Hit it out of the Park!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Katie Pegues

Rationale:  Children do not need to simply read words in books.  They need to be able to understand what exactly they are reading.  In order for a child to understand what they are reading they also need to be able to read with fluency as well as be able to read for comprehension.  It is also important that children learn to read by themselves without any help from adults.

Materials:  stopwatch (1 per group), 1 copy per child of the book, Lee and the Team, one copy per child of the fluency checklist (has a space for reading faster, remembered more words, read smoother, and read with expression), dry erase board and marker to review cover-ups with the children, and a record sheet.

Procedures:  1. "Good afternoon children.  Today we are going to work on our reading fluency.  To read fluently you must be able to read with speed, but at the same time comprehend what you have read.  If you can read fluently, you might begin to enjoy reading even more than I know you already do."

2.  "Sometimes when we are reading we come to a word that we may not recognize or may not be able to figure it out.  What is one of the best ways to figure out a word that we may not know?  That's right, we can use cover-ups.  Let's try and figure out the word tap."  Write the word tap on the white board.  "First let's determine what sound a makes.  That's right a = /a/.  What does sound does t make?  Correct.  t = /t.  So then we can put those two sounds together.  /t/ /a/.  Finally we have the letter p.  Do we know what p says?  Great job! p = /p/.  Now we can put all three sounds together.  /t/ /a/ /p/.  Tap! Great job!"

3.  "Before we read on our own I want to show ya'll how we can learn to read with fluency.  This is a sentence out of our book.  'Thhee ttteaamm sssiitttsss iin the weeedss.'  Let me try again.  'Thee team siits in the weeeeds'. Not quite there yet.  The words begin getting easier for me to read because I took the time to decode them."  Now read it but without expression.  "'The team sits in the weeds'.  That wasnt to exciting was it?  What should I do to make it sound more interesting?  That's right!  I need to read with expression!  Let me try one more time."  Now the teacher reads with expression.  "'The team sits in the weeds.' Great job!"

4.  Now we are going to read a book in our pairs called Lee and the Team.  Lee is in charge of his baseball team.  There is only one problem.  No one on the team wants to run.  Will Lee be able to get them to run?  We can find out as soon as ya'll start reading in your groups.

5.  When we read in our groups I want you to follow the fluency checklist that I have given you.  Each person will read the book three different times, hopefully improving as we go along.  When your partner reads the second and third time I want you to fill in the bubble to determine what your partner improved on.  Make sure you only give positive comments to your partner.  Do not be negative to one another.

6.  Each time you read you will read for exactly one minute while your partner times you.  Once your partner says 'stop' you must stop reading at that point. Your partner will also count the number of words that you read in a minute and you need to record it on your sheet so that you can see how you improve.

7.  "I will then call each of you up to my desk and you will have a chance to read to me so that I can see just how absolutely amazing ya'll have done.  You will each have a chance to read to me once."  I can't wait!

Resource:

Lee and the Team.  Educational Insights 1990.