Growing Independency and Fluency Design

Jennifer Kate Hall


Rationale:  Students need to be able to read fluently in order to be able to read a sufficient amount of material over a certain period of time. Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically.  Fluent readers learn to read smoothly, with expression, and fast. Students will practice fluent reading by rereading and focusing on reading faster each time.

Materials: board to write sentence, individual copies of What will the Seal Eat?, checklist paper with: 1. stopped several times or did not stop at all   2. blended words together and could understand or did not blend words together and could not understand and 3. read fast or read slow, and class chart to note progress in fluency

1. Begin lesson by telling students that to become better readers, they must learn to read faster, effortlessly, and automatically.  Say: When you learn to do this, you will become a better reader and will enjoy reading much more. This will make reading easier and more fun! The best way to do this is to read the same story over and over again and get faster and faster each time you reread it since you become more familiar with the book.
2.  Say: First letâs figure out how you can read a word that you are stuck on. We will use what is called cover upâs.  Letâs say you are stuck on the word clap. What you should do to read this word is cover up everything but the vowel a. Think to yourself, a says /a/ like a crying baby. Then uncover the first letter, which would be c. Remember that c makes the /ccccc/ sound. Then move to the next letter which is l and remember that l makes the /lllll/ sound. Now blend the first two sounds together. /CCCCC/ with /lllll/ to form /cl/ and add the sound that the vowel makes to that. Now you have /cla/. Finally uncover the last letter p and think that it makes the /ppp/ sound. Form all sounds together to make the word c-l-a-p=clap. Donât forget to crosscheck. If you figure out a word, finish reading the sentence to make sure it makes sense.
3.  Show students the difference in reading with fluency and reading without fluency. Say: Boys and girls, I want you to see the difference in how reading WITH fluency makes reading much more enjoyable. I am going to read the same sentence twice (write on board so they can read along). The first time I will read it slow and without fluency. I l-o-v-e t-o r-e-a-d. Did you see that I read slowly and it was hard to understand what I said? Thatâs because the words were choppy and did not flow together to make sense. Now I will read faster and fluently. I love to read. Could you understand what I read? [yes] See how reading faster makes reading easier and more fun? [yes] Great. I want you all to read this way in your stories today. I want you to practice reading faster so that you can understand the meaning of the story better.
4. Say: I want everyone to take out a copy of What will the Seal Eat? (each student should have a copy). This book is about a hungry seal who cannot decide what he wants to eat. Have any of you ever been this way? [yes] Well, this seal goes to many different places but he still doesnât know what he wants to eat, and he is getting VERY hungry! I want each of you to silently read this book to find out the seal gets to eat. If you finish reading the story once, read it again. Remember we are focusing on reading many times to get faster.
5.  After everyone has read the book, discuss the story. Question what the seal actually ate in the end of the story to see if students comprehended what they read. Allow them to make comments and tell personal stories if they wish.
6.  Say: Now we are going to read in buddies. Divide up into partners at your table. I want each person/partner to read the story to the other partner completely through one time. Then, take turn reading to each other a second time while the partner listening completes a fluency checklist on the reading student. Switch. (Go over how to fill out the checklist with the class. They will have to circle which category their partner displays, like 1. stopped several times or did not stop at all   2. blended words together and could understand or did not blend words together and could not understand and 3. read fast or read slow).
7. I will assess the students by setting aside time with each student to do a one-minute reading with the book. I will look over their checklist from partner readings and see how well they did with their peer. I will record each studentâs progress and time on a chart and continue to do one-minute reading until each one improves even the slightest amount.


Strowd, Michelle. (Spring 2002). ãReading Like Rabbits.äA fluent reading design created by Michelle Strowd.
    Auburn University Reading Genie website: retrieved 11/2/03.

What will the Seal Eat? Educational Insights: Carson, CA. 1990.

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