Growing Independence and Fluency
In order for children to become good readers they must be able to read a sufficient amount of text in an appropriate amount of time. They must gain reading fluency, which is recognizing words accurately and automatically. Readers are skilled when they can read with expression and comprehension. They can do this because they don’t have to stop or slow down to sound out words.
- One large picture of an alien (Take Me to Your Reader) for classroom wall. Different words per minute marks (40 wpm, 50 wpm, … 150 wpm) on wall where students’ names can be listed when they reach the mark.
- Multiple copies of I Went to the Bay by Ruth Miller
- Checklist for students to use while observing their partner.
Explain to the students that becoming a better more fluent reader will make reading more fun. One way to becoming a fluent reader is by rereading the same story and each time getting faster because you are more familiar with the book. Today we are going to read a book and then reread it with better fluency. Review how figure out a word on your own that you are stuck on. First use cover-ups: for example, if you wanted to figure out the word bet, first you would cover up everything but the vowel, e. The e makes the /e/ sound. Then uncover the first letter, b. The b makes the /b/ sound. Now combine the sounds. Next uncover the last letter, t. The t makes the /t/ sound. Combine all the sounds, bet. Also remember to crosscheck. If you get stuck, read the rest of the sentence to see what would make sense.
Read two sentences and let students decide which sounded better. Read the first sentence sounding out each phoneme. Then read second sentence quickly and fluently. Ask the students which time sounded smoother. Then which way they want to read. Read two more sentences. The first should be monotone with no expression. Then reread with expression and excitement. Ask students which way they understood better. Ask which way they would rather hear if they were listening to a story.
Have the class split up into groups of two. Students have an individual checklist to observe their partner. Our book is about a boy who decides to go to the bay one day and he sees many different animals and then starts thinking about them. Hand out a copy of I Went to the Bay by Ruth Miller. Have the students read the book first to themselves then they take turns reading the book out loud to their partner and their partner uses the checklist and when a student gets everything checked off of the list that student comes to me for a timed reading to get their words per minute. Then if they want to they can put their name on the wall next to their wpm. Not all students will get the whole list checked off the first day.
After the readings go over the story with students asking them questions about the interesting things our character saw. Allow the students a chance to ask about any difficult words. Let the students get back with their partner and using the checklist again read the story to each other to check for fluency and comprehension.
Ready Set Read by Anna Ludlum http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/ludlumgf.html
Adams. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. p.88-92.
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