Ready, Set, Let’s Read!!

Lauren Barrowclough

Reading Fluency


Rationale: In order for a child to read fluently he or she should be able to read faster and smoother than when they first started to read.  Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically. When a child is able to decode words automatically and effortlessly reading becomes a much more enjoyable experience for them.  The way to accomplish this is for the child to read and reread decodable words in a connected text.  The more children work with a particular piece of text, the more fluent the text becomes to them.  This lesson will help children learn how to read faster and more smoothly.

 Materials:  Class set of the book, What Will the Seal Eat? Class set of laminated banana tree illustrations with words per minute written on them and accompanying Velcro monkey to show the student’s progress, stopwatch for each student, one minute read charts for each child (Speed Record Sheet), pencils

 Procedures: 1.  Introduction of why fluency is important while you read.  Let students know that it is important to reread a text to help their comprehension.  “Today, we are going to learn how to read fluent.  This means that you will learn to read words smoother and faster. When reader’s read with expression, smoothly, or faster, they are fluent. (Model how each of these terms would apply to their reading). We are going to read the same text three times so that we can learn how to be fluent readers on our own.  Sometimes you may not know all the words in your book.  If this happens you can either read the rest of the sentence, or use the “cover up” method to figure out the word as you sound it out. You use the cover up method by putting one finger over a word that you don’t know and he slowly move the your finger with each letter you figure out.”

2.   Model reading with fluency.  Explain:  I am going to read you a sentence without fluency.  (Write on the board:  The dog ran up a hill.)  Read:  The d-o-g r-a-n u-p the h-i-ll.  Now read the sentence as a fluent reader:  The dog ran up the hill.  Ask:  Do you understand the difference between reading with fluency and reading without fluency?  Now, listen as I read the sentence again.  The dog ran up the hill.  I read the sentence faster this time because it was not the first time I had read these words.  The other times I read gave me practice and helped me read the sentence fluently this time.  Reading with fluency is what we will be practicing today.

3.   I will do a book talk: "In the book, What will the seal eat?, the seal is very hungry and has a hard time picking out what to eat.  He doesn't really like human food.  What will he eat?  Okay, you have to read the book to find out.  When we read this book we are going to see how fluent we can read it.  This means we want out words to be automatic and smooth.”

 4.  Pair the students in groups of two.  Have the students do one-minute reads. Have one student read while the other operates the stopwatch. “We will do the same one-minute reads in your groups. We will do this five times. Be sure to record in your reading logs and move your monkey up the chart to see how you improve each time. Try to read with accuracy and expression.” I will walk around the room observing the students and taking notes on my student’s progress.

Assessment:  For assessment I will take up the reading logs and the charts. I will review each students work. I will pay close attention to see how much each student has increased in fluency throughout the lesson.  I will ask each student comprehension questions to see if they were able to comprehend the book correctly.  This will make me see who is able to comprehend correctly. I will also look to see if any students need individual help. I will also take my notes from group observations during my assessment.  Weekly students should be checked for progress.


 Cushman, Shelia and Kornblum, Rona.  What Will the Seal Eat?  Phonics Readers.  Educational Insights, 1990.

Go, Speed Reader! Go by Manning, Marie

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