Sprint for Fluency

Gaining Fluency
Katie Burns

Rationale: Children need to read faster and smoother to read fluently. Reading becomes much easier when children are able to decode words automatically and effortlessly. Children need to read and reread decodable words in connected text in order to achieve fluency. This lesson will focus on helping children to read faster and more smoothly.

Materials:  Dry erase board and marker with the sentence, My dog is my best friend.
                 Progress checklist:   I noticed that my partner… after 2nd…after 3rd reading…    
                                                remembered more words, read faster, read smoother,
                                                read with expression
                 Progress chart for each student (monkey climbing the tree for the bananas)
                 Kite Day at Pine Lake from Phonics Readers. Educational Insights.

1.)    Introduce the lesson with the following: “We all want to become successful readers and in order to do this we need to read fluently. This means fluency means that you can read faster without stopping to decode each word. Once you become fluent reading will be more fun and you’ll enjoy picking up books and reading. In order to practice this we’re going to read and reread books until we become more familiar with the text and begin reading faster.”
2.)    “Let’s talk about what we do when we don’t know a word. Who can tell me one way to figure out a word we are not familiar with? Cover-up, very good. Let’s take the word ‘bat’ and go through the process of cover-up. We start by covering up all the letters except the vowel. Remember that a = /a/. Next let’s uncover the b and blend it with the /a/. Now we have /ba/. Last let’s uncover the t and blend it with /ba/ to get ‘bat’. Very good! When we have the whole word we want to remember to go back and reread the sentence.”
3.)    Have the children read the sentence on the board to themselves then demonstrate both fluent and non-fluent ways of reading the sentence. “I’m going to read this sentence as a beginner might read it. Listen carefully to what it sounds like. M-y d-o-g i-s m-y b-e-s-t f-r-i-e-n-d. Did that sound right? Now let me read it again this time with speed. My dog is my best friend. Did that sound better that time? When I didn’t have to stop on each word it sounded much better. Now we’re going to practice so we can enjoy reading and make it sound good.”
4.)    Pass out copies of Kite Day at Pine Lake, (which the children have already read) and have the children get into pairs. Explain the checklist and how to fill it out. Make sure the children understand how they are to evaluate their partner. “Now I want you to read the book to your partner and then have them read it to you. While you’re doing this I am going to pass out the checklist and you’re going to continue to take turns reading. When your partner is done reading the second time you’re going to fill out the checklist. You will also do this after your partner reads the story a third time.” The partners will read and then switch tasks so that both get a chance to read the story 3 times.
5.)    For assessment I will pull the children to my desk and have them read the story to me. I will time them so that they are only reading for one minute. The first time they read I will find their baseline and then chart their improvement each time after that with their progress chart. Each time they increase with words I will move their monkey further up the tree. These charts will be kept in the classroom so it can be continued throughout the year.

Reference:   Gainor, Brandi. Go, Speed Racer!

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