On your mark, get set, go!!
Growing Independence and Fluency

Staci Sealy

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.

*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


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.  

2.  Introduce the lesson by explaining fluency and how it makes us better readers.  Explain:  Reading with fluency means that as readers we read faster than we ever thought we could.   One way to become a fluent reader is by reading a story several times.  Once you read something several times it is like you don’t have to read the words anymore, they just pop out of your mouth.  Today we are going to practice becoming fluent readers.  Before we begin we must realize that it is very important to crosscheck our reading.  Crosschecking involves checking what you just read and making sure it makes sense.  (Write:  Joe needs a new pair of shoes.)  If we said Joe needs a new pair of shuts, would that make sense?  No, so we would need to go back and reread the sentence.

3.  Model reading with fluency.  Explain:  I am going to read you a sentence without fluency.  (Write on the board:  The dog ran up a hill.)  Read:  The d-o-g r-a-n u-p the h-i-ll.  Now read the sentence as a fluent reader:  The dog ran up the hill.  Ask:  Do you understand the difference between reading with fluency and reading without fluency?  Now, listen as I read the sentence again.  The dog ran up the hill.  I read the sentence faster this time because it was not the first time I had read these words.  The other times I read gave me practice and helped me read the sentence fluently this time.  Reading with fluency is what we will be practicing today.

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.


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

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

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