It's a bird, it's a plane, No· it's a fluent reader!

Rebecca Schofield


Rationale: The primary goal of reading instruction is for students to comprehend the text and read words rapidly and automatically. In order for children to become fluent readers, they must be able to read words in a smooth, fast manner and with expression. Rereading text is a means by which students will increase the number of words/minute they are reading, their speed, smoothness, and automatically, and in turn, increase their fluency. Students will work in-groups of three reading, decoding, discussing, and rereading their own books of choice (level appropriate) which will aide in fluency development. Reading practice among students will result in their increased reading achievement/fluency.



Chart paper with the sentence:  "After school my mom made me a snack and I started my homework" written on it.


Individual sentence strips with the sentence: "In the summer I like to play outside with my friends." written on it.


A pre-made picture of a horizon (ground and sky) and a cut out for each student of either Superman or Wonder Woman, depending on the students gender.


Stopwatch for every group of two students


Several different books of different reading levels (i.e. Amelia Bedelia by    Peggy Parish Bt Bound; October 1999)




Autograph Books




Today class, we are going to begin by talking about how important it is for readers to read both quickly and smoothly. Not only does it sound better when we read this way, but it also helps us to make more sense of what we are reading. This means that the stories are more interesting and fun to read. Let me show you. I am going to read a sentence one time through just like a beginning reader would and then I am going to read it again like a really good reader would read it. I want you to listen closely to the difference. Listen closely to the difference. "A f ter sch ool my mom m a de me a s n a ck an d I s t ar t ed my h o me w or k ". That didn't sound quite right did it? Now let me read it again. Notice my speed this time" After school my mom made me a snack and I started my homework.ä That sounds much better doesn't it? What are some things that I did differently in the second sentence than in the first sentence? Take time for students to answer. Thatās right!


Now I am going to put you into groups of two (group students according to their reading level, the students should be performing at about the same level). I am going to give each group a sentence to work with (In the summer I like to play outside with my friends). I want you to read the sentence through for the first time out loud to each other. Listen to the way that it sounds the first time that you read it. Then I want you to read the sentence silently to yourself at least five times through. Reading the sentence repeatedly will help you with your speed. Then I want you to read the sentence again out loud to your partner. Notice how different it sounds this time. Allow students time to work with the sentence. What makes it sound better? Did it sound better when you read it fast or slow? Great job!


Now let's try this with a real book! I am going to give each group a book to read. While one of you reads the book the other one is going to be the timer. You will be timed for one minute. Read as many words as you can. If you come to a word that you donāt know, use the cover up method to try to figure it out. If you still canāt figure it out look at the rest of the sentence. If that doesn't work, ask your partner for help. I will also be walking around to help you. We are going to do this several times so that you can become a faster and faster reader!

 After one minute is up you will count how many words you read and place your superhero next to the number of words you read on your horizon picture! Then you will switch and your partner will do the same thing. Before you start all over, make a star with your pencil on your horizon on the first number of words that you read so that we can see how much faster you are getting. I bet after a couple of times reading the book, your superhero will get farther and father up in the sky! Let's see.  On your mark get set read!


That was great! Did you notice how much you improved?  Well, I am going to give you each an Autograph Book. (This is simply a teacher made book with ten lines in the inside for signatures and comments). I want you to keep the book I gave you to read with your partner and over the next week, I want you to read this book eight times to different people. You can read to your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers, friends, pets, etc! Each time you read to someone have him or her autograph book, they can even write a comment next to their name! If you read to your pet or to someone who canāt write, have your guardian sign for them. I want you to read the book to me the ninth time you read it. Finally, when you get to number ten, I will let you read it again aloud to a friend and have them time how many words you read in a minute! I bet that after all this practice that your superhero will be flying high in the sky! We are going to use the autograph books throughout the whole year! I am going to give you a new book each week. I am so excited to see how fluently you each will be able to read.



I will assess the students by looking at their progress chart. They will mark on the horizon picture where they began and where they ended and turn it in for me to evaluate. I will also be able to take an evaluation from their read aloud and by the comments from their autograph book!



Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1995.  pp. 122-145. (Illuminations; The Reading Race by Brandi Shirley) (Openings; Ready, Set ,Read by Christi Stewart) (Openings; Practicing Smarter Not Harder is Best by: Leslie S. O'Neal)


AUTOGRAPH BOOK-  Idea by Cheryl Hackney -Shreveport Louisiana, Shreve Island Elementary


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