Teaming up for Fluency

By: Constance Wood



Rationale: Reading fluently is key to becoming a successful reader. Skilled readers must be able to read at a faster pace than the beginning reader. The purpose of this lesson is to reinforce fast reading and teach students how to successfully read passages at a faster rate.


Class set of Jake Makes the Team

Cover ups (this can be a bookmark, popsicle stick, etc. to aid students in decoding words)

White board and markers

Stopwatches (1 for every 2 students)

Fluency checklist sheet (1 for each student)



-Say: “today we are going to learn how to become fluent readers. A fluent reader can read faster, more expressively, silently, and voluntarily. We will focus on reading faster first. To become a fast reader, we can read a text more than once. Each time we read the text, we go through the words faster and comprehend more.”


-Say” Let's review how to decode words before we get started. If I am reading and come upon this word (write the word lack on the board) how would I decode it? That's right; I can pull out my cover up to help. Try this: l-a-ck. We know ck=/k/ and a=/a/ (I will cover up each segment while walking through the word).



-Say” Now we are ready to discover reading fluently. I am going to write a sentence on the board (write: Jack drives to the park.) Now listen to me say it twice: JJJaaack dddrrriivvvees ttoo thee ppaarrk. Jack drives to the park. Which sentence sounds best? Right! The second one. I read the sentence faster, more fluently.”


-Say “I am going to pass out the book Jake Makes the Team. I will pair you up to practice reading fluently. Read to your partner once and let them read to you. Then I will give you a checklist for your second and third time reading. Answer these questions about your partner on the checklist: did my partner remember more words the 2nd time? 3rd time? Did my partner read faster the 2nd time? 3rd time? Did my partner read smoother the 2nd time? 3rd time? And did my partner read with more expression the 2nd time? 3rd time? ” I will mostly focus on the speed for this lesson, however I do think it is a good idea for students to be aware of the other ways fluent readers read.



-After the students read with partners and complete the checklist, we will do a one-minute read activity. Say: “I will give each partner set a stopwatch. You will time your partner read a passage from Jake Makes the Team. See how many words they read in one minute. Then swap and let the other student have a turn. Write your partner's word count at the bottom on their checklist sheet.”


-I will also pull students individually, assessing them with the same one-minute passage read (I will choose the passage).




Fluency Literacy Rubric:

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


My partner read _________words in one minute.






       Sims, Matt. Jake Makes the Team. High Noon Books, 2002.

Blackmon, Mary Jo. Speedy Reading.

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