Shoot Towards Fluency


 Growing Independence and Fluency

Kristin Saltsman




Fluency is extremely important in becoming a good reader. It includes being able to read at a faster rate, reading with expression, and reading smoother. Improvement in a child’s word recognition, fluency, and comprehension can be found by repeated readings of sentences and passages (Adams, 93). The goal of the lesson is for children to be actively engaged in reading by having them reread passages, and work on becoming a fluent reader.




Set of various decodable texts that are color coded to correspond with each child’s instructional or reading level; The Red Cap by Matt Sims; stop watch for each pair of children, shooting star chart with minutes 1 through 30 recorded on the side (this should be placed in front of the classroom); shooting star cut outs (one for each child to place on the chart); recording graphs; post-it notes; pencils




1.     Start lesson by explaining how rereading and fluency are important. “Today we are going to talk about and practice a skill that will help us all to become better readers. This skill will help everyone to read faster and better understand what we are reading. This skill is called rereading. This means that you read a word, sentence, or passage more than once.”


2.     Model the steps of the rereading process and how it can help to become a more fluent reader. “I am going to read a small passage from the author Matt Sims called The Red Cap. The first thing to do is read the passage”. Read the passage, but read in a way that a non-fluent reader would read the passage. “What was different about how I read?” Allow students to answer the question. “After we first read the passage, we must read it again”. Reread the same passage, but improve fluency only a small amount. “Was there anything different about the last time that I read the passage compared to the first time?” Allow students to answer question. “The final thing we must do is read the same passage one more time.” Read the same passage once again, but this time as a fluent reader reading with expression. “Now, I want you to think for a few seconds about how each time I read was different.” Allow children think time. “Did you best understand what I was reading the first, second, or third time?” Allow children to answer. “I believe that the third or last time was the best. When you are able to read this way, you can better understand what your story is about”.


3.     “Now it is your turn to try. When I call out your table I want each of you to get your color book from our literature center. When you get your book open it to the first page and begin to read. If there is a word that you are unable to decode one word, I want you to hold up one finger. If you come to another word that is too hard to decode, get another book, because that book may be too hard.” Call each table until all the students have a book.


4.     “Now I want everyone to try it with a partner”. Place the students into pairs and hand each pair a stopwatch. “With your partner I want you to read for one minute. Your partner will be watching the stop watch to tell you when to stop. When it is time to stop, use your post-it to show where you stopped in the book”. Model to children how to place the post-its and then pass post-its out. When you have finished reading your book for one minute, I want you to reread your book two more times to where you placed your post-it. When you have finished doing this swap with your partner. Your partner will read while you time them, and then they will reread. If you have any trouble reading a word remember to use the cover-up method that we talked about last week. Let me give you an example before we start. Let’s pretend that I am reading and come to the word bath”. Write the word on the board for the students to see. “If I cover up the b and th, what sound do I have left? /a/, that is correct. Now let’s add b to the /a/. Now what do we have? /ba/, that’s correct. That’s an awesome job! Now let’s add the ending th. /b//a//th/, bath. Remember to use this method if you come to a word that you aren’t sure about”. While the students are working on their rereading and fluency, the teacher will walk around the room observing and answer any questions from the students.


5.     Assessment: After each child has read their passage a total of three times and have been timed by their partner, the students will write their time on their independent graph (children understand how to graph their times due to regular fluency practice). “Now I want each of you to read your passage to your stopping point one last time. While you read, your partner will time you and stop once you reach your stopping point. When you get your time, write it on your shooting star. Then let your partner have his or her turn. Record your time on your independent chart and answer the question.” Pass out shooting stars and answer any questions the students may have.





Adams, M.J. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Department of Education, University of Illinois: 1990


Angela Carroll Long- Running Towards Fluency


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Kristin Saltsman