Let’s Book It Into Reading

Elana Rees Willett

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

Comprehension is the main goal in reading.  In order for children to comprehend easily, they must be able to read fluently.  Fluent readers can read smooth and quickly, with expression.  This lesson is designed to help children realize the benefits of fluent reading and to help them become more fluent in their reading.  

Fidgety Fish books
Dye cut fish, beach scene w/ Velcro tabs
tape recorders
Stopwatches for each child
Chalk and chalk board

1.    Begin by explaining to the children that they have become excellent decoders and that now it is time to use those decoding skills smoothly to be fluent readers.  Explain that this will help them to read better so it sounds like their everyday speech.  Write the sentence on the board and then read it in two ways out loud to demonstrate the difference in non-fluent and fluent reading to the children.  “I am going to read a sentence twice and I want you to tell me which one sounds more like regular talking and which one does not.  G-o  o-u-ou-t in-to th-e s-e-a-sea and s-w-i-m or Go out into the sea and swim.  Which one was better?  Great, the second one!  Yes, because we could understand it since it was faster and smoother!”  
2.    “We are going to read Fidgety Fish by Ruth Galloway and time ourselves to see how many words we can read smoothly and quickly in one minute.”  Pass out book, stopwatches, and tape recorders, have students read once with you while you time in front of the class.  Show them how to mark a stopping point after the minute is up and then how to count all the words up to that point.  “Ok, now that we have practiced it once, get with your partner, and read to each other for one minute.  Whoever is reading needs to be recording themselves while your partner times you, then switch up.  Once your both finished reading into the recorder for one minute, total up your words and put that number on the bottom line of your ocean.  Add ten to that number and place it on the line above, then keep adding ten until you get to the top of the card where the school of fish is.  Keep reading and timing with your partner.  Move your Velcro fish up as the number of words you read increases!  The challenge is to read fluently enough to get your fish to the school.  This means that you are reading more fluently and reading more words in a minute’s time!  You will only have to record yourselves on the first read.”  
3.    Have students read quietly to each other a few times until they get their fish as high as they can.  Once they have done this, they can get a book of their choice to read while you assess each child.  Remind students to reread the sentences that they have trouble with in order to be more fluent readers and to better understand the story.  

Call students to your desk and have him or her bring their first recording with them.  Have the students read for one minute again while you record.  Then you and the student can both listen to their progress from the first time to the last and discuss their improvements and the benefits of fluency.  

Reading Genie Website—http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/begin/peguesgf.html, Pegues, Jennifer, Dive Into Reading.
Adams, Marilyn Jager.  Beginning to Read, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,1990.

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For information e-mail: reesela@auburn.edu