Nikki Montgomery
Growing Independence and Fluency

                                                  Book Nook

Rationale:  To be able to read and decode words from decodable texts, and other books, is what children need to know how to do.  A child has to begin reading decodable texts, to help them to decode words, and doing this will help them to gain fluency as they read these texts.  This lesson is designed solely for this purpose.  To begin having students reading decodable texts, will not only help to improve their fluency but their writing ability as well.  This lesson also gives guidance with having children write, or create, their own short stories.

Materials:  pencil, notebook paper, library, library books, markers, crayons, white paper, construction paper (past 4 materials to aid in students’ assessment procedure), stop watch.

Procedures:  1. Introduce lesson by taking class to the library.  Have children check out a book that interests them.  But they must run the book by the teacher first, which the teacher should make sure the book is on the child’s instructional reading level.
2. Once the class comes back from the library, have DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read).  Let students read their library books for 30 minutes.  NOW, CLASS WE ARE GOING TO READ OUR LIBRARY BOOKS, BUT WE ARE GOING TO READ THEM SILENTLY.  DO YOU KNOW HOW TO READ SILENTLY?  WELL, TO READ SILENTLY, WE READ QUIETLY AND TO OURSELVES, NOT DISTURBING OTHERS AROUND US.  THE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER ABOUT READING SILENTLY IS THAT WE CAN ALL READ ON OUR PACE.  YOU CAN READ AS MUCH AS YOU WANT TO WITHIN THE 30 MINUTES THAT I AM GIVING YOU TO READ.
3. After the 30 minutes are over, have students write a short story including the main character from their book.  BOYS AND GIRLS, WE ARE GOING TO WRITE A SHORT STORY, USING THE MAIN CHARACTER FROM THE BOOKS WE JUST READ.  I DO NOT WANT YOU TO SUMMARIZE WHAT YOU JUST READ, BUT MAKE UP A STORY WITH THE MAIN CHARACTER FROM YOUR LIBRARY BOOK.
4. After everyone has completed writing their short stories, divide the students into groups of 4.  In the groups, tell the students that you want each one to read their story to their group, and then afterwards, the group needs to decide on one story they want to present to the class.
5. Teach a minilesson on a new correspondence, such as “-ought” makes the sound /ot/.  Introduce new words, such as “thought, bought, sought” and model to students on the board, using cover-ups to help them with this process.
6. Have students choose a decodable book from the classroom library set, and tell the student that you want to see how much each student can read in a minute.  The teacher needs to have a stopwatch and time to children, to test their fluency.  Do this 2 to 3 more times, to increase each child’s fluency level.
7. FOR ANOTHER 30 MINUTES CLASS, WE ARE GOING TO READ SILENTLY AGAIN.  PULL OUT YOU LIBRARY BOOKS THAT YOU WERE READING EARLIER AND CONTINUE TO READ THEM.  IF YOU READ THROUGH THEM BEFORE, THEN READ THEM AGAIN.
8. For Assessment, have students come to the teacher’s desk individually, and read a section from their library books.  They should be able to read the section well, because they have read it before, and this should have aided in their fluency and comprehension.

Reference:  Thompkins, Gail E. (1997).  Literacy for the 21st Century, A Balanced Approach.  Prentice Hall, New Jersey.  Appendix.

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