Reading Faster, Farther, and More Fluently

 Airplane

Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Mary Kathryn Wheeler

 

Rationale: Students read very slowly when they first begin to read, but with practice they are able to read much more quickly. Students' reading speed increases when they have built a vast sight vocabulary and have become expert decoders. Since the ultimate goal of reading is comprehension rather than word calling, it is important that students are fluent readers so that they can dedicate their attention when reading to getting the message. Students will build fluency with this lesson through repeated readings.

 

Materials:

·        Chart with sentences: Joe walked quickly to the store to get some milk for his mom. The store was out of milk!

·        Copy of Madeline at the White House by John Bemelmans Marciano (Penguin, 2011) for each pair of students

·        One stop watch for each pair of students

·        Pencils for each student

·        Assessment rubrics for students (1 for each student)

 

Rubric for Repeated Readings:

 

Name:_____________________________________  Partner's name:____________________________________

 

Time it took to read the story the first time: ____________________________

 

Time it took to read the story the second time: _________________________

 

Time it took to read the story the third time: ___________________________

 

Checklist:

 

After the second read, my partner (circle one):

 

Read faster                                           Yes / No

 

Read smoother                                   Yes / No

 

Read with expression                       Yes / No

 

 After the third read, my partner (circle one):

 

Read faster                                           Yes / No

 

Read smoother                                   Yes / No

 

Read with expression                       Yes / No

 

 

Procedure:

1.     It is important that we all become fluent readers. To be a fluent reader, you must read smoothly, quickly, and with expression. Fluent readers also understand the text that they are reading. You can all be fluent readers, we just have to practice!

2.     To review what it means to be a fluent reader, I'm going to read you a few sentences.  Put up chart that says, Joe walked quickly to the store to get some milk for his mom. The store was out of milk! Now I'm going to show you how a non-fluent reader might read this: Jjoe wwwaked qu-quickly to the s-st-store to g-g-get sOm milk for his mom. The s-st-stoorrr w/a/s  /o//u/t of milk. Did you enjoy listening to me read that? Do you think I spent more time trying to say the words or getting the message? You're right. I spent so much time trying to read the words that I didn't have any time left to understand the message. Now this is how I would read the text fluently: Joe walked quickly to the store to get some milk for his mom. The store was out of milk! That time, I read the text fluently. I did not have to stop to slowly figure out each word. I recognized each word immediately and read it clearly. When I read the text like that, I have plenty of brainpower left to figure out the meaning of the text. This is fluent reading.

3.     Now we are going to do some repeated readings of texts so that you guys can all practice reading fluently too! I am going to put you in pairs and let you take turns reading to each other, fluently and with expression. You may make some mistakes the first time, and that's okay. I certainly made some mistakes the first time I read that sentence to you just a moment ago, but what's important is that each time you read it you read it more and more fluently.

4.     Pass out copies of Madeline at the White House. Give a book talk: Madeline and the other girls in her class visit the White House for a great Easter Egg Hunt. Madeline makes a new friend named Candle, who is the President's daughter. Candle feels trapped within the White House and has never seen any of the extraordinary things in Washington, D.C. Let's see what Madeline does to change that!

5.     Pass out rubric sheets. Tell students to write their name and their partner's name at the top of the page.  Tell the students to time each other as they read through the text the first time and to record the time on the sheet. They are to take turns reading to each other. The second time each person reads, the partner should record not only how long it takes but also answer the questions at the bottom of the checklist about their partner's fluency. The third time each person reads, the partner should record the time again and answer the questions on the checklist for a second time. I will assess their words read per minute by using the formula

words x 60.

   seconds

 

References:

Horsefield, Jessica. Happily Hopping Our Way to Fluency. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/realizations/horsefieldgf.htm

 

Strickland, Jessica. Hungry for Reading! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/adventures/stricklandgf.htm

 

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