Flying Away with Fluency
 Growing Independence & Fluency

Rebecca Bracken

 Rationale: Children need to become fluent readers, so that they will have more capacity for comprehension. Decoding skills make fluency easier, so the students must practice and master phoneme correspondences. When children practice strategies and correspondences in repeated readings, they will more fluent readers which will lead to more comprehension, greater vocabulary and faster speed.



1.      “First, we are going to review the strategies we use when we don’t recognize a word.  If we come to the letters s o c k   but cannot read the word, first we look at the vowel sound. In this word, o says /o/. Next I go to the beginning sound. s says /sssss/ . If we add the vowel sound we have "sssssoooooo" “Finally, we look at the last sound. It is ck=/k/. Now can put all three sounds together to read "ssssoooock. Sock!" When we come to words we  don't know when we are reading, we can use this vowel-first method to figure it out."

2.      “When we read, we need to make sure that we read smoothly just as if we are talking so that we can understand what we read. I am going to read a sentence for you with out reading smoothly, or what we call fluently: I a-m  g-o-i-n-g t-o t-h-e m-a-l-l-a-f-t-e-r s-c-h-o-o-l. Do you want me to read a whole book to you like that?   If I read the sentence with fluency, ‘I am going to the mall after school,’ it sounds better and makes more sense. Since we all need to read like that we all have to keep practicing” (Pass out books for each reading group.)

3.      “Each person in your group is going to practice reading 3 times. Our goal is to read 60 words in one minute. We are going to use our kites to show us if we get better every time we read. Get your partners to help you time yourself for 1 minute with the stopwatches.” Write down the number of words you read after a minute.  When you get done raise your hand and I will help you graph your results on your chart.

4.      “I want everyone to practice as much as you can, because the more you practice, the faster you get, and the more you will be able to read and understand.  You can take the books home and practice your reading with your parents or guardians or do it during DEAR time with a friend.”

5.      Students can be assessed for fluency by one minute reads.  The students could use fluency charts to keep up withtheir progress by moving their kite on the bulletin board for the highest WPM after 3 one minute reads.  After a book is read 3 or 4 times, a new book should be introduced and one minute reads should be repeated 3 or 4 more times.


Cushman, Shelia. Pat’s Jam. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990.

Rachel Williams. Faster, Faster, Faster.

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