Growing Fluency Lesson
The goal of
fluency is effortless word recognition as well as reading expressively
and voluntarily. Without fluency, the student's reading is
choppy, which can affect his/her comprehension of the text. The
formula for fluency is to read and reread decodable words in connected
text. This lesson is designed to help build fluency in the
students' reading. They will learn how to read fluently as I
explain and model the process. Then, they will practice those
fluency techniques as they prepare to perform a play to the Reader's
Theater Script of
Miss Nelson is Missing!
Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard and James Marshall, published by
Houghton Mifflin, © 1977; Reader's Theater Script of text (enough
copies for each student (it's a good idea to split up longer parts such
as the narrator's part into Narrator 1, 2, etc.)) [Note: the
script will have to be created by the teacher. When creating the
script, list all of the characters and make sure that each character in
the book is included, then type the text of what each character should
say in addition to how the character should say it and any other action
notes necessary. Longer texts can be shortened by omitting parts that
aren't essential to the storyline.]; optional: nametags on yarn;
silent reading checklist (_voicing, _whisper, _lips only, _silent);
optional: timer (for one minute reads).
lesson by explaining that fluency is important because it allows us to
read effortlessly and to understand the text more easily. Today,
we're going to practice being fluent readers and then perform a play
for the class.
reading speed. Read a sentence from the book very slowly and
without expression, decoding each word as you read. Say:
Can any of you tell me what the sentence that I read was talking
about? When we read a sentence too slowly, then it's hard for us
to understand or even remember what we just read. Read the same
sentence very quickly and without expression. Say: Did any
of you understand what the sentence was about that time? When we
read a sentence too quickly without paying attention to the words, then
it's also hard for us to understand or remember what we just
read. Read the text at the appropriate, moderate speed, paying
close attention to the text and reading with expression.
Say: Now, can you tell me what the sentence was talking
about? If we take the time to read at a speed that is not too
fast or not too slow, and focus on each of the words in the sentence so
that we can read with expression, then the story makes more
to the students how to read silently. Read sentence from book
aloud. Say: This is called reading aloud--we usually do
this when reading to someone else or practicing for a play. Read
sentence in whisper--we use our whisper voices when we are reading to
the teacher or a friend and trying not to disturb others. But
what we want to practice today is reading in our heads without
talking. You might start out moving your lips without letting the
words come out [model this for them], but eventually we want to try to
read only in our heads without even moving our lips.
Today we are going to put on a play to a story that we have read before
called Miss Nelson is Missing! Say: How many of
you remember this story from last time? Have the students tell
details from the book by asking the following questions: Who were
the main characters? Where did the story take place? What
happened at the beginning of the story? What happened in the
middle of the story? What happened at the end of the story?
[Pass out scripts and nametags for the characters if you have them;
otherwise, allow time to select parts]. Remember, we are going to
practice reading silently as we go over the parts that we have
students practice reading their scripts silently first. As they
are reading, walk around the classroom and do a silent reading
checklist on each of the students.
the students have had ample time to read the scripts and you've done a
checklist on all of the students, allow the students to practice their
parts in front of the class. Before the practice run-through,
remind the students of the importance of reading with expression.
Read a sentence from the book in monotone. Say: That's what
you call reading with no expression. Then reread the sentence
with expression. That's what you call reading with
expression. See the difference in reading without expression and
reading with expression. Let's try to remember to read with
expression as we're practicing our parts. Allow the students to
do a practice run-through 1 or 2 times, and then have them do the
assessment, the teacher can simply use the silent reading checklist
that was done on each student. Another good assessment is to do a
one minute read with each of the students. [If doing a one minute
read, be sure to use the actual book rather than the script].
Otherwise, it's a good idea to simply take anecdotal notes of each of
the student's reading (Are they reading fluently--what areas need
improvement?) as they perform the play so that you can remember the
areas that each student is struggling/excelling in so that you can plan
for future lessons.
more information on how to develop reading fluency, visit the Reading
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