Fast, Faster, Fastest with Fluency!

Growing Independency and Fluency

Caroline Perry


I. Rationale: Students must learn to read fluently in order to understand text. Students must be able to decode, but do it fluently otherwise the message is blurred. Fluent readers can read and recognize words quickly, automatically, and effortlessly. Through repeated readings, students will improve their fluency and comprehend the meaning of the text. Students need to become skilled readers by reading fluently with speed and accuracy.

II. Materials: fluency checklist (checklist with: read faster, read smoother, remembered more words, read with expression, and a spot for the time), Henry and Mudge: The First Book (multiple copies for paired reading), timer, graph to chart their improving reading time, cover up

III. Procedures:

1. Explain: "In order to become great readers, we need to be able to read fluently. Fluency is when we read words quicker, automatically, and effortlessly. We can practice fluency by reading a book more than once so we become familiar with it. Today we're going to read Henry and Mudge: The First Book and then we're going to read it a couple times again. "

Model: "Let's practice how we would figure out a word we don't know. We could use the cover up. If we came to the sentence "My meal went crunch" and we didn't know the word crunch, we would start by finishing the sentence and seeing if it made sense. Hm, my meal went /c//r//U//n//c//h/. Oh! A meal can go crunch! That sentence says, "My meal went crunch!"

2. "I'm going to show you how a fluent reader sounds compared to a non-fluent reader. Let's look at this sentence (written on the board) Ben is in the pen. If I wasn't a fluent reader, I would read like this:        /B/ /e/ /n/   /i/ /s/    /i/ /n/   the /p/ /e/ /n/. I read that so slow and so spaced out, I'm not even sure what I read! The message was harder to understand because it was so spread out. Now listen to the difference when I read it fluently. Ben is in the pen. I understood what I was reading and got the message because my words flowed together. We need to read fluently, so we can read faster and get the meaning of the text."

3. "Today we're reading Henry and Mudge: The First Book, but we're only reading the first two chapters. This book is about a boy named Henry who doesn't have any brothers or sisters and lives on a street with no kids. He really wants a friend and his parents finally say yes to a dog! But Henry is very particular about what kind of dog he wants. You'll have to read to see what kind of dog he gets!"

4. Give a copy of the text to each child. "Now I want you to read the first two chapters to yourself, then we're going to talk about it." After the children are done reading, ask comprehension questions, like "what kind of dog did Henry not want?" "what kind of dog did Henry want?" "What did Henry's parents say when he asked them for brothers or sisters?" "Did Henry's street have any kids on it?" "Why did Henry want a dog?"

5. Assess: After you've discussed the book as a class, get the kids to partner up. I would use one of the attached checklists, depending on the age of the class. Have one child read the book out loud, while the other child times him/her. Then get them to switch. After reading, get the children to talk to each other about what happened. Then have one child read the book out loud, while the other child checks the checklist (read faster, read smoother, remembered more words, read with expression). Then get them to switch. Repeat these steps once more (so that there are 2 timed readings and 2 checklist readings per child).

6. Get the children to bring you their score sheets after the repeated readings are done. Graph each individual child's speed so they can hopefully see their improvement as time goes on. If a child did not do well on their checklist, bring them back for a one-on-one reading. Graph would be in students folder so if they aren't super fast, they aren't embarrassed with it being on the wall for the class to see. Also this allows for the parent to see it.

IV. Resources:

Anderson, Katie. We Need Speed!

Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge: The First Book. Scholastic, Inc. 2003.


Return to Doorways Index