On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!!!
Growing Independence and Fluency
By: Christina Barnes

In order for students to be able to read a text and better comprehend it, they have to be fluent readers.  This means that when reading, words need to be automatic and easy to read.  As students practice their reading fluency, they will sound smoother as they read and be able to read with expression.  This lesson is designed in order to teach students how to be more independent in their reading and how to become faster, yet more fluent readers.  Performing one minute reads will prove the importance of practice and fluency to the students.


*dry erase board
*dry erase markers
*One-Minute Read sheets:

   Number of words I read in one-minute:
        1st time: _______
        2nd time: _______

*Reading Evaluation sheets
    Partner's Name:_______________
       My partner read:
                                              First time    Second Time
    Faster                                   [   ]                     [   ]
    Smoother                             [   ]                     [   ]
    With more expression        [   ]                     [   ]
    More words                         [   ]                     [   ]
*timers for each set of partners
*Student copies of "Kite Day at Pine Lake" (AU, Phonics Readers by Educational Insights, 1990)


1.    Introduce the lesson by explaining to the students how important it is to be able to read a story and understand what is happening in the story as we read.  To do this, we have to be able to read fluently and with expression.  Ask the students if they know what fluent and expression mean and make sure they understand that these two techniques help in reading a story.  Right, if we read fluently and with expression it is much easier to pay attention to a story and to understand what is going on as we read.

2.    Then I will write a pseudo word on the board (spack) to demonstrate cover-ups to the students.  Does anyone know what we should do if we are reading and come across a word we may not know? The word I have written on the board is a made up word so none of us know what it is unless we try to sound it out.  Watch how I use cover-ups in order to figure out the word.  First I'm going to cover up all the letters except for the vowel.  I know that the short a makes a sound like I'm home alone and scared.  Then the sp at the beginning makes a /sp/ sound and the ck at the end sounds like /k/.  So if I say those sounds in order, I should hear /sp/ /a/ /k/.  Now when I blend those together I hear "spack".
3.    Now we are going to try and figure out another made up word.  I will write rost on the board.  Ok if I use cover-ups to figure out this word, what should I do first?  Good, cover up all the letters except the vowel.  What sound does the short o make?  Like we are going to the doctor and the doctor says open wide and you hear /o/.  Now what do we do?  Right look at the beginning of the word at /r/ and then the end with /st/.  If you blend those together, what word would it be?  Great!
4.    Next I will write the sentence "Today we are going to the zoo." on the board.  I'm going to read the sentence to you in two different ways and then we are going to take a vote and decide which one sounded better.  Here's the first way:  Tttooodddaaayyy wwweee aaarrreee gggoooiiinnnggg tttooo ttthhheee zzzoooooo.  Now the second:  Today we are going to the zoo!  Which one sounded better?  Why do you think the second one sounded better?  I read it faster and with more expression.  I was able to do this because I had already read the words once from the first time I read it and could easily read it the second time.  Was it easier for you to understand?  That's why we are going to practice becoming fluent readers today so that we can easily understand what we are reading.
5.    I will now hand out copies of "Kite Day at Pine Lake" to every student and give them a book talk:  This book is about a bunch of friends who go to the lake to fly their kites.  All of their kites are very different but one of the boys is very sad because he doesn't have a kite to try and fly.  Read the story for 5 minutes to yourself and find out what happens to the little boy without a kite.  If they finish reading it before I say stop, they can begin reading again to practice.  I will walk around and help students with reading if they need any.
6.    Now to practice reading fluently, everyone is going to get with a partner and play a timing game.  I'm going to give each of you a one-minute read sheet and a reading evaluation sheet.  Also, each set of partners will get a timer to time the one-minute reads.  To start you will decide who is going to be the reader and who is going to be the recorder first.  Then the recorder will set the timer to one minute and will say "Go" when they start the timer.  The reader will then begin reading and read until the timer goes off and the recorder says "Stop".  The reader will put their finger to whatever word they get to and the recorder will count how many words they read in one-minute.  The reader will then write the number of words on their one-minute read sheet.  Then switch jobs and do the same thing until each person has read two times. Once you have finished, look and see if you read more words the second time then the first time.
7.   Once you have finished the one-minute reads, fill out the reading evaluation sheet by deciding if you partner read faster, smoother, with more expression, and more words the first time or the second time.
8.   To assess:  As you are working with your partner, I may call you to my desk to do some one-minute reads with me.  If your partner gets called to my desk, read your book quietly and practice your reading fluency until they get back.

Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency
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