Ready, Set, Read Faster!


Growing Independence and Fluency


By Rachel Thompson


Rationale: Once you have reached fluency in your reading, you are now an expert reader! Fluency is the ability to identify words accurately, rapidly and automatically and is read at the rate in which you speak. There are three significant skills needed to become a fluent reader: the ability to read faster, smoother, and more emotionally. To gain fluency, students need to read and reread the same text multiple times so that they will learn to recognize all of the words automatically. When students read in partners, they have each other to help decode words and it allows them to practice reading out loud.



∙A copy of Kite Day at Pine Lake for each student

∙A stop watch for each pair of students

∙A Speed Record Sheet for each student

∙A Fluency Literacy Rubric for each student

∙A dry erase marker


Fluency Literacy Rubric

Name:____________         Evaluator:____________         Date:___________

I noticed that my partner… (color in the circle)

After 2nd                         After 3rd

O                                    O                          Remembered more words

O                                    O                          Read faster

O                                    O                          Read smoother

O                                    O                          Read with expression




1. Explain to the students what it means to be a fluent reader. Say: “To be fluent readers we need to read with expression, which means that we put feeling and emotion in our voice; we read smoothly and we read rapidly, at a speaking speed.” Explain to your students that today we will be reading and rereading the story Kite Day at Pine Lake. Rereading the text will help us become more fluent readers. Reassure them that they might not know every word the first time they read it through but that they need to use their cover-up critters or use the crosschecking method to figure out the word. Next time they read this story they should be able to recognize the word with a little more ease and by the last time they hopefully should know how to read the word fluently.

2. Write the sentence “I like to fly my kite. Have you ever flown a kite?” on the board. Model for the students two ways to read this sentence. The first way you read it should be slow and drawn out. For example, say “I l-l-i-k-e t-o-o-o f-f-l-l-y-y-y m-y-y k-i-i-t-e. H-a-a-v-e y-o-u-u e-v-e-r-r f-l-o-o-o-w-n a k-i-i-t-e?” Next model for the students how to read this sentence fluently. “I like to fly my kite. Have you ever flown a kite?” Ask the students which way sounds better the first way when I said it really slow or the second way when I read it fluently? The students should answer that the second time was the correct way to read fluently.

3. Engage the students in a book talk about the story Kite Day at Pine Lake. This story is about a group of kids that enjoy flying kites at the lake. They have all different kinds of kites in different shapes, sizes and colors. Their friend Bob is sad because he doesn’t have a kite. What will happen? Do you think they will make Bob a kite or share one of theirs? Let’s read the story to find out.

4. Have the students partner up and go to different places in the room. Each child should receive a Speed Record Sheet and a Fluency Literacy Rubric. Explain to the students that one person is going to be the “reader” while the other person is the “recorder”. The reader will read as much of the book as they can in one minute. At the end of the one minute they will point to the word they ended on and the “recorder” will write down the number of words the “reader” read. The “recorder” will reset the stop watch and the “reader” will read the book through a second time. The “recorder” should follow the same steps as before. The “reader” will read the text a third and final time. At the end of this read, the “recorder” will record the number of words the “reader” read and then fill out the Fluency Literacy Rubric. They are instructed to bubble in the circle that best describes how the reader did. After they have finished this, the students will swap roles and follow the steps above. The goal by the end of this activity is that the students will be able to read the text more accurately and fluently.

5. For assessment, the teacher will call students up individually and have them read as much of the text as they can in one minute. Have the students recall what happened in the story to assess their comprehension skills.



Adams, Lacey. “Up, Up, and Away With Fluency!”

Kite Day At Pine Lake by: Shelia Cushman and Rona Kornblum (1990).

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