Flowing Down the Fluency River!
Developing Fluency in Young Readers
By: Natasha Rosko


Rationale: Student's who read with fluency are able to read with automatic recognition. With automatic recognition of words, students are able to read more smoothly, faster, and with more expression. Silent reading becomes an indicator of fluency and comprehension. Our goal is to help facilitate students in effortless decoding. This lesson is designed to help students achieve fluency through smoother and quicker reading with automatic word recognition.  The students repeated reading and silent reading will help enhance fluency and comprehension.


- Speed reading record sheet for each student.

- Partner check-sheet for each student.

- Stop watches for each pair of students.

- Pencils for students.

- Whiteboard with marker

- Cover-up critter for each student.

- Copy of decodable book: Hot at the Dam by: Veronica Angel

Speed Reading Record:

Name: _________________________         Date: ___________________


1st read:


2nd read:


3rd read:



1.       Begin lesson with a discussion with students. How do students feel when they are stuck on a word? Is it frustrating? What would make reading easier? Reading with fluency helps make reading easier. When students begin to read with fluency, they begin to read faster, smoother, and understand more. Boys and girls, today we are going to work on reading faster and smoothly, this is called fluency. We want to be able to read like water flowing down a river, constant and without stopping

2.       Sometimes when we read, we find words that we struggle to read. This is common and happens with everybody, but when we stumble, we struggle to remember what we are reading. Today, we are going to work together to use a cover-up critter to help us push through hard words, instead of stumbling over them. A cover-up critter will help us keep our speed without slowing us down too much. (Write word "punch" on white board). Let me show you how I would use my cover-up critter. I am reading and I come to this unfamiliar word, punch. There is only one way to figure out what this word is. I start by using my cover-up critter to cover-up all the words except for the short u. I remember that short u=/u/, like when I don‰¥út know the word! Uhhhh. Next, I am going to look at the letters in front of the u. I see p=/p/ like popcorn. /pu/. Finally, I will look at the letters after the short u to make sense of the word. /n/ like a boat and my letter friends ch=/ch/. Now, I easily can blend this word together using all the familiar sounds. /p/u/n/ch/. Punch! I wonder what flavor punch it is?

3.       Let's talk about how to read smoothly. It's okay to not know exactly how to do this at first. It just like any sport or game. You have to practice, practice, and practice to get better at reading faster and smoothly. We are going to work together to get better at this. Let me show you how I might read a sentence the first time. (Write sentence on white board). The man rides down the rapid river. I will read this sentence to you and I want you to listen carefully. Th.The. m.man. rid.rids. down. The man rides down the rapd. The man rides down the rapid river. That was a hard sentence! I'm really going to have to practice that to get better! Let me read it again. Listen carefully‰¥ÏThe man rides down the rapid river. Hey! That was easier! I bet I'll get better and better every time I read that sentence. Which sentence was easier to understand?  Becoming fluent will help reading be easier for you because you can focus on the meaning and not what the words are. Reading will be more fun!

4.       Everyone will have a copy of the book Hot at the Dam. Pam and Pat run to the dam. Pam and Pat's friends hop to the dam. When they get to the dam, they are so hot! What should they do? We‰¥úll have to read the book to find out! Students will read story and afterwards, we will discuss what happened! Where your predictions right?

5.       Class will break down into pairs. Each student will get a Time Sheet, a stop-watch, and a fluency check-list sheet. Each student will read the book three times, allowing the other student to time them, recording the results. The student will then share a report on how their friend performed. These reports are always complimentary and supportive and will not cut a child down. The check sheet will help make that possible.

Assessment: Each student will turn in their peer-reviewed time sheets. I will also perform one minute reads evaluating their fluency speed and their miscue notes.

Angel, Veronica. Hot at the Dam.

Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency

Marsden, Bridgette. Hurry! Off We Go!

Return to Encounters Index