On your mark, get set, READ!!!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Deanna Barrera




          Fluent reading is an important part of successful reading.  Fluent readers are able to read smoothly and fluently.  If children are able to read fluently, they can focus more on the content of the story instead of focusing on decoding each word slowly. Using one minute reads and repeated readings are great tools for students to help them become fluent readers.  It is important for fluent readers to read voluntarily, so providing student’s time in class to read silently can be very beneficial to their reading success.


<>Class set of Red gets Fed (Educational Insights)

Stopwatch for each group




  1. Explain to children that successful readers are able to read words fluently and so today we are going to work on reading words so that they flow.  Give students an example of reading a sentence fluently and reading a sentence slowly.  “Boys and girls I am going to read two sentences and I want you guys to tell me which sentence sounds better and is easier to understand!  Sentence one:  Mmmooolly jjjuuummpped oonn hheerr bbeeedd.  Sentence two:  Molly jumped on her bed.  Now which sentence sounds better?  (the second one) Great job!  Now why did the second sentence sound better? The second sentence is better because it was faster and smoother. (You could understand what I was saying in the second sentence.  Instead of focusing on one letter I bended the letters to make a word, and those words together made my sentence).  Write another sentence on the board .(I went shopping with my mom today.) have the students’ break up into groups of two and practice reading the sentence fluently and slowly decoding each sound to each other.
  2. “I have a question for you, when we talk do we drag out the sounds we in our words or do we talk somewhat quickly and smoothly?” That is right; we talk somewhat quickly and smoothly.”  Today we are going to work on reading as smoothly as we talk.  We are going to see how fast and smoothly we can read passages out of our book and chart the information.  We are going to read a book called Red gets Fed.  Red is a dog.  Red is some times tricky.  Red loves to eat and eat.  Red decides to pull a trick on his family, but I wonder what he is going to do?  Well to find out what will happen I will put you into groups to read the book.we will have to read the book.  Once we get into groups, I will give each group a chart, a book, and a stopwatch.  I want you to take turns reading to each other.  One person will be the reader and one person will be the timer.  The timer will give the reader one minute to read as much of the book as possible.  If you come to a word you don’t know, try covering up part of the word.  For example, if you can’t figure out the word “rip”, first cover up everything but the i = /i/, then add the r-i = /ri/.  Finally, add the p = /rip/.  Oh, rip.  If the cover up method does not work, finish reading the rest of the sentence and see if you can figure out the word from the meaning of the sentence.  If that doesn’t work, ask your partner for help.  I will also be walking around so that I can help you.  Each person is going to have several turns to be the reader and timer, so that we can become great fluent readers!”                                                                                                              
  3. “After each time you read, I want you to count the number of words your read during that minute and mark that number on your chart.  Move your marker on the chart up and down if you read more or less words in the next minute.  After you have several turns reading, I bet you will be able to move your marker higher and higher as you learn to be a more fluentreader!”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  4. After children have done this with a partner several times, have each child pick out his favorite library book and create a chart of his own.  On this chart, the student can record how many words he or she can read in a minute and become aware of his or her reading fluency.


          For assessment, have the students come up to your desk and have the children read their favorite part of the story to you and time them for one minute.  Record the number of words they read and track their fluency development throughout the year. 


Red Gets Fed. Educational Insights.

Beth Montgomery Wow! What a speed reader!


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