Riding the Fluent Reading Waves

Fluency Literacy Design

Amanda Kaye Owens


Rationale: Students must learn to read with fluency and efficiency to gain enjoyment and meaning from reading. These skills lead to comprehension and expressive qualities in reading.  Re-reading a text is a way to help students develop fluency because they use effortless word recognition.  


Materials: What will the seal eat? Educational Insights, 1990.  Class set

                  Stop watches for each group of two students

                 Progress chart for each child with a seal marker and several waves for graphing the number of words read in one    minute

                 Cards for each group of students with sentences like "The car is small and fast.” Or "My mother and I eat ice cream at the park"            




  1. “Today we are going to practice becoming super readers! We are going to work with partners to practice reading with fluency. Fluency means that we read quickly and smoothly. Why would we like to read quickly and smoothly?
  2. “I am going to read this sentence in two ways, like a beginning reader and like a reader who is reading quickly and smoothly.” Have sentence on the board and model reading slowly and then reading with fluency. “Thhhheeee bbboookkk is on the rrreeddd shhhhhellf. I read very slowly that time. This time I am going to read the sentence quickly and smoothly. I am going to read it to myself silently  first. The book is on the red shelf.”
  3. Reading quickly and smoothly helps me understand the sentence better.  Now you try. Find a partner and read the sentence on this card.  How does it sound the first time you read the sentence? Read it one time to  your partner and then 3 times to yourself silently.  Reading the sentences several times will help you read it quickly and smoothly. Then read it aloud again, see what a quick and smooth super reader you are?”
  4. "Remember if you come to a word you don't know you can try a cover up to figure it out.  If  come to the word on the board ( have bed written), I can cover up everything but the vowel.  So it's /e/.  Now add the first part /b/, so it is niow /b/e/.  Add the last part /d/, so it becomes /b/e/d/. Bed!
  5. Pass out progress charts, stopwatches and What will the seal eat books to groups.  Now I want you to have two jobs with your partner. One of you will be the reader and one will be the timer.  When it’s your turn to read, see how many words you can read in one minute quickly and smoothly. Your partner will work the stopwatch for one minute.  Don’t skip any words.  At the end of one minute count how many words you read and then move your seal up the waves for the number of words.  Then your partner has the job of reading and you have the job of timing them for one minute.  Don’t forget to let your partner count the number of words they read and move their seal up the waves.”
  6. Keep switching until you have both read three times. If you read more words move up the waves, if you read less words move down the waves. After reading a few times you will be on your way up the waves to super reading!
  7. Walk around and listen to the students reading assisting them with recording their chart.
  8. Assessment:  I will call each student up to do a one minute read with me to individually assess reading fluency.  I will also collect the progress charts for each student to assess the words per minute.



Ready Set Read!
Auburn University


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