I Feel the Need to Read!

Growing Independence and Fluency
Lindsay Allen

Rationale:  Skillful reading requires one to read effortlessly or fluently.  A fluent reader reads fast, expressively, and without effort.  When students can ready fluently, they can then focus more energy on comprehension and not on decoding words.  During this lesson, students will learn what it means to read fluently, they will see me model fluent reading, they will practice reading fluently, and they will learn strategies that will help them remain fluent. The students will practice rereading text by taking part in Reader’s Theatre.


Materials:   Chalkboard and chalk, Need to Read worksheet of simple sentences (explained in step 4), “Help! Hillary! Help!”, “Which Shoes Do You Choose?”, various instructional level text (one per child), If You Give a Pig a Pancake big book by Laura Numeroff published by Scholastic.


Procedures: (1) I will say, “Our goal is to be the most skillful readers in Auburn!  We are well on our way to doing that.  We have learned our phonemes, we have learned how to decode words and now we are going to learn to be fluent.  Fluent means we can read fast and smooth, we can read with expression, and we can read so easily that we don’t really have to think about decoding anymore!  It also means we can read without making a noise!”


(2) I will model a non-fluent reader and a fluent reader by reading from the big book If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff and published by Scholastic.  I will read it the first time and use the cover-up strategy for a few words.  I will explain to children that I am covering up parts of the words to read the chunks.  I will then re-read the sentence.  I will say, “Now that I know the word is (insert word) I am going to read the sentence again with the word in it.”  The second time I read it I will read the words correctly, but with little expression and without smoothness.  The third time I will read very fluently and with much expression.  I will ask the students,  “Which time was the best?  Why?” 


(3) I will say, “The best way to become a fluent reader, is to read something again.  The first time we read we work through the tough words.  We decode and use our cover-ups and re-reading strategies.  We are going to learn more about how to become fluent.”  I will model by using cover-ups and rereads with this sentence on the board, “The pig likes to eat a lot of pancakes.” 


(4) I will write a sentence on the board.  I will read the sentence either fluently or not fluently.  I will say, “I want you to give me a thumbs up if it sounds fluent and a thumbs down if it does not sound fluent.  Remember a fluent reader reads smoothly, with expression, knows how to say the words without having to pause for a long time, and a fluent reader does not have to repeat words.”  I will then read simple sentences like, “The dog jumped over the gate.”  To model a non-fluent reader I will ready slowly, sound out each word, and have no expression.  To model fluency I will read with proper pace and volume and with appropriate expression.  After I read each sentence the students will decide if it sounded fluent or not fluent.  I will have them explain what was/was not fluent about the way I read the sentence.  I will ask,  “How would this sentence sound fluently?” and have one student read it fluently.  After I do two examples (one of each) I will have them partner up and read sentences fluently from the The Need to Read sheet (provided).  Their partners will decide if it was as fluent as it should be.  If it is not, the partner will read it fluently to help the struggling partner. 


(5) I will have the students stay with their partners.  Each person will choose one book and they will take turns reading to each other.  They can go to designated reading areas or the library.  I will rotate throughout the groups and monitor their progress.  They are to help each other read more fluently by giving helpful tips to each other.


(6) I will say, “Now that we know how to be fluent readers, we are going to show the people we love!  On Friday of this week, we are going to perform a play for your family!  But before we can perform it, we must rehearse our lines so we know just what to say on Friday.  We will have snacks for everyone and awards for our actors and actresses.”  I will put the students in two groups of 12.  I will provide 45 minutes each day for them to rehearse their skits.  One group will work on “Help! Hillary! Help!” and the other will work on “Which Shoes Do You Choose?” (both skits included)



Manning, M.  Go, Speed Reader! Go!



Shepard, A.  Aaron Shepard’s RT Page.  http://www.aaronshep.com/rt/

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