Go! Go! Speedy Reader! Go! Go!

Growing Independence and Fluency
Erin Stephan



            Students become fluent readers by being able to read effortlessly, quickly, and with expression. In order to become a fluent reader students must be able to recognize words automatically. When a student comes across an unfamiliar word they should decode it instead of guessing the word from its context. After decoding the word the student should reread the sentence. Students should reread books many times until they can recognize the words automatically and read the text fluently. Also to foster fluency students should read connected text. Connected text and one minute reads allow students to read more words under the pressure of time, and reread passages. Fluency allows words to flow together and create a story. In this lesson students will do one-minute reads with a partner to help their fluency.



Chalk/ Chalkboard


Doc In The Fog (copies for each student)

Pencils (for each student)

Stopwatches (one for each pair of students)

Read with Speed (copies for each student)

            Name __________                  Date_________

            First time: ___________

            Second time: ___________

            Third time: ___________


Fluency Checklist (copies for each student)

            Name __________                  Date__________

            I noticed that my partner:

            After 2nd  time:                           After 3rd  time:

                  (    )                                          (    )                  Remembered more words


                  (    )                                          (    )                  Read faster


                  (    )                                          (    )                  Read smoother


                  (    )                                           (    )                  Read with expression



            1. Start the lesson by introducing the goal: fluency. "We all know how to decode words and use our detective skills, so now we are going to put all of our new skills together. We want to be really good readers, and what do really good readers do? They read fluently. Fluent readers can read words quickly, recognize words automatically, and use expression! One way for us to become fluent readers is to reread stories and text. When you reread text it helps you to automatically recognize words, which allows you to read faster. Today, we are going to reread text and work towards become a fluent reader."

            2. Write the sentence on the board: Pip the fat pig eats a lot of cake. "I want to read this sentence fluently. (read very slowly sounding out the words) Pip the fat pig /e/ /t/ /s/. What do I do if I don't know a word? Right, I can crosscheck with the words in the sentence. Let's try it. Pip the fat pig ets a lot of cake. Hmm that doesn't sound right. E-a-t-s, oh now I remember e and a say /E/! That word is eats. Pip the fat pig eats a lot of cake (read it very slowly)."

            3. "Now that I know all the words in the sentence I am going to reread it." Read each word slowly making the sentence choppy. "Pppiiipp thhe ffffaatt ppiigg eeeaattss a llooott off cccAAAkke." 

"That does not sound good. I'm going to reread it, but this time faster." Read the sentence fast without expression. "Pip - the - fat - pig - eats - a - lot - of - cake."

 "When I read it that time did it sound better? I read it faster but I didn't use any expression. A fluent reader uses expression by saying some words louder than others. This time I am going to read with expression." Read the sentence with expression, saying some words louder than others. "Pip the fat pig eats a lot of cake."

"When I read quickly and with expression the sentence is easy to understand."

            4. Pass out a copy of Doc in the Fog to each student. Tell the student "We are going to work on reading with fluency by rereading this book. This book is about Doc who is a wizard. He has special powers. He can change a mop into a doll, and the doll into a top. What will he change the top into? We will have to read the story to find out." Have the students read the story once, silently, to themselves. After they read the story allow the student to ask question to make sure they understand the story.

            5. Pair each student with a partner. "With your partner you are going to take turns reading Doc in the Fog. One partner is going to read and the other partner is going to be the recorder. The recorder is going to use the stop watch to time them and complete the two fluency sheets. After the reader has read three times the recorder and reader will switch." Explain the fluency checklist and what is being evaluated. "The fluency checklist has four items you want to look for. Did you partner remember more words? Did he/she read faster? Did he/she read smoother? Did he/she read with expression? After the second and third time reading you are going to check the boxes that they did complete." Pass out stopwatches, Read with Speed sheets, and Fluency Checklist sheets to each group.

            6. To asses the student's individual ability I will have them come to my desk during center time. The student will complete three one minute reads. I will note their miscues and graph the number of words they read. This will allow me to determine how much progress they have made towards becoming independent readers. To determine that they comprehend the text I will ask two or three comprehension questions.



Whitcomb, Amy. "At Lightning Speed."

Phonics Readers- short vowels: Doc in the Fog. Educational Insights, 1990.


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