Ready, Set, Off We Go!



By Angela Simpson

Growing Fluency



            Fluent Readers read with more expression, at a faster pace, and lots more smooth. A great way to improve reading is to read and reread decodable words in connected text. The more often a student works with a text, the more fluent they will become. This lesson is designed to help students increase their fluency by reading and rereading text to become familiar with it. In the duration of the lesson, students will learn that fluency helps them gain more meaning and understanding from the text. After the lesson, students will be able to use a strategy to increase fluency in their independent reading.



Speed Reading Record Sheet for each student

Fluency Literacy Rubric for each student

Stopwatches for groups of students




Colored Popsicle sticks for each child

2 Googly Eyes per child

Kite Day at Pine Lake by Shelia Cushman & Rona Kornblum c1990

Speed Reading Record Sheet:

Name: ________________________________       Date: ___________________

First time: __________________

Second time: ________________

Third time: _________________


 Fluency Literacy Rubric:

Name: ____________________ Evaluator: _________________Date: ___________

I noticed that my partner

After 2nd         After 3rd         

Remembered more words                 _______          _______

Read Faster                                       _______          _______

Read Smoother                                  _______          _______

Read with expression                        _______          _______


1.                                 I will introduce the lesson by explaining that in order to become better readers; we must begin to read quickly and automatically or fluently. Good Morning Guys, did you know that when we become more fluent readers, we will be able to understand the text that we are reading better! A great way to become a fluent reader is to read a book or story a whole lot of times. When you do that, your reading gets faster and more fluent.

2.                                 First, let us think of a way that we could figure out a word that we do not know while we are reading. A helpful tool that we use is a Cover-up Critter. Teacher will show the class a cover-up critter and provide them the materials to make one of their own.) Let us see how we could use our critter to help us read this word write the word strike on the board. If I saw this word and did not know it, the first thing I would do is use my critter to cover everything up except the I. Watch Cover the str and k. I should know that i_e=/I/. Next, I would look at what comes before the vowel, str=/str/. I would say each sound and then blend them together to get /stri/. Finally I would look at the end of the word k=/k/. Starting with the vowel helps us to solve tricky words more easily. Next time you have some trouble with a word, just pull out your Cover-up Critter and let him help you solve that tricky word.

3.                                 Next I will demonstrate to the students the difference between reading with and with out fluency. Guys, I am now going to show you how important fluency is and how much is might help us in reading by reading this sentence with and without fluency. Write a sentence on the board The big tiger scared all of the other animals away. First, I will read the sentence as a non-fluent reader would read it: The  big  tiger  scared  all  of  the  other  animals  away Boys and Girls, did you notice how I read the sentence very slowly? Now I am going to read this same sentence again, but this time I will read it more fluently The big tiger scared all of the other animals away. Did you see how my words were closer together, and how smooth they were? Which time was easier for you to understand? Student response Great job, it is easier to understand books and text when you read it with fluency.

4.                                 Now I will pass out the book Kite Day at Pine Lake to each student. Has anyone ever flown a kite before?  Great, Good Job! This book is a story about a bunch of children that love to fly kites. They have kites of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Bob is upset because he does not have a kite. I wonder what will happen. Do you think the kids will make Bob a kite? What do you think will happen? We are going to have to read the rest of the book to find out! Students will read the book on their own. Afterwards, we will discuss the story as a class and ask questions to see their comprehension and understanding of the text.

5.                                 Next, I am going to split the students up into groups of 2. I will explain to the students about the Speed Reading Record Sheet and Fluency Literacy Rubric. When you break into pairs, one of you is going to be the reader and the other will be the recorder. The reader will read the book for one minute three different times. The recorder will start and stop a stop watch and will announce when it is the time to begin and end after the end of one minute. The recorder will also write down the number of words read in one minute on the record sheet. After the reader has read three times, you will swap it up and do the same thing again.

6.                                 When students have finished recording the one minute read alouds, I will have them fill out a Fluency Literacy Sheet about their partner. They will check the boxes on how the student performed on the 2nd and 3rd times reading the book for one minute.


                        I will have each student read a passage, of about 60 words, to me in the reading center out of the same book. I will use this passage during a one minute read to check the students‰¥ú fluency. While the one student is doing a one minute read, the rest of the class will be practicing their fluency through reading a book while sitting at their desk.


Reading Genie Website

Laura Slocum, Speedy Readers.

Shelly Horton, Zooming Into Fluency.

Jenna Goodwin, Racing Through Reading.

 Link to Encounters Index

 Email Angela Simpson