Fluency is Freedom!

Jodi Gray
Growing Independence and Fluency

RATIONALE:  In order for children to become more fluent they must be able to recognize words automatically and effortlessly.  If children are progressing toward this goal then they will be able to see a difference in their speed when they read books as well.  They will learn this from practicing repeated readings while timing themselves.

MATERIALS:  Journal folders for each child, colored dots, stopwatches
Here are some books that could be used during the lessons:
Blue dot books (Short vowel books):
Short a = A Cat Nap
Short e = Red Gets Fed
Short i = Tin Man Fix-It
Short o = In the Big Top
Short u = Bud the Sub
1990.  Educational Insights.

Red dot books (Challenging short vowel books):
Cowley, Joy. Oh, Jump in a Sack.  1982.  Shortland Publications Limited.
Kunka, Alice K.  Tom and His Mom.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.
Cimochowski, Anna.  Snip and Snap.   1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.
Heurck, Sue Van.  Mick and Max.  1995.  Dominie Press, Inc.
Harrington, Karen.  Fun in the Sun.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.
Kunka, Alice K.  Matt and Rags.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.

Yellow dot books (Long vowel books):
Long A = James and the Good Day
Long E = What Will the Seal Eat?
Long I = Kite Day at Pine Lake
Long O = Is Jo Home?
Long U = Rube and the Tube
1990.  Educational Insights.

Green dot books (Challenging long vowel books):
Albert, Tony.  Liz Whiz Rides a Whale.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.
Albert, Tony.  String Bean Has No Wife.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.
Harrington, Karen.  Stripes and Scrapes.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.
Harrington, Karen.  A Croak in the Creek.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.
Kunka, Alice K.  Space Fox and Wild Bird.  1991.  Steck-Vaughn Company.

Pink dot books (Challenge books):
Larsen, Karen.  The Mess Monster.  1989.  Shortland Publications Limited.
Parker, John.  Emma’s Problem.  1989.  Shortland Publications Limited.
Hagg, Carime.  The Great Car Race.  1997.  Dominie Press, Inc.
Burrows, Celia.  Vicky the High Jumper.  1990.  Mimosa Publications Pty Limited.
Gabolinscy, Jack.  Agatha’s Brew.  1990.  Applecross Ltd.
Skorpen, Liesel Moak.  That Mean Man.  1968.  Harper & Row.
Cowley, Joy. Roly Poly.  1982.  Shortland Publications Limited.
Reid, Susan.  Lucy Meets a Dragon.  1990.  Mimosa Publications Pty Limited.
Mahy, Margaret.  Trouble on the Bus.  1986.  Applecross Ltd.

1.  Last week we learned why it is important to be able to read.  Can anyone tell me some of the reasons that it is important to know how to read?  Very good it is very important because we are surrounded by words everyday.  Today class we are going to work with our fluency.  Fluency means that you are able to recognize and say words that you see in books without having to stop and think about the words.  Let me show you how a reader who is not yet fluent might read a sentence.  "The…dog…ran so…fast."  Did you all notice how after each word there was a pause before the next word in the sentence?  A fluent reader would read the sentence like this.  "The dog ran so fast."  Could you see the difference?  The second time was much smoother and faster than the first time.

2. Did you all know that when you read fluently the speed at which you read a book will increase as well?  Today I am going to split you up into groups of two.  I want each person in each group to check the color of the dot on the front of their journal.  This will be the same color dot of the choices of books you may choose from off the table in the back.  Then I want you and your partner to take the books you both have chosen and grab a stopwatch off the table as well and read to each other for the next few minutes.  While one person is reading to the other I want the child who is listening to the story to time the child who is reading and then let them record their time in their journal.  After the first child is finished I want the second child to read their book and let the one who read first time them and record their time in their journal.  Tomorrow you will read the same book and record your time again.  I want you to notice which time is faster.  The second time should be the faster time and can anyone tell me why?  That’s right because you are already familiar with the words in the book that you read yesterday.  After you finish with the old book I would like you to get a new book from the same color dot that is on your journal.  Always be sure and check your dots because they may change every now and then.  Your partner may help you with words that you might get stuck on or do not know.

3.  Assessment:  While each child reads the book that they have read previously I will call them back to my desk and let them do their reading there.  This way I will be able to assess their progress gradually.  It will allow me to take notes about correspondences that they might be missing and to see how well they are progressing toward fluency.

4. At the end of the day just before they are about to go home I will allow the children to check out a book from the classroom with me and carry it home with them to read by themselves or with a parent.  Hopefully this will be a way to get the parents involved with their child’s learning as well as motivate the child to learn.  This book does not have to be on the child’s level.  It can be any book that they would like to read.  These books will be different than the books we use in our speed lessons.  They will come from our classroom library.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. 1995. Prentice Hall, Inc. "Chapter 9   p.125"

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