On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!





By: Kristi Woods

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale: Students must learn to read quickly, smoothly, and with expression to be fluent readers. The ability to do all of those things together will help a student comprehend and enjoy the text. Doing repeated readings of whole texts helps students to increase their fluency. In this lesson students will learn how to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively in order to gain fluency.


Speed Record Sheet for each student

Fluency Checklist for each student

Paper and Pencils for each student

Stopwatch for each pair of students

The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell and Jim Harris for each student in the class

A copy of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin


Speed Record Sheet

Name:________________           Date:__________

          1st time:______

    2nd time:______

            3rd time:______

Fluency Checklist

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 the purpose of the lesson to the class. “Today we are going to be working on reading skills that will help you to become fluent readers.  Fluent readers are able to read smoothly without stopping between words as well. Reading a text several times will help you to become a fluent reader. The more you practice reading a story, the easier it becomes to understand what the story is about. We are now going to practice fluency by reading a text more than once.”

2.      “I am going to read a sentence and I want you to tell me if I am reading fluently. T-h-e-d-o-g-w-a-g-g-e-d-h-i-s-t-a-i-l. You are right, I was not reading with fluency. I am going to read the sentence again. The dog wagged his tail. This time I read the sentence faster and without stopping because I have read the sentence before. Practice rereading the sentence helped me to read more fluently.”

3.      “We are going to read the text The Three Little Javelinas (give a book talk). Hand out a copy of The Three Little Javelinas to each student. “Read silently to yourselves and if you finish before everyone else does, you may reread the text again.”

4.      Divide the class into pairs and ask each pair to take turns reading the story to his or her partner all the way through once. Then ask the students to taking turns reading again and the student listening will fill out the fluency checklist while their partner is reading (explain what the checklist is and how to fill it out before handing it to the students).

5.      To assess the children I will call them individually to my desk and do a whole-text read them. I will have them read Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type three times and record their results on the speed record sheet to see if they increase the number of words they read per minute. The fluency checklist and the speed record sheet will help me figure out if the students are making progress with becoming more fluent readers. I will also ask the students to retell me what happened in the story to assist them in the aspect of comprehension in building fluency.


Lowell, Susan. (1992). The Three Little Javelinas. Reed Business Information, Inc. Northland Publishing.

Cronin, Doreen. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Gina Thomas, Quick as a Mouse       http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/guides/thomasgf.html

Kim Holzapfel, The Buzzing Bumble Bee http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/holzapfelgf.html

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