Go, Speed Reader!
first learn to read by decoding
words. Beginning readers are slow to
decode words. Decoding usually requires
some effort; beginning readers have to think about each word and its
letters. However, as beginning readers
gain practice in decoding words, they can advance to independent
readers. Independent reading requires one
effortlessly and automatically with fluency and accuracy.
Once children can read effortlessly and
fluently, then they can focus more on the meaning of the text. This lesson is designed to help students
increase their fluency by rereading a text and becoming familiar with
it. During this lesson, children will
it means to read fluently, and they will have an opportunity to
reading fluently. They will also
discover that reading fluently helps them gain more meaning from the
learn to recognize words automatically.
After the lesson, the students will have practice in and an
understanding of reading with fluency.
They will be able to use a strategy to increase fluency in their
- Chalk and chalkboard
- Class set of Sam the
Garbage Hound by Charnan Simon
- Copy of fluency checklists for each
student (checklist will include headings: remembered
more words, read faster, read smoother, read slowly, stopped many
times, and did not stop at all during reading)
- Small charts (1 per child) to keep up
with words per minute – chart needs to be a racecar that moves forward
on a race track as the students increase words per minute
- Introduce the lesson by explaining
that in order to become better readers, we must begin to read fluently. "Fluency or reading fluently, means reading
faster, automatically, and effortlessly. Once
we learn how to read fluently, we will be able to understand the text
more because we will not have to try so hard to read the words. One way to become more fluent in reading is to
read the same story more than once, reading faster each time because we
become more familiar with the book. Another
way of saying this is rereading. Today we
are going to practice reading with fluency by rereading a book. First, let's review how we can figure out a
word that we may not already know. The
first thing we should do is use the cover-up technique.
Remember when we practiced this? For
example, if we were stuck on the word must, the first
thing we would do is cover up everything but the vowel, u. The u makes the /u/ sound. Then we would uncover the first letter, m. The m
makes the /m/ sound. We would combine the
sounds together to get /mu/. Next we would
uncover the next letter after the vowel, s. The s makes /s/.
We would combine all the sounds again and get /mus/. Finally, we would uncover the last letter, t. The t
makes /t/ sound. We would combine all the
sounds and get the word must. Also,
remember that we can also crosscheck. This
is where we read on to the end of the sentence and figure out what
would make sense. Does everyone understand? Good! Now let's
move on to become better readers." (Teacher
will write must on the board and demonstrate how to
use the cover-up technique to figure out the word).
- Demonstrate to the students the
difference between reading with fluency and reading without fluency. Say to students: "I
am going to show you how to read with and without fluency.
Listen to my reading and see if you can tell me the
difference. I am going to write a sentence
on the board. I am going to read it twice,
once with fluency and once without." (Teacher
writes sentence on board -The cat ran up a tree.) Teacher reads sentence through once without
fluency, sounding out each word: "The c-a-t r-a-n u-p a t-r-ee. Notice
that I read the sentence slowly. It is
very hard to understand the sentence when I do not recognize the words
in it. I have to spend most of my effort
sounding out the words, not understanding them. Now
listen to me read it again with fluency. The cat ran up a tree. What
did you notice about the second reading of the sentence?
Very good! I read it a little
faster because I recognized the words from the first time I read them. It was also easier for me to understand the
sentence because I did not have to spend so much time sounding out the
words. The words flow together. This is what we will be practicing today. I want you to be able to read by yourself just
like I did."
- Give students a chance to practice. "Now, I want us to practice reading with
fluency. We are going to practice by
reading a story called Sam the Garbage Hound. This story is about a dog named Sam. Sam lives in a dump. He
eats whatever he can find in the dump, and he sleeps wherever he can
find a comfortable place to sleep. It was
fun for a while, but Sam started to get lonely. One
day, a little girl and her mother came to the dump to drop off some
trash. The little girl saw Sam and loved
him. Will she get to take him home with
her? We will have to read to find out."
- Teacher passes out a copy of the book
to each student. "Now, I want you to
practice reading this book on your own. I
will give you a few minutes to read the book to yourself.
Remember the strategies we talked about that will help you
figure out a word if you get stuck. Once
you read it through once, if you still have time, read it through again. At the end, I will ask you a few questions
about the story to see if you understood what you read."
Have the children read to themselves for a few minutes. They may reread the story if they finish in
time. The teacher will walk around,
helping children use the strategies if they need help and monitoring
- When the students are finished, the
teacher will ask them questions to see if they were able to focus on
meaning. Teacher will ask:
What did Sam do for fun at the dump? Why was Sam lonely? What
happened that changed Sam's life? Is he
still lonely? Teacher will ask
comprehension questions and allow students to respond for a few
minutes. Teacher will allow students to
reflect and comment on how reading with fluency helps with
- Teacher will divide the students into
partners. Teacher will explain how to fill
out a fluency checklist for a partner. The
checklist will include: I noticed that my
partner – remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, read
slowly, stopped many times, and did not stop at all during reading
(after 2nd and 3rd reading).
For the next few minutes, the students will read with their
partner, assessing fluency. Each partner
will read the story aloud all the way through once.
On the second and third reading, the partner listening will
fill out a fluency checklist on the student's reading.
The listening partner will check all that apply to the
reading partner's fluency in reading. The
partners will take turns with each other reading and filling out the
- For assessment, teacher will call each
student up to her desk and have him or her read the book aloud. Teacher will do a one-minute assessment of
student's reading with fluency. Teacher
will make a note of each student's progress (page number, word, etc.)
and test it periodically each week to check for improvement in fluency. Teacher could also keep a chart of students'
words per minute as they practice reading with fluency.
These charts can be posted in the classroom.
Speed Read. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/bennettgf.html
the Garbage Hound. New
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