Wow!  What a Speed Reader!


Growing Independence and Fluency

Beth Montgomery



          Fluent reading is an important part of successful reading.  Fluent readers are able to read smoothly and fluently.  If children are able to read fluently, they can focus more on the content of the story instead of focusing on decoding each word slowly.





  1. Explain to children that successful readers are able to read words fluently and so today we are going to work on reading words so that they flow.  Give students an example of reading a sentence fluently and reading a sentence slowly.  “I am going to read two sentences and I want you guys to tell me which sentence sounds better and is easier to understand!  Sentence one:  Dddaadd’sss d-o-g jjjummped ooonnn mmyy l-e-g.  Sentence two:  Dad’s dog jumped on my leg.  Now which one sounds better?  (the second one)  Why did it sound better? (because it was faster and smoother).”  Write another sentence (I had a hot dog for lunch today.) on the board and have the students’ break up into groups of two and practice reading the sentence fluently and slowly decoding each sound to each other.
  2. “Today we are going to work on reading as smoothly as we talk.  When we talk, do we drag out the sounds in words or do we say them quickly?  We are going to see how fast we can read passages out of a book and chart the information.  We are going to read a book called Lee and the Team.  I am going to give each group a chart and a stopwatch.  I want you to take turns reading to each other.  One person will be the reader and one person will be the timer.  The timer will give the reader one minute to read as much of the book as possible.  If you come to a word you don’t know, try covering up part of the word.  For example, if you can’t figure out the word “dog”, first cover up everything but the o = /o/, then add the d-o = /do/.  Finally, add the g = /dog/.  Oh, dog.  If the cover up method does not work, finish reading the rest of the sentence and see if you can figure out the word from the meaning of the sentence.  If that doesn’t work, ask your partner for help.  I will also be walking around so that I can help you.  Each person is going to have several turns to be the reader and timer, so that we can be working on reading fluently!”
  3. “After each time you read, I want you to count the number of words your read during that minute and mark that number on your chart.  Move your marker on the chart up and down if you read more or less words in the next minute.  After you have several turns reading, I bet you will be able to move your marker higher and higher as you learn to be a more fluent reader!”
  4. After children have done this with a partner several times, have each child pick out his favorite library book and create a chart of his own.  On this chart, the student can record how many words he or she can read in a minute and become aware of his or her reading fluency.




          For assessment, have the students come up to your desk and have the children read their favorite part of the story to you and time them for one minute.  Record the number of words they read and track their fluency development throughout the year. 



Jennifer Pegues  Dive Into Reading

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