Shelley Horton

Growing Independence and Fluency





Rationale: Fluent readers read faster, smoother, and more expressively. The formula that seems to help readers improve their fluency is to read and reread decodable words in connected text. The more children work with a piece of work, the more fluent the text becomes to them. This lesson is designed to help students increase their fluency by rereading text and becoming familiar with it. During the lesson, students will learn fluency helps them gain more meaning from the text. After the lesson, students will be able to use a strategy to increase fluency in their independent reading.


Materials: Speed record sheet (one per student), Fluency Literacy Rubric (one per student), stopwatch (one per group), chalk and a chalkboard, book - Arthur’s Loose Tooth published by Lillian Hoban (one copy per student), and pencils (each student).


Speed Record Sheet:

Name: ___________ Date: ______________

First time: __________

Second time: __________

Third time: __________


Fluency Literacy Rubric:

Name: __________ Evaluator: __________ Date: ______________

I noticed that my partner… (Color in the circle)

After 2nd    After 3rd

0          0Remembered more words

0          0  Read Faster

0          0 Read Smoother

0          0 Read with expression



            1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that in order to become better readers, we must begin to read fluently. Once we become fluent readers, we will be able to understand the text more easily. One way to become fluent readers is to read a text more than once, each time reading it faster and more automatically.

 2. First, let’s review how we figure out a word we do not know as we are reading. The strategy that we use is called cover-ups. For example, (write stripe on the board) if I saw this word, I would cover everything but the I, like so (cover the str and p). I know that i=/i/. Now look at what comes before the vowel, str=/str/. Blend them together to get /stri/. Now look at the end of the word p=/p/. Put it all together and you have /strip/. Whenever you see an unfamiliar word, use the cover-up method to try to decode it.

            3. Demonstrate to the students the difference between reading with fluency and reading without fluency. Write a sentence on the board (The cat ran away from the dog.) Read the sentence once without fluency "The c-a-t r-a-n a-w-a-y f-r-o-m the d-o-g." Notice how I read the sentence slowly. Now I am going to read the sentence again but this time I will read it fluently. "The can ran away from the day." See how I did not draw out the sentence. I kept reading the sentence smoothly. Which was easier to understand? Right, it’s easier to understand text when you read with fluency.

            4. Now pass out the book Arthur’s Loose Tooth, to each student. Provide students with a book talk and then let them read the rest of the book on their own to find out what happens. Once, all the students are done, discuss the story with the class. Provide questions to reveal if the students are understanding what they are reading.

            5. Next split the students up into partners. Explain to students about the Speed Record Sheet and Fluency Literacy Rubric. Tell the students that one is going to be the "reader" and the other is going to be the "recorder." The reader will read the book for one minute three times. The recorder should announce when to begin and stop when one minute is up. (Each group should have a stopwatch.) Each time the recorder will record how many words were read in that one minute. Once one student has read three minute read aloud, students switch roles.

            6. Once students have finished recording the one minute read aloud, have students fill out a fluency Literacy Sheet on their partner. They should color in the circles on how they thought their partner did during the second and third round.

            7. For assessment, I will have each student read a passage to me in the reading center out of Arthur’s Loose Tooth. The passage will contain approximately 60 words. While one student is doing a one-minute read aloud, have the rest of the students practice reading a book with fluency quietly at their desk.





Laura Slocum,  Speedy Readers. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/constr/slocumgf.html.

Click here to return to Inventions.