Rachel Coker
Growing independence and fluency
 
 

THE RACE IS ON

Rationale:  When children are learning to read, their main focus is on decoding.  As they master decoding skills they need to turn their attention to mastering the ability to read fluently while not forgetting comprehension.  Children learn to read fluency by reading and rereading books.  Being able to read with speed and accuracy gives children the confidence to tackle more and harder books.  This is also good for children socially.  In this lesson we will get a lot of practice by reading books multiple times and seeing how quickly we can do it.  We will not leave out comprehension.  We will discuss the story after reading.

Materials:  paper and pencil, stop watch, multiple copies of a "Ed and Fred Flea"

Procedures:
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that we have been working on decoding skills so far and now that we are so good at it we are going to work on something different.  ãWe are going to learn to read fluently.  This means that we are going to read books with speed and we are going to do it with out chopping up sentences.  We are going to read smoothly while learning what the book is all about.  Before we begin practicing this, letâs review what we do if we donât know a word.  If you donât know how to say a word remember to cover up the first part of the word and see if you can get the middle.  Then try the beginning and add both parts together.ä
2. ãNow we are going to begin working on speed.  This is going to be so much fun.  Who likes to race?  Thatâs what we are going to do today.  We are going to read the same book over and over several times.  This is the way that we can increase speed.ä  Go over the book and do a book talk.  This way they will be excited to see what the story is about.  You can also pick out some words that may be difficult and model them to the students.
3. ãI am going to read the book first and I want you to time me. (This way they will be less nervous if they see the teacher do it first)  I am going to let the student of the week hold the stop watch for me.  I am going to read silently for one minute and see how many pages I get through.  Let me know when the minute is up.ä  Tell the students how many pages you got through and challenge them to read more than you do.
4. Hand out the pencils and paper and the multiple copies of the books on the kidsâ independent level.  Explain to the kids that now they are going to read silently while you time them for one minute.  Then theyâll try the same story for three minutes.  ãYou will record how many pages you read for each time interval.  Who ever reads the most pages gets to be my student of the week next time.ä
5. ãNow do not begin reading until I say go.  Then when I say stop I want everyone to stop reading and all eyes should look up at me.  First we will read for one minute.  Get ready, GO.ä  Watch as they read to make sure they are actually reading.  ãStop, all eyes on me.  Now write down 1 minute on your paper and how many pages you read.ä  Model this on the board.  ãNow we will read for another minute.ä  Repeat the same procedure and then twice more for three minutes each.
6. After you finish, get the studentsâ results so you can see who won and also save them later for a math lesson on averaging or differences between one minute and three minutes readings.
7.  (For those that did not get to read the end of the book allow a few minutes for them to do so.  This way they will not be missing out on the comprehension of the story.)  For assessment pass out more paper and get the children to write down the main characters in the book.  They will also need to write down what the story was about. This is a good way to check their comprehension level. Then have a class discussion about the story.

Reference:    http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/breakthroughs
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