Fancy Fluency

Growing Independency and Fluency

Carmen Harper

Rationale: It is very important that students learn to read fluently. Fluency is the ability to read accurately, automatically and clearly.  The goal of this lesson is to teach students to read fluently using timed, repeated reading. By gaining fluency, children are able to concentrate on the meaning of the text, instead of decoding words.


 Copy of Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes for each student

Stopwatch for each pair


Speed reading record time sheet for each student

Reading evaluation sheet


1.     Explain the purpose of the lesson to the students. Say: "Today we are going to learn how to be more fluent readers. Fluent readers read rapidly and correctly. Reading rapidly means to read fast and smooth.  We don't want our reading to sound choppy. Fluency is important to understand the meaning of a book. This way, you aren't distracted on figuring out what word the letters make, and you can focus on the meaning of those words. Remember to not get discouraged if you come to a word you don't know! We all do that. Remember to use the cross- checking technique by skipping the word and reading to the end of the sentence to figure out the word before giving up.

2.     In order to model fluency for the children, write a sentence on the board, such as Fancy Nancy eats fancy iced cupcakes. Say: "Alright boys and girls, first I am going to read this sentence without fluency. Listen to how choppy and unsmooth it sounds, and how it is read with no expression. F-a-n-c-y/N-a-n-c-y/e-a-t-s/f-a-n-c-y/i-c-e-d/c-u-p-c-a-k-e-s. Is this a good way to read the sentence? No, it's not! Listen to how I read the sentence this time. Fancy--Nancy---eats--fancy--iced--cupcakes. That time it was better, but was it as smooth as we want it? That's right! It wasn't! Now listen as I read the sentence again. Fancy Nancy eats fancy iced cupcakes. How did that sound? That's right! It sounded smooth and un-choppy. I made my sentence flow, I read it pretty quickly, and you could understand me easily. That is how a fluent reader reads a sentence, which is what we are going to practice today!

3.     Say: "Now we are going to read a book called Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes. We are going to practice our fluency while we read this book. It is time to get ready for the school bake sale, and Nancy is so excited. Nancy gets her moms help, and remembers to follow each of her mom's directions for making delectable cupcakes…except for one! What did she forget? What happened? We'll have to read to find out! First, I am going to read this story first for you, and I want you to notice how I read fluently. Everyone get their listening ears on! (Teacher reads book to class, modeling fluency).

4.     Instruct the students to read the book to themselves, practicing their fluency. Walk around the classroom, observing each child reading.

5.     Say: "Now that you have heard me read this book fluently, it's your turn.  You are going to practice reading fluently with your reading partner. You have a stopwatch and a book on your desks (passed out to the class beforehand).  One of you will be the reader, and the other will be the timer. Then, you will switch jobs. When it is your turn, I want to you read as fluently as you can. Remember, fluent reading means reading smoothly, and non-choppy. I want each of you to read to page 15. When your partner gets that far, stop the stopwatch. Write that number in your progress chart I have put on each of your desks, labeled "Speed Reading Progress Sheet". Remember to fill out your partner's chart of fluency, marking what you noticed about his/her reading. Keep switching back and forth, reading for a minute each, until I tell you that time is up. Remember to try your very best to read fluently, and if you have any questions, raise your hand.

6.     While the students are reading, walk around the room to make sure everyone is on task, and to make sure each student is timing each other. Also make sure everyone is able to use the timers properly.

7.     After everyone has completed their reading, instruct the students to read the book to themselves, practicing their fluency. Walk around the classroom, observing each child reading.

8.     Assessment: To assess the students' ability to read with fluency, the teacher will individually access each student. She will meet with each student individually and look over the progress sheets and fluency timings that have been recorded during partner reading. She will also assess their comprehension of the story by asking them simple questions about the story such as, "Why did Nancy have to make cupcakes?" "What did she forget?" "What happened at the end of the story?"If there is concern about a student's ability to read fluently, the teacher will assess the student herself using Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes herself. She will give additional help if needed.



Murray, Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.



O'Connor, Jane. Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes.  HarperCollins. 2010.

Even Little Red Hens Read, by Kate DeGuenther

Fast and Fluent Reading is Fun, by Mery McMillan


Speed Reading Progress Sheet:


Name: _______________________    Partner's Name: ___________________

 How many words read:

1st Read:

2nd Read:

3rd Read:



Chart of Fluency:


Name:_____________________           Partner's Name: ____________________

My Partner: ( Put x's under time)

                                                            After 2nd time:                                After 3rd time:

Read Faster:


Read more smoothly:     


Read with expression:


Read the most words:


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