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Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  Fluency and accuracy are reguired in order to become an independent reader.  Readers must learn to read with automaticity so that they can focus on the meaning of a text.  This lesson will help students learn what it means to read fluently.  Students will also practice reading fluently with this lesson in order to become independent readers.

Materials:
*Fluency checklists for each student (checklist will have the categories: read faster, remembered more words, read smoother, and read with expression)
*Class set of Arthur’s Tooth by Marc Brown
*Progress chart (for student use) to keep up with words per minute.  Chart could be a monkey that moves up a palm tree as words per minute increase.
*Dry erase board and markers
*Stopwatches
*Pencil

Procedure:

1.  Use the cover up strategy to warm up with the children.  Say:  What is this word? STRETCH.  How can we find out what this word is?  That’s right use the cover up method.   For example, (write the word stretch on the board) if we came to this word in a story how we could successfully read the word.  First, we would begin by covering up everything but the vowel e.  (Demonstrate covering up the str and tch on the chalkboard)  Now we know that e = /e/.  Next, we will look at the letters that come before the vowel which are str=/str/.  Now we take the /str/ and /e/ and blend them together.  Finally, let’s look at the end of the word tch=/ch/.  On the when I say go let’s put all 3 sounds together.  (/str/ /e/ /tch/)  Very good! It is important to learn ways to figure out words that we don’t know.

4.  We are going to practice reading the story Arthur’s Tooth.  This story is about Arthur and his new loose tooth.  Arthur is very upset because he is the only kid in his class that still has all baby teeth.  Will Arthur loose his tooth?  You’ll have to read the story to find out what happens to Arthur.  Explain:  Now I would like for everyone to practice reading the book on your own.  Remember to use cover-ups and crosschecking.  After a few minutes randomly have students pair up with a reading buddy.  Buddies will read the book together.

5.  Students will remain with their partner but will be asked questions to check for understanding.  What is Arthur worried about in the story?  What happens at the end of the story?  What is your favorite part of the story?  Explain:  Now I want for each of you to decide who in your group will be the reader and who will be the recorder.  Readers will read as the recorders use stopwatches to set 1 minute time limits.  Together they will count the number of words read and record their findings on the progress chart.  Students will read the story two times and then switch roles.

6.  Assessment:  Call students up individually to read the book aloud.  Teacher will complete the fluency checklist for each student.  Weekly, students should be checked for progress.

References:

Bennett, Shelley.  Speed Read. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/manninggf.html

Brown, Marc.  Arthur’s Tooth.  New York.  Scholastic, Inc., 1985.