Faster Than A Speeding Bullet


Growing Independence & Fluency

By: Kathy Walsh


Rationale: This lesson is about increasing fluency when reading. We should aim at the foal of fluency which is reading with automatic word recognition. Indicators of fluency include reading faster, reading more expressively, reading silently, and reading voluntarily. It is important for readers to become fluent so that they don't have to decode every word and can recognize words as sight words. This will make reading a more enjoyable experience as it becomes easier for readers. In this lesson students will read a one minute passage three times to see how re-reading the same text will gain recognition and increase reading fluency.



My Monster Friends for each student

Two Speed Reading Record for each student, One Fluency rubric for each student

Stop watch every two students

Dry erase board and markers



1. I will start this lesson by saying, "If you want to become a successful reader than you must work on your reading fluency. Reading fluency means that you can read faster because you know more words and you don't have to stop to decode very often. One way to become a fluent reader is to read the same book more than one time. Each time you read the story then you will read faster because you remember the words you read. Today we will practice reading fluency by reading this new book three different times.

2. "Before we start let's talk about ways we have learned to help us decode words that we do not know. If I was reading a story and saw the word shut (write the word on the board) and I didn't know what the word was then what is the first thing I should do? (have students give answers) Right, I would use my cover up critter to help me decode the word. I will show you how to use the critter. (Model this for students) I will cover up the end and just show sh. What do these two letters sound like together? Shhhh Now move the critter and show the u. What sound does u make when it is a short vowel? Uhhhh. Now I will take my critter away. Let's put all the sounds together: sh/u/t. shut."

3. "Now we are going to learn a way to practice reading fluency. I am going to read a sentence and I want you to listen carefully to the sounds in this sentence. I will write it on the board so you can follow along with you. I also want you to notice, as I am reading, which way of reading the sentence sounds better.  "Ashton takes her sister to the park." Or "Assshhtooon taaaakkes her sisssterr to the paaarkkk." You are right, the first way I read the sentence sounds the best. When I don't have to decode the words then the reading sounds better and it is easier for me to read a book.

4. " I am going to pass out a copy of My Monster Friends to everyone. This book is about a boy who has lots of monster friends. They help him to do many things. What do his monster friends help him do? Are they nice or mean monsters? Let's read to find out! (I will now tell students that they will be reading this story multiple times and completing this fluency checklist for their partner.) "A fluency checklists checks to see if you remember the words, read faster, read smoother and read with expression after you have read the book two or three times. Each of you will turn to your partner and, one at a time, you will read the story to your partner. As your partner is reading you should look for the following things: does your partner remember the words, do they read faster than the last time they read the story, do they read smoother than the last time they read the story and are they reading with expression? The first time you read the story your partner will not mark anything down. This is a first reading for you! You cannot have a perfect fluency score the first time you read! The second and third time that your partner reads the story you will complete the chart to show where they have improved."

5. (After students have finished…) The last activity we will be doing to practice getting better at reading fluency is called a one-minute read. One partner will have a stopwatch and they are going to keep the time of the other partner for one minute to see how many words the partner can read. (this will give students practice and help them understand the concept.)

6. I will also do my own one-minute read for each child with the same text. I will check to see if the student's number of words read per minute is higher than the previous records I have make of each child. I will also compare these to the time from when the read with a partner to see if each student can conduct the assessment correctly. Each student should have a higher fluency score and also a checklist that shows they increased reading fluency each time. 




Fluency Literacy Rubric: (One for each student)

Name: ___________________ Partner's Name: _______________________

Date: _____________

I noticed that my partner… (check the circles that apply)

After 2nd                    After 3rd

  O                                     O                      Remembered more words

  O                                     O                      Read faster

  O                                     O                      Read smoother

  O                                     O                      Read with expression


Speed Record Sheet: (Two for each child, one for partner reading and one for reading with the teacher)

 Name: _________________________  Date: ______________________

1st time: __________     2nd time: ___________ 3rd time: ___________




Prince, Patrick. My Monster Friends. Mimosa Publications Pty Limited, 1989.  


Blackman, Mary Jo, Speedy Reading,


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