Michelle Strowd
Growing Independence and Fluency
  Reading Like Rabbits
Rationale: students need to be able to read fluently and proficiently in order to be able to read an adequate amount of material in a certain amount of time. Fluent readers learn to read smoothly, with expression, and fast. If a student is a slow reader, it is likely that he or she will have trouble with reading on instructional level. Reading lots of books various times is what helps children develop reading fluency.
Materials: A clock timer for teacher, the text John Henry (Picture Puffins), class set of pencils, note cards, bookmarks, and writing paper.
1.    Today we are going to work on our reading fluency skills. Before we begin, I want you all to listen closely everything I                 have to say about instructions. First, I am going to ask you all to begin reading when I start the clock timer, and when I say        "stop", I need you all to write down how many pages you read during that amount of time. Second, I want you to use the            bookmarks I have given you to help you decode words you cannot sound out. Just use the bookmark to cover up the                 letter or chunks of letters and try to sound out the word. (Teacher needs to model this procedure for students using an               unfamiliar word).  
2.    Ok everyone, as I have told you, today we are going to learn how to increase our reading speed. In order to increase our         reading fluency and speed, we are going to read John Henry several times.
Book Talk: I am going to read you all a story about a young boy that busted through the roof of his porch on the day of his birth. He was very big and strong, and as a result of his strength, he could complete many tasks that even grown adults could not finish. This powerful young man built his parents many things. Have any of you ever known a baby that had such strength? What do you think this child will do with his ability to do so many great things? Today we will read this book four times in hopes of improving the amount of pages and comprehension of those pages each time.
3.    Now, I am going to have you all time my reading for one minute. I will read as many pages as I possibly can, and understand this is what you will be doing after I am finished, so watch and listen closely to all that goes on. I will set the clock for one minute; I must stop reading when the buzzer goes off. (Allow students to time you reading silently by watching the clock and telling you to "stop" when the buzzer goes off ). Ok everyone, I read about two pages during the minute. Now I am going to write my time given and the amount of pages read. I want you all to see how I do this. I am writing a "1" with a circle around it indicating the amount of time given to read, and next to that, I am writing "2 pg" to indicate the number of pages read." Write this on the board large enough so the class will understand how to record their results. Say to the students, "Now I want you to do the same thing, except you will have five minutes to read the story silently".
4.    Pass out the books to the students. Say to the students "Now I am going to pass John Henry out to you all. I do not want you to open the book or begin reading until I tell you to begin. When I say "start", I want you to begin reading the book. At the end of five minutes, you will hear the buzzer, and I will ask you to stop. At that time I want you to stop and close the book".
5.    Set the timer and have the students begin reading by saying, "start". Give them five minutes to read and tell them to stop when the timer goes off.
6.    Now tell the students, "Ok, everyone, time is up. Please close you books. Now I need you all to take out your writing paper. Draw a 5 with a circle around it. This tells us the amount of time you all had to read. Next to that, I want you to write the number of pages you read during the past five minutes. Please write 'pg' next to that number so we will know it is the number of pages read".
7.    Ask the students, "How did you all do?" "Would any of you like to share the number of pages read?" Allow student to share how many pages they read as well as any other comments regarding the activity. Do not pressure children to share their results. Have only student that feel comfortable with sharing results tell the class how well they did. Have as many students as possible tell about what they read to ensure they are comprehending the story and not just flipping pages or reading sentences without grasping the story.
8.    Repeat these steps three more times. After students have finished the fourth trial, have another discussion about the activity and the story. At the end of the activity, take up all paper with recorded results (make sure each has the child's name) and use these to help determine the specific needs of the students regarding reading fluency.
Assessment: Have children write about what they learned during the activity. Have students include any word they had trouble with while reading silently and ask them to indicate whether or not they were able to decode the word(s) independently.

The Reading Genie Website http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie

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