Ride Your Way To Fluency

bear on bike 


Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Alexis Ogubie



The goal of fluency is for students to be able to read with automatic word recognition.  As students read and reread, they are able to add words into their sight vocabulary.  Through repeated readings more words are learned, students are better able to comprehend what they have read and words are read with greater expression and interest.  This lesson is designed to give students repeated readings of texts in order to become more fluent readers.  In addition, it will help the students to understand the importance of automatic, fluent reading


Speed Reading Record:

       Name: _________________________            Date: ___________


                        - After 1st read            _______

                        - After 2nd read           _______

                        - After 3rd read            _______

Partner check- sheet:

Name: ________ Partner: ______________ Date: _________

I noticed that my partner... (check the circle)

After 2nd           after 3rd

( )                     ( )                     Remembered more words

( )                     ( )                     Read faster

( )                     ( )                     Read smoother

( )                     ( )                     Read with expression



1.  I will start the lesson by explaining to students what being a fluent readers means and why it is important that students are fluent readers. In addition, they must remember what they have read in order to interpret the meaning of the text.  Today we are going to practice reading with speed and accuracy, this helps us become more fluent readers.  It is important that we learn to read fluently so that we can read things easily and with an appropriate speed, this allows us to be able to focus on the meaning of the words we are reading.  Reading a story many times helps us to become fluent readers.  Today we are going to read a story many times and each time you read I want you to try to read faster.

2.  Explain to the students the cover-up strategy that they can use while reading.  Class, do you remember when we talked about what we do when we get to a word that we do not know? A way to figure out the word is to use your cover-up critter.  Write the word splint on the board.  Using my cover-up critter, I am going to model how to decode a word.  If I do not know what this word is, this is what I would... I cover up everything but the i, (cover up all other letters).   Cover up all the letters except the i and sound out the short i=/i/ sound.  Then I am going to look at the letters leading up to the vowel, spl =/spl/. Lastly, I would look at the end of my word and blend the last sounds with my chunk. So /n/ and /t/ plus /spl/ reads splint Now when you come across a tough word, you can use your cover- up critter.

3.  Now, I am going to model fluent reading.  I am going to write the following sentence on the board: ''The sun was shining as I rode my bike.''  Now, I want you to listen to me model the way that a fluent reader should read.  When you read with fluency, you put together chunks of sentences and read with expression. I am going to write the same sentence on the board so that you can follow along with me. The first time, I will read it slowly, without fluency, ''The-sun-was-shining-as-I -rode-my-bike.'' I will ask the children if that sounded like the way a fluent reader would read. They should recognize that it was hard to understand and very choppy. Then, I will reread the sentence in a smooth, expressive manner, ''The animals at the zoo scared the children!''  Then, I will explain to the students that the reason it was hard to understand the non-fluent sentence is because the words were all chopped up and did not flow together to make sense.  When I read with fluency, my reading became fluent because I was able to automatically recognize the words and read them immediately. I am able to read more fluently by practicing and reading and rereading.  This helps one become quicker so that they can read with more expression.

4.  Now, I am going to give each student a copy of the book The Bike Ride.  They will each get to read it by themselves before coming together with a partner for timed readings.  This story is about Nate who has been visiting Tim and Jan but lately, he is not much fun.  Can Tim and Jan come up with a plan to get their friend away from the television? We will, read to find out.  After the students finish reading, we will discuss the events of the story. 

5.  Next, the students will break up into partners and I will give each group a stopwatch and each child a Partner Check -Sheet and Speed Reading Record.  Each child will read the book three times.  The listener will time each reading and give a report after the second and third readings.  They will record the times of each reading on the Speed Reading Record.  The reports are always complementary and do not put down a child.  No criticism or advice is allowed.  The child simply marks on the evaluation sheet.  With your partner, you will read the book three times.  Your partner will time each reading and record the time on your Speed Reading Record. After the second and third readings, you will mark the evaluation sheet.  You may look at the times to determine if your partner is reading faster each time.  Explain the rules regarding criticism, etc. 


 The students will each bring me their Speed Reading Record and partner checklist. I will perform one-minute reads with each child to check for fluency and accuracy, noting their miscues.  The one-minute reads will let me see how many words the child is reading a minute as well as how much automaticity is developed. Finally, I will ask a few comprehension questions to ensure that they did not speed read through the material and to see that they actually understood the story. 


Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency

The Bike Ride by Geri Murray

Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html

White, Amy. 1-2-3 Go                                                                                                 http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/whitegf.html


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