Zooming into Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency

Kayla Jones

Rationale: Fluency is the ability to recognize words automatically while reading. To be a fluent reader is a very important skill to have. As students develop the skill of fluency, they will be able to read smoother, faster, and with expression. Modeling how to read and having the students practice reading are the best ways to have students develop fluency.


1. Student copies of The Cat and the Hat By Dr. Seuss

       2. One minute timer for teacher

       3. Speed Reading Time Sheet per student

Speed Reading Record time sheet:

Your Name:                                 Partner Name:


After 1st read______

After 2nd Read ______

After 3rd Read_______

       4. Peered reading check sheet for each student

I noticed my partner . . .

                                                                After 2nd                        After 3rd Reading

Remembered more words              ____                                      _____

Read faster                                             ____                                      _____

Read smoother                                     ____                                      _____

Read with expression                        ____                                      _____

       5. Cover-up critter per student


1.       First the teacher should introduce today's lesson by saying "We are going to be learning how to become better fluent readers today".  Teacher should tell the students that fluent readers read with expression to make the story more interesting. Don't get discouraged if you do not know how to read a word, you can use your cover-up critters to help you to read the word.

2.       Write the sentence "Dick and Sally cannot go outside to play today" on the classroom board. Say," I am going to read this sentence, and because it is my first time to read it, I may make some mistakes and it may take time to fix them". Teacher should read the sentence slowly, making some mistakes, and not using any expression. Ask class," Was that the correct way to read a sentence?" Class responds NO! Ask them what you could do to make it better next time you read it. Let just a few students answer.  "Now that I know the words, I can read it faster". Teacher should reread the sentence more accurately, more smoothly and with some expression. Ask class, "Was the way I read the sentence better that time" "YES!" Now teacher should say, "I am going to try again and make it smoother and add expression." Read the sentence for a third time and ask students which sentence was the best way to read a sentence. They should respond with "The third Sentence". Have students do the same activity with their partner on  "The cat and the hat had a lot of games to play", and "The fish did not ejoy the cat and the hat's company."

3.       Say, "Now we are going to read a book called, The Cat and the Hat. (The teacher should present an interesting book talk so that the students are more interested in reading the book.)This book is about two little children, Sally and Dick. Their mother leaves them at their house while she runs some errands. It is cold and wet and the children have nothing to do until The Cat and the Hat shows up to keep them company.  The Cat and the hat is very fun but he is trouble and he messes up there house. Will Dick and Sally get the house cleaned before their mother comes home? We will have to read and find out what happened! (The teacher will first read the book aloud to model fluent reading and to get the students more familiar with the words in the book.)

4.       After the teacher has finished reading the book aloud, the teacher will say, "Now I want you to find one partner to read The Cat and the Hat with. I will pass out peered reading check sheet and a speed reading time sheet. Each of you will take turns being the reader and the recorder. Please make sure that you and your partner's names are on the sheets". Ask the class if they understand the directions.

5.       Say, " I want to you decide who is going to be the recorder or the reader for the first round. The reader will read The Cat and the Hat for one minute.  Have students write down the number of words and how long the student took to read. The reader must stop reading and point to the word that they stop on. The recorder is responsible for counting the words the reader read during that one minute.  Next, the reader will start back at the beginning of the story and re-read the story. The reader should reread the story a total of three times. Remember to try to read more accurately, smoothly, and with more expression to become a more fluent reader. Does everyone understand all the directions?" If there are no questions, say "Ready, Set, Go" and start the timer. (After the reader has read three times, the partners will swap roles, making the reader the recorder, and recorder the reader. Students will do the exact same thing over again with their new role; Instructions may need to be repeated. )

6.       After the students have read and recorder three times each, the teacher will have them look at their Speed Reading Time Sheet and their Peered reading check sheet. Teacher should now ask questions to draw students attention to their sheets, such as did you read more each time? Now the partners should talk about how they did on each time. Also they should look at the peered reading checklist and see what their partner marked was better each time. Ask students if they would like to share the progress they have made during this exercise. Give the students positive feedback. " I am so proud to hear that many of you are reading more smoothly, accurately, and with expression. These three things will help you become a better fluent reader!

Assessment:  Teacher will collect all of the Speed Reading Time Sheet and their Peered reading check sheet. After reviewing them, the teacher should come to the conclusion that the students read smoother, more accurately, and with more expression thru each trail. If any of the students did not have evidence of growing in these areas, teacher should have student do the same test with her to make sure they are building fluency.




Murray Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

McMillan,Mery. "Fast and Fluent Reading is Fun"(from Reading Genie Webpage) http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/mcmillangf.htm

Book: The Cat and the Hat by Dr. Seuss Publication: Random House 1985

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