Growing Independence and Fluency


Meghan Ciampi



In order to become successful readers, students must be able to read fluently. In this lesson students will reread texts and practice with one minute reads to gain the ability to read fast, smooth, and with expression. When children become fluent readers, they increase their comprehension which is the ultimate goal of reading.



Teacher copy of Lee and the Team

1 copy of Lee and the Team per pair of students

1 basketball time sheet per student numbered by 10’s

1 stopwatch per pair of students



1. “Today we are going to work on becoming more fluent when we read. Fluency is when someone reads fast, with expression and correctly. Becoming a fluent reader takes a lot of time and practice, so today we are going to practice and work on becoming fluent readers. We are going to practice becoming fluent readers by reading the same book three times. Remember that sometimes you will not be able to read every word that you come across. If you come across a word you don't know try reading the rest of the sentence or use the cover up method to figure out the word as you sound it out.”

2. "Why do you think it is important for us to be able to read fast? I'll give you an example. I will read the first sentence very slow. What do you think I could do to make this sentence sound better and make it more fun for you to listen to? Your right! I can do this by adding expression to the sentence. Today we are going to work on reading with expression and fast. We are going to read the story Lee and the Team  three times so that we become very familiar with the story, this will help us be able to read more fluently.”

3. Next I will split the group up in pairs. Each pair will receive one book, one time sheet per student and one stopwatch per pair.

4. Tell the students that one person is going to read and their partner is going to record the times. Remember that after the first person reads they will switch places. Each time they read they will begin at the beginning of the story and read for one minute.  The partner who is not reading is in charge of the time.  After the one minute is up, the time keeper will say stop and the one who is reading should put their finger on the word where they stopped. The time keeper will help the reader will together count the words to the student's finger and write down the number on the time sheet.  The student's whose turn it is reading will circle the basketball with the number of words that they read on the time sheet.  Each of the basketballs on the time sheet is numbered by 10's. There are blank basketballs for them to write their score in if it their word count is not one of the numbers already on the basketballs. The pairs will then switch jobs. The child that read becomes the recorder and the recorder becomes the reader. Each student will then follow the same steps in their new jobs.

5. "We are going to do this two more times. Remember to use the same directions as before. If you have any questions raise your hand and I will come to your group."

6. "When you have completed the reading three times, I want you to talk to your partner about how they did. I want you to ask each other what you think you have learned through this exercise. I want you to remember your answers, because I want to talk about your answers when we get back together as a big group."



For assessment I will collect the speed sheets. I will look to see that they have increased their word count each time. We will also discuss the book we have read to check for comprehension.



Brown, Mary Cox. Speeding into Fluency.


Lee and the Team. Educational Insights.1990

Click here to return to Inventions