Blast off into Reading!

Growing Independence & Fluency

By: Kelsey Pugh

Rationale: In order for children to become expert readers, they must read fluently. To be fluent children must learn to read faster, smoother, and with more expression. Children should learn to recognize words effortlessly and also be able to decode instantly. This allows children to comprehend easier and enjoy their reading. This lesson will help students understand reading with speed and fluency by providing them with the opportunity to assess and record their reading progress and then have a partner record their readings. The goal is of this lesson is develop reading fluency through reading and rereading as well as timed readings.



-Set of Fun in the Hills books for the class


-Partner repeated reading checklist

-Reading timesheet

-Rocket ship and poster board with the planets



1. Start the lesson by explaining to the students what fluency is and why it is important to reading. "Today class, our goal for reading is going to be fluency. Fluency is the ability to read words quickly, smoothly, and with expression. Fluency is a sign of automaticity, which means that the words just jump off the page at you and you don't have to figure them out by breaking the word down. When you read fluently, it should sound almost like you are talking with another person rather than reading. Fluency is important because it will make reading more fun for you and your partner because you will be able to understand the meaning of the story better and it will sound more pleasing

2. "When you are working on your fluency, it is very important to go back and re-read words until you make the sentence flow together like a sentence you would normally say to a friend in conversation. Doing this is a strategy called cross checking. As you already know, we use cross checking whenever we come across an unfamiliar word. Check one cue with another. Ask yourself, does this word look right, sound right, and make sense? We can also use cross checking to work on our fluency because the more times we read a word, the easier it is for us to read because it becomes automatic."

3. Next I will use modeling to help the students understand the concepts.  "Sometimes when you read a book, you will come across new words. Have you ever noticed that you read slower when this happens? I'll show you how to help fix this." Read a selection of the book. Make sure to read the sentences in book as a child would, slow and struggling without intonation "T-t-e-e-d-d s-s-s-a-a-t-t on the l-l-o-g-g  b-b-y  S-a-a-m-m. Class, did you see how hard it was for me to read those unfamiliar words on the first try? It was hard for me to read and it didn't sound very smooth did it? Since it was so hard the first time, I am going to try reading it again. Ted s-a-a-t on the l-o-o-g by S-a-a-m. Wow, that time I was able to read it faster because I started to recognize the unfamiliar words. I am going to read it to try to read without any pauses this time. "Ted sat on the log by Sam." That time I read it smoothly, but I still didn't use much expression. Let me try it one more time and use expression. Reread with expression. "The more times I read the sentence, the better I got at reading it. This is how we read fluently.

4. Next pass out Fun in the Hills books and timers. Booktalk: "Sam and Ted are off on a hike when they find a cabin in the woods. When they go in and explore, they soon find this is not a deserted cabin. What do you think is in the deserted cabin? You will have to read to find out." Allow the children to read Fun in the Hills independently.

5. After everyone finishes reading the book independently, explain to them that they will read the book three times and record their time each time they read. They need to write their time on the sheet. Explain the directions about how to move the rocket ship on the poster of space. Tell them that after they have finished they can move their rocket ship to the planet that corresponds with the number of how fast they read.

6.  The next step in this is that the students pair up and pass out the Partner Reading Checklist. Explain that one partner will listen and fill out the check list while the other partner reads. Then they will switch. Make sure to explain to them that they put check marks if their partner remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, and with expression after the 2nd and 3rd reading. Then tell them to start reading!

7.  Assessments: The teacher needs to be walking around and observing the reading throughout the lesson. At the end she will collect and evaluate the self reading worksheets and the partner reading worksheets. Also she will look at the ships on the board and see where the students are.

Partner Reading Checklist

 Name: ___________________        My partner's name: _____________

When my partner read, he/she:

                                                After 2nd reading   After 3rd reading

Remembered more words        ________             ________

Read faster                              ________            ________

          Read smoother                        ________            ________

          Read with expression               ________             ________

Reading Time Sheet

 Name: __________________          Date: ________________


     After 1st read: _________

     After 2nd read: _________

          After 3rd read: _________


Moulton, Catherine Anne. " Climbing up fluency Mountain"


Greer Montgomery. Read fast to Win the Race.


Sims, Matt. Fun in the Hills. 2002, High Nook Books.

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