"Faster, Faster, Red Riding Hood!"

                                            Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Emily Watts


Rational: Fluent reading is the final step to becoming a successful reader.  Fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically, and is read at the speed of speech.  It takes much time and practice to become a fluent reader.  When fluency is achieved, the reader has the ability to recognize words automatically and comprehend written text faster than non-fluent readers.  There are three every important skills needed to become a fluent reader, which include the ability to read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  Repeated reading and dyad reading are great ways for students to work on their reading fluency.  Rereading texts allows students to learn to read more words per minute, while working with partners allows students to learn new decoding skills as well as giving them more practice reading.  The more students read, the more their reading skills will improve. 


Materials: Enough copies of Red Riding Hood By: James Marshall (Scholastic) for every pair of children in the class, a stop watch, A speed record sheet for each child, a fluency literacy rubric for each child, Red Riding Hood speed chart for each student, and a  Red Riding Hood marker for each student, chalk, copies of Frog and Toad Together (Scholastic) for each student.


Speed Record Sheet

Name:________             Date:________

1st time:______

2nd time:______

3rd time:______


Literacy Rubric

Name:________             Evaluator:______          Date:________

I noticed that my partner….. (color in the circle)

After 2nd                         After 3rd

O                                    O                          Remembered more words

O                                    O                          Read faster

O                                    O                          Read smoother

O                                    O                          Read with expression




1.      Introduce the lesson to the students by saying, "Fluent reading comes with practice.  Remember the old saying PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT."  Explain to the students that reading expressively, smoothly, and quickly is the key to fluent reading.  (Be sure to explain the meaning of expressively, smoothly, and quickly so that your students understand).  For Example, say, "When a person reads with expression they put a lot of feeling and emotion in their voices when they read to make the story more exciting."  Then explain to your students that today they are going to read the same text several times so that they can learn how to become fluent readers and as a result their reading will become much more enjoyable and exciting.  Remind the students that fluent readers do not always know every word but they either read to the end of the sentence or use a silent cover-up method when they are stuck on a word.

2.      Write this sentence on the board. (A long time ago there lived a pretty child called Red Riding Hood.)  Read the sentence slowly to the students (modeling a poor (nonfluent) reader).  A l-o-o-n-g t-i-i-me a-a-g-o th-e-er-e l-i-v-e-d a p-r-e-e-t-t-y ch-i--l-d c-a-a-l-le-d R-e-e-d R-i-i-d-d-i-ng Ho-o-o-d.  Sound out some words slowly and model the silent cover-up method on some words.  Then read the sentence expressively, smoothly, and, and quickly (A long time ago there lived a pretty child called Red Riding Hood).  Ask the children if they liked the first time I read the sentence or the second time.  Good! The second time I read with fluency!! 

3.      Give the children a book talk about the book Red Riding Hood (Has anyone ever heard of a person by the name of Red Riding Hood?  Great!  Well in this book Red Riding Hood has been sent to her Grandmother's house to give her a custard pie surprise.  After being told by her mother not to take to strangers Red Riding Hood meets what she thinks is a sweet wolf and he follows her to Granny's house.  On their way to Granny's Red Riding Hood stops to pick some flowers and looses sight of the wolf.  When she gets to Granny's she finds a surprise herself.  Well let's read this book to see what happens to Red Riding Hood and her sick Granny). Read the Story Red Riding Hood by James Marshall to the whole class.  Give all the students copies of this book and tell them to "follow along so that you can become familiar with any new words that you see."

4.      Split the students into pairs.  Make sure each pair has a copy of the book Red Riding Hood and a stopwatch.  Give every person a Speed Record sheet and a Literacy Rubric.

5.      Tell students that one of them is the reader and the other is the recorder.  After the first person has read they will switch roles.  The reader is to start at the beginning of the book and read for 1 minute (the partner should start the stopwatch when the "reader" begins and announce "stop" when the stopwatch gets to 1 minute).  Then the reader will point to the word he or she stopped on and the recorder will count the amount of words that the "reader" read within that 1 minute.  The recorder will record the amount of words of the Speed record sheet in the 1st slot. The student can also move the Red Riding Hood closer to Granny's house to match the number of words they read in 1 minute. Then they will switch roles and repeat these steps.  The reader is to be accurate and sound out the words he or she does not know.  Speed and accuracy is very important on the first round.

6.      After the partners have each finished the 1st round, have them start at the beginning and read for 1 minute repeating the same steps in the 1st round.  Make sure to remind the students to record the number of words read. The number of words read in 1 minute should have increased.  Speed, accuracy, and comprehension are important on the second round.  Also remind the students to fill out the Literacy rubric by coloring in the circles on how they thought their partner read on the 2nd reading.

7.      Lastly, have the students start at the beginning and read for 1 minute repeating the same steps in the 2st round.  Make sure to remind the students to record the number of words read. The number of words read in 1 minute should have increased.  Remind the recorder to notice if their partner is reading with expressiveness, speed, and accuracy.  Also remind the students to finish the Literacy rubric by coloring in the circles on how they thought their partner read on the 3rd reading.

8.      After the partners have finished filling out the speed record sheet and coloring in the circles for how they thought their partner read ask them to talk about the results (Did each person improve on the words a minute they read?  Did each student remember more word, read faster, read more smoothly, and read with more expression each new round that they read?)  Point out what rereading can do.  Rereading makes you a faster reader, read more expressively, read more accurately.  Explain to the students that comprehension is the goal to reading.  The more you read the more fluent you will become

9.      Assess the students by having them individually come to the teacher's desk and have the students read the book Red Riding Hood for a 1 minute read.  Record each student's time and chart his or her time on a graph.  As you test each student have the other students finish reading Red Riding Hood, and then start reading Frog and Toad Together.  The class will partner up tomorrow and reread Frog and Toad Together for fluency improvement.





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