Racing Readers
Growing Independence and Fluency


Melissa Hensley

Fluent readers must read consistently, fluently, accurately, and with emotion.  In order for the students to become fluent readers, we will work on reading speed.

Stopwatches for each pair of students
Monkey reading chart for each student (this includes a monkey that is progressivly trying to reach a higher level on a tree.  Each time a student reads, you move the monkey to the number of words they read in that minute)
A copy of the book, Let’s Go Froggy by Jonathan London for each student (published by Picture Puffin)

1.  Now that we have learned all of our letter correspondences, it is time to become the best readers we possibly can.  In order to be the best readers, we have to try to make our books sound interesting and read without pausing very much.  This is called expression and fluency.  We are going to try to say all of our words with emotion and to read them very fast, without messing up.
2.  I am going to read you all a sentence in two different ways, I want you to listen carefully and tell me which sentence sounds the best.  

Read one sentence sounding out each phoneme, short and choppy, and then read it again in a normal reading voice.  "   Now here is the sentence a second time, I am going to the store."  

Which sentence sounded best?  That’s right, the second one did.  That’s because I read it the best that I could.
3.  We are going to read a book called, Let’s Go Froggy!  This is about Froggy and his dad trying to go for a bike ride.  Every time they start to go for the ride, they forget something and have to go back and get it.  They try this a lot of times, and Froggy’s dad is beginning to wonder if they are ever going to go on their bike ride.  Does Froggy finally remember everything or do they have to give up on their bike ride?  Let’s read and find out!
Allow each student to read the book to themselves.
4.  Now, we are going to try to read this book even better and faster.  We are going to do something called quick reads.  We will read for a minute.  After we do that, we will count all of the words we read in that minute.  Then, we will move our monkey on our chart to that number of words.  We are going to try to get our monkey’s higher every time we read.  Model for the children by setting a timer and reading for a minute.  Then, count the words and move your monkey accordingly.
5.  Put the students in pairs and allow them to read while a partner times for a minute.  They will then count the words and move the monkeys.  Each reader will do this 3 times.
6.  Assess the students by recording their first reading and comparing it with their last reading.  The students should have been able to read more words per minute during the last read.

References: - Faster, Faster, Faster by: Rachael Williams
- Speedy Reading by: Jessica Pieplow

Eldredge, J. Lloyd, (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Prentice Hall Inc. pg. 8, 19.

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