Growing Independence and Fluency
Rationale: Fluency is a crucial part of reading. Fluency is reading smoothly, accurately,
automatically, and rapidly. Young
readers need to be fluent in order to improve comprehension. Instead of spending time decoding individual
words, a fluent reader recognizes and decodes words instantly, thus
comprehension and enjoyment. One way to
improve fluency is by having one minute timed readings.
The students can use a growth chart to better
visualize their individual and class improvements.
- Class set of Play Ball, Amelia
- A typed and laminated excerpt from Play
Ball, Amelia Bedelia with every line numbered with total number of
words for each pair of students and for teacher.
- 4 feet of butcher paper or an actual
growth chart for the class average chart
- Individual ladder charts with firemen
hats and Velcro
- Paper and pencils for each student
- Stopwatch for every pair of students
to students by reading a sentence from Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia. First read the sentence choppy and slow:
"A-m-e-l-i-a B-e-d-e-l-i-a w-a-l-k-e-d
b-a-se-b-a-ll f-i-e-l-d," then read it quickly with expression: "Amelia
by the baseball field." Ask the
students which sentence sounded better and which sentence was easier to
understand. Discuss that it is easier to
understand and enjoy what you read when you can read it fast and
smoothly. Explain that in order to read
students need to be able to automatically recognize words.
To do this, they first look at the vowel,
then the beginning sound, and then the ending sound.
For example, if the word bat is not in the
students' sight vocabulary, they would first look at the a=/a/, then
blend /b/ /a/, and finally add the ending sound to blend /b/ /a/ /t/, bat. Use
some practice words to blend, such as
sit, fun, cap, and lock.
2. Give a book talk
on Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia.
Begin by telling the class that we will be starting a new book
Ball, Amelia Bedelia. Ask the
students what kind of ball they like to play?
Do they like basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc? What sports do they enjoy that do not use
balls? Do they like track, gymnastics,
or swimming? When the baseball team's
star player was out sick, they needed a new player.
Can Amelia Bedelia play baseball? Will
she help them beat the Tornadoes or will
she cause them to lose? Let's read to
3. Give each student
a copy of the book. Allow them to read
pages 5-14 silently to themselves. While
they are reading, pass out the laminated page, ladder chart and fireman
each student. When they are done
reading, put students in pairs and give a stopwatch to each pair. Explain that while one student reads, the
other will time them for a minute. Model
the activity and explain when the stopwatch gets to a minute, say
"STOP." Count the number of words that the
read correctly. Put the helmet on the
ladder where the number of words is.
Each time they do it, their goal is to improve and move the
the ladder. Have each student write down
the number of words they got each time on their own paper, which will
collected at the end of the lesson for the assessment.
Tell the students to switch jobs each
time. They will have a total of four
reads each. Collect the written sheets
4. Encourage the
students to practice at home with their parents with any book that they
Parrish, Peggy. Play
Ball, Amelia Bedelia. Scholastic. New York:1972.
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