On your mark! Get set! Read!

Growing Independency and Fluency





Volandra Holloway


Rationale: Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically. Individuals who are fluent decoders generally comprehend written text better than those who are poor at decoding.



Materials: Individual copies of Here Comes the Strikeout by: Leonard Kessler, board for sentences, paper to chart child’s one-minute reading.






  1. Say: “Today students we are going to learn how to become better readers. In order to be a better reader, you have to read the words correctly, you have to read fast, and you have to be able to understand what you read. When you are able to do these things reading will be a lot more fun.”


  1. Say: “Remember that to be a better reader you have to read the words correctly. Let’s pretend that we are reading and we come to the word [last]. To figure out what the word says, you would cover up all the letters except for the vowel. In this word the vowel is a=/a/. Next, cover up all of the letters except the first letter which is l=/l/. So far we have la=/la/. Then cover-up all the letters except the last two st=/st/. Put those letters together l-a-s-t=last. After you’ve figured out the word, you would then re-read the sentence to make sure the word made sense.” I would them model how to do this using a different word.


  1. Say: “Now let’s practice using cover-ups.” I would write a sentence on the board and have one child come to the board and use cover-ups on the unknown word. I would then have the child re-read the sentence to see if it makes sense. If the word does not make sense, I will let the child practice again. I would repeat this using a different word and a different child each time. I would continue this until I felt the children understood.


  1. Say: “O.K. we’re on our way to becoming better readers. The next thing we have to do is read faster.” I will write a sentence on the board and model how to read faster. Tell the children that they probably won’t be able to read it fast the first time but they will if they keep practicing. Allow the children a chance to practice reading fast with a partner. Give them an ample amount of time to practice.


  1. Say: “Alright boys and girls our last step to becoming a better reader is being able to understand what you read. Take out Here Comes the Strikeout. Give the children a book talk and let them read the rest of the story on their own to find out what happens. “Remember children we are trying to become better readers and in order to do that we have to read fast, correctly, and understand what you read.” Allow the children a chance to read the story more than once if needed. Then discuss the story with the class.


  1. After the children have had sufficient amount of practice, I will assess them by giving each student a one-minute reading with the book. This way I’ll know exactly what each student needs work on. I’ll continue one-minute readings throughout the year until I see progress from each student.


References: J. Lloyd Eldredge, Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms, New Jersey, Prentice Hall. 1995, 19 pages.


Leonard Kessler, Here Comes the Strikeout, New York, Harper&Row Publishers, 1965, 1-64.

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