Fun With Fluency

Megan Schmidt
Design: Growing Independence and Fluency

In order for children to enjoy reading they need to learn how to read with fluency and efficiency.  A child must learn how to blend words in order to successfully read fluently.  Repeated readings help children accomplish fluent reading and also the enjoyment of reading.

flash cards with pseudowords on them (yim, wef, creb, drup, stranz, yain, yellot, bathtail, wetgot, and trangrop), "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" by Laura Numeroff, and a stopwatch.

1.  Begin the lesson by holding up flash cards with pseudowords on them for the class to decode.  Model how to decode a sample word for the class and then have the class join in with the other words.  Pseudo word ideas for the flashcards: yim, wef, creb, drup, stranz, yain, yellot, bathtail, wetgot, and trangrop.

2.  "Now we know one way to figure out unknown words, by putting together chunks of words.  What is another way you can read a word that you get stuck on?  If you get stuck on a word you can decode it.  An example is if we have the word stuck.  Cover the st- and the ck- so all is showing is the u.  Sound it out, /u/.  Good.  Then uncover the st and sound out the /st/.  Then blend the /st/ and /u/ so we have /st/ /u/.  Finally uncover the end of the word, the cd and say it all together st-u-ck, stuck.  Good!"

3.  "Now we are going to practice how fast and how smooth we can read sentences.  Which sentence sounds better?  To-mmy wan-ted b-r-own sh-oes for th-e fi-r-st da-y of s-ch-ool."  Read the same sentence a second time, but smoother and faster.  "The second way sounds much better.  We are going to practice reading the same book several different times until we can read the book smoothly."

4.  Pass out copies of "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" to the class.  Have the children first spend some time getting familiar with the book and reading it on their own several times.  After fibing the children plenty of time to read the book several times and become familiar with it put them in pairs.

5.  Give time for each pair of children to practice reading the story out loud to their partner several times.  This will allow them to become even more familiar with the text, become more comfortable with reading aloud to peers, and also will help them to become more fluent.

6.  For assessment, have each child read an excerpt from the story that they have been reading.  Make it the same excerpt for every child and record if they are able to read it fluently and how long it took them to read it.


Numeroff, Laura, "If You Give a Pig a Pancake", Harper Collins Publishers, 1998.

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