Zoooom! Let's Go Go Go!

   By: Abby Hamann

Growing Independence and Fluency


Reading fluency is being able to read with automatic word recognition, which results in the ability to read text at a quick, smooth rate, and with expression. To become fluent readers, children must be able to decode words in a connected text.   Students can work on becoming fluent readers by performing repeated readings of text.  The goal of this lesson is to improve students' fluency through repeated readings, one-minute read, and timed readings.


Racecar reading progress chart each student will have a track with numbers counting by five's up the racetrack.  An illustrated car will attach to the track illustration with velcro. As the students' read, they will calculate the number of words read correctly in one minute.  Then they move the racecar up the track to the number of words read correctly.

Sentences written on chart paper.

                                     The mouse eats cheese.

                                     I like to go to the store with mom.

                                     The bee sits on the flower.

                                     Jane and Jack play with the ball.

Stopwatch for each group of students

Dry erase board and dry erase board markers

Cushman, Shelia and Kornblum, Rona. Jane and Babe. Phonics Readers. Educational Insights, 1990.

*Pencil for each student

*Speedy Reader progress chart for each student: 

Speedy Reader Progress Chart

Name:________________    Date:__________

1st time:____

2nd time:____

3rd time:____



1. Begin by explaining to students the purpose of the day's lesson. Explain the importance of being a fluent reader. "Today we are going to practice reading fluently. It is very important to improve your fluency if you want to become a good reader.  Fluency is being able to read smoothly without stopping between words.  In addition, fluent readers can read the words with little or no effort.  Once you become a fluent reader, the text you read will make more sense to you because you do not have to keep stopping while you read.  Every time you read the text, you become more familiar with it, so you also read much faster. No, we are going to work on our fluency. The way we are going to work on becoming fluent readers is by reading a book more than once, and we will be able to see how much faster we are able to read the book each time we read it!"

2. Now, I will model fluency. "I'm going to read a sentence to you like a beginning reader would. T-t-t-the d-d-d-dog c-c-c-chased t-t-t-the c-c-c-cat u-u-u-up –t-t-t-the t-t-t-tree. Did that sound fluent to you? I did not think so either. Now, I am going to read the sentence fluently. The d-d-dog ch-ch-chased the c-c-cat up the tr-tr-tree. Do you think we can read it more fluent? Me too. Let us try it again. The dog chased the cat up the tree. That sentence was a lot easier to understand. It was easier to understand because it was fluent and smooth."

3. Now, have students read practice reading example sentences that are written on chart paper. After the students read a few of the students move onto the reading the book.

Examples include:

            The bear ate the honey from the beehive.

            I like to go to the store with my mom.

            Susie helps her mom with the dirty dishes.

4. Explain the activity to the students, and do not forget to remind the students to crosscheck when they cannot read a word.  "We are going to use the book Jane and Babe to work on our fluency.  Do not forget that crosschecking is what fluent readers use to help make sense out of sentences.  If you are stuck on a word that you do not know, you can use a cover-up tool to figure out the separate parts of the word.  First, cover up every letter but the vowel, then blend the beginning of the word with the vowel, and finally blend the end.  Once you have determined how to sound out the word, you need to re-read the sentence using the word.  This is will make sure that you understand what you just read.  If you are unable to figure it out, raise your hand and I will come and help you." 

5. Now, give a Book Talk. "Babe is a lion at the zoo. He has friend named Jane. Jane helps take care of Babe. One day, Jane wants to play with Babe but he is taking a nap. How will Jane wake Babe up? Let us read the book to find out if Jane is able to wake up Babe.

6. After explaining cross checking, ask the students to sit with their reading partner. Give stopwatches to each pair of students. Explain to them that they are going to read the books to one another.  "One person is to read the book while the other student times for one minute. At the end of one-minute, place a sticky note where you stopped and go back and count the words that you read.  Then write that number on your Speedy Reader Chart worksheet.  The student then should move their racecar up the track to the number of words in the book. Keep reading the same passage in the book three times. While you are reading, I will be walking around listening to your reading and assisting with your progress charts if you need help. Practice makes perfect." There are 121 words in the book.  Before letting the students loose to do the activity, model timing and reading for one minute.

7. For an assessment, have the students turn in the paper with number of words read correctly in one minute.  There should be a steady increase in the number of words students were able to read in one minute. "Now that everyone has gotten a turn to read the story three times to practice write your name on the paper where you wrote down the number of words you read per minute."



Cushman, Shelia and Kornblum, Rona. Jane and Babe. Phonics Readers. Educational

Insights, 1990.

Fleming, Stephanie. Faster, Faster!    


Smith, Abby. Climb to Faster reading.



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