and Expressive Readers!

Growing Independence and Fluency

By, Brittany Gleason


Rationale: Fluency is being able to read with automatic word recognition. Children also need to learn how to read faster, smoother, silently, voluntarily, and with expression. Reading becomes much more enjoyable for students when they can read fluently. When students learn how to decode it enables them to improve sight recognition. To gain sight vocabulary, students must read and reread an instructional level text. The more students read the more fluent they will become. This lesson will allow students to practice their vowel words, hear a model of how to read fluently and then practice their own fluency by reading and rereading.


Copy of the book “Chewy Louie” for each pair of students

Poster with vowel words on it


Speed read sheet (one copy for each student)

Fluent reader rubric (one for each student)


I will introduce this lesson by telling students, “In order to become a skilled reader we must learn how to become fluent. Being fluent means reading quickly, smoothly, and with much expression. The more fluent you become the more enjoyable reading will be.”

To start off the lesson I want to review what strategies we use when tackling a new word.  We will review crosschecking and using cover-ups.

I will now read the following sentence to give an example of non -fluent reading: ‘My namEEEE isssss uhhhhh Ms.Gleason and I live in Auburn, Alabammmmma. I… I… I… love to go to football gamies. War (pause for a second) Eagle’ I will then tell the students that was an example of non fluent reading. I will then say the same sentence fluently. I will tell the students that this time I am going to read fast, smooth, and with expression which is how we should all strive to read. “My name is Ms.Gleason and I live in Auburn, Alabama. I love to go to football games. War Eagle!”

Now that the students have reviewed vowels and identified the correct way to read fluently I am going to have them split them into pairs and hand out the book Chewy Louie (I will have predetermined the pairs so that one partner is at a higher reading level than the other). I will then pass out a speed read sheet for each child. Before the students begin to read I will give them a book talk Although he’s cute, Chewy Louie is always hungry. He eats a boy’s trains and even starts to eat his family’s back porch! What do you think will happen to Louie!?” Ok boys and girls, you will each take turns reading the book to your partner.  While one person reads, the other will count how many words are read.  I will be timing you for one minute.  Once we have all read, then we will record out results on each chart. We will do this process three times so that that each partner has the opportunity to re read the book. Practice makes perfect!”

For assessment, I will hand out fluency rubric to each student. I will then assign different partners to the students and have them read the same story to each other.  I will tell the students to “listen carefully as your partner reads and rate them according to the rubric. When you use the rubric you will put your name and the evaluators name, you will then circle how fast they read, if their reading was smooth, and if they were expressive while reading.  The results on this rubric will show the students how they have progressed in their fluency. I will also assess student on their comprehension by having a discussion on the book following all of the activities.


Chewy Louie by, Howie Schneider. 2000, Howie Schneider.

Speed read sheet:

Speed Read Sheet
Name of reader: ____________
Name of partner: ____________
# of words read 1st time: ____________
# of words read 2nd time: ____________
# of words read 3rd time: ____________

Fluency rubric:


Readers name_______________________Evaluator ____________________

Circle one:

Fast reading: Ok   good   great

Smooth reading: Ok   good   great

Expressive reading: Ok   good   great

Return to doorways