Ready…Set…Let’s Read!!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Holly Kubik


To become fluent readers, children need to learn how to read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  Students will be able to work on their reading fluency through repeated and dyad reading.  By rereading text, students will learn to read more words per minute.  By working with partners, students may learn new decoding skills and will get more practice reading.  The more students read, the more their reading skills will improve.


stopwatch (one per two people),



one race track chart per child (The chart will have a race track drawn on it. The goal is to win the race, which means to make it around the track. There will be three different levels: start, middle of the track, and finish),

class set of a children's book about racing Eat My Dust! Henry’s Ford First Race, by Monica Kulling,

worksheet with three or four simple sentences to read aloud to practice speed (ex. She has made a mess.)

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining the concept of cross-checking.  Give an example of a sentence read the wrong way such as; I put my hat on my foot." Did that sentence make any sense?  No, it should be I put my shoe on my foot.  One thing to remember when you read is to make sure that the sentence makes sense when you read it aloud. Tell them that reading fluently results in reading that is more enjoyable and that today we are going to work on becoming fluent readers.

2. Today we are going to work on reading words as fast as we can.  The point of the activity is not to skip any words or read them incorrectly.  We want to read correctly as fast as we can. Model reading a sentence slowly decoding every word.  Then read the same sentence faster to show the difference and the goal for the lesson.

3. Now, I want each of you to get a partner.  I am going to hand out a worksheet with some sentences on them.  I want you to practice reading the sentences out loud to your partner.  Start slow to make sure you read all of the words correctly.  Then try to say the sentences faster and smoother.  Take turns and make sure each of you gets practice.

4. Read the racecar book aloud using the shared reading concept.  Make sure the students follow along in their copy of the book.

5. Explain to the students how fast fluent readers read and how they should all practice reading at a quicker pace.  Now that we have read the book, I want each of you to pick out two pages that are your favorite.  I am going to pass out another worksheet with a race track on it along with a stopwatch. The goal of this activity is to see how fast you can read the pages you have chosen in order to make it around the track on the chart.  Now boys and girls, you will each take turns reading to your partner. While one person reads, the other will keep the time on the watch.  Then the next time you read, if your time has improved, you can move the car to the start position and so on.  The car only moves if you increase your speed.  I want you to do this activity until you win the race or make it around the track. Once this is done they should then prepare to read the book for the third time. This time they should read the book to a peer.  The peer should use a checklist like the one attached to this page to help assess their reading. They should take turns reading to one another.  After this is done they should discuss the book. Tell what they liked and what they did not like. They should write a few things they talked about down and turn it in along with the checklists.

6. Once you’ve won the race on the chart, I want each of you to read the book silently to yourself until everyone is finished.

7. Assessment: 

Observe each group of students by walking around to be able to hear the fluency develop with the repeated readings.  Look at the charts to see if they are improving their times.  Allow students more time to practice reading silently.

At the end of the day just before they are about to go home I will allow the children to check out a book from the classroom with me and carry it home with them to read by themselves or with a parent.  Hopefully this will be a way to get the parents involved with their child’s learning as well as motivate the child to learn.  This book does not have to be on the child’s level.  It can be any book that they would like to read.  These books will be different than the books we use in our speed lessons.  They will come from our classroom library.




Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ:  Prentice Hall, Inc., 1995.  pp. 122-145.

Adams, Marilyn-Jager. Beginning To Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. 1990. pg. 88-94.

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