Blast Off to Better Reading!


By: Lauren Meredith

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale: Fluency is the ability to recognize words automatically while reading. Through the development of fluency, students will be able to read faster, smoother, more expressively, and silently. Reading practice and modeling for the students is important in developing fluency that not only helps students become better readers but enjoy reading. Students will become more fluent through timed readings and repeated readings.

Materials: white board, markers, cover up critters, fluency sheet, Days with Frog and Toad, minute time for each group, fluency checklist


1.    Explain to students how important it is to be fluent readers. "Today class we are going to talk about what it means to be a fluent reader. Being fluent means that you are able to read words effortlessly and accurately. It is important to be a fluent reader because it makes the story as a whole easier to understand. Being fluent doesn't mean you read as fast as you can, it means you read words accurately and with expression. One way to practice becoming a fluent reader is to read a story over and over again."

2.    "If we come to a word we don't know one thing that could help us is our cover up critter. I'm going to pass out your cover up critters and we are going to practice using them." Write the word grab on the board. "Let's take this word for instance. If we don't know what this word is we can use our cover up critters to help us decode the word. First we cover up everything except the a. It is by itself with no other vowels so we know it will make the short a sound." Model for the students how the short a sounds. a = /a/ "Next we cover up everything except the first letter. The g makes the /g/ sound /ggggg/. Then we uncover the r also. The r makes the /r/ sound /rrrr/. So we have /g/ /r/. /Ggggrrrr/ and we know the a is the short a so we have /aaaa/, /gggrrraaa/. Then we uncover the final letter, b. The b makes the /bbbb/ sound. We put it with the rest of the word and sound it out as /gg-rr-aa-bb/. Grab. The word is grab. The cover up strategy is very useful when we come across a word that we don't know."

3.    "As fluent readers we need to read with accuracy. Just because you can read quickly doesn't make you a good reader. You need to be able to comprehend what you read." Write the sentence 'Auburn football is the best!" on the board. "If I read this sentence like 'Auburnfootballisthebest!" would that be an example of being a good reader? It sounds like one long word because I read it too quickly. Reading like that may cause us not to understand what we are reading. When reading the sentence on the board we need to be sure to pause between words so we understand what we are reading." Model for the students how to correctly read the sentence with good fluency. "We can also use cross checking. What if I read this sentence as 'Auburn football is the beast!'? I can think, that doesn't sound right maybe I should go back and read that sentence and make sure. So I go back and I reread the sentence and I see that the word is actually best instead of beast. Oh so it says "Auburn football is the best!"

4.    Have the student's pair off and give each of them a fluency sheet. Each pair will have a copy of the book Days with Frog and Toad. Give a book talk. "Frog and Toad are very good friends and they like to do fun things together. Sometimes Frog and Toad get into some mischief while they are having fun. I want you to read the book to find out what kind of mischief and fun things Frog and Toad do together. I am going to give each group a timer so you can each time your partner on how long it takes you to read the passage. You will also have a checklist and I want you to be sure you are examining your partners reading using your checklist. Each of you will read the passage three times. Each time you read, your partner needs to note how many words you read within that one minute time frame. During the first reading the recorder just listens. On the second and third reading the recorder notes the improvements that the reader made. Once the reader has read the book three times then the reader and recorder swap places.


Assessment: For assessment I will first look at how their partner rated them on their fluency reading. I will discuss the results with them and ask if they agree. I will also do a reading fluency check with each student using the book Pig in a Bag. I will discuss with each student some of their strengths while reading and what they may need to work on. I will also ask the child questions concerning the book to make sure they are understanding what they are reading.

Long, Ali. Reading Fast is a Blast!

Moulton, Catherine Anne. Climbing up Fluency Mountain.

Olk, Katie. Hopping into Fluent Reading.

Murray, Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.

Murray, Geri. Pig in a Bag.

Lobel, Arnold.  Days with Frog and Toad.  Harper Collins Children's Books, 1984.





One Minute Read Chart


Name: ______________________                                                    Date:__________________


1st minute:   __________


2nd minute:  __________


3rd minute:  __________


Fluency Rubric


Reader: ________________            Listener: _________________              Date: ______________


I noticed that my partner: (Put an X in the blank if it applies)

                                                   After 2nd       After 3rd


Read Faster                                    _______       _______


Read Smoother                             _______       _______     


Read with Expression                   _______       _______


Remembered More Words         _______        _______



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