Racy Readers!!

Heather Kenny
Growing Independence and Fluency


            An important step in reading fluency is being able to read faster.  Reading fluently means reading is fast, smooth, and has expression.  A way to increase reading fluency is to read and reread a text in order to become more familiar with the words in the passage.  When a child becomes a fluent reader, the task of reading becomes more enjoyable to all involved.  This lesson will help reinforce fluent reading by allowing students to reread a passage in three, one minute reads.


-Student copies of “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina


-Progress chart for each child

-One minute read charts for each child (Speed Record Sheet)

-Fluency rubric for each child 

Speed Record Sheet

Name:________________           Date:__________

          1st time:______

    2nd time:______

    3rd time:______


Fluency 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 lesson by explaining that learning how to read takes a lot of practice.  Tell them that today, they are going to practice reading faster and smoother.  Explain that when a person reads with expression, smoothly and fast, they are reading fluently.  (Model how each of these terms would apply to their reading).  Then, explain to them that they are going to read the same text three times so that they can learn how to be fluent readers on their own.  Remind them that sometimes they will not know every word they come across.  Tell them that when this happens, they need to either read the rest of the sentence, or use the “cover up” method to figure out the word as they sound it out.  Model this if needed.

  1. "Why do you think it is important for us to be able to read fast?  I’ll give you an example.  Read the first sentence of Caps for Sale very slow.  "What do you think I could do to make that better and more enjoyable to listen to?  Read faster, that’s right!  I can also try to make it sound better couldn’t I?  I can do this by adding expression to the sentence.  Well, this is what we are going to work on today.  We are going to read the same book over and over until we are more familiar with the words in the book.  When we become more familiar with a book, we are able to read it more fluently.  Does everyone remember what that word means?"  If they don’t, tell them again.  "Now, while you are reading, don’t forget about trying to understand what you are reading.  Remember that comprehension is very important when reading books."
  1. Split the class up into pairs.  If there is an uneven number, then I will be the child’s partner.  Pass out books to each student.  Give each child a Speed Record Sheet and a Fluency Literary Rubric.  
  1. Tell the students that one person is going to be the “reader” and the other is going to be the “recorder.”  Explain that after the first person has read, they will switch jobs.  Tell them that they will start at the beginning of the book and read for one minute.  I will be in charge of starting the stopwatch and telling the “reader” when to stop.  When I say stop, the reader will put his/her finger on the word they were on.  The “recorder” will count the words that the “reader” read and then record them on the Speed Record Sheet.  The “reader” will now move their race car up to the number on the track that they read.  The “recorder” will also fill in the Fluency Literary Rubric by coloring in the circles that describe how the “reader” did.  They will then switch turns and the “reader” becomes the “recorder.”  They will then follow the same steps in their new jobs.  
  1. After the first round, have them start back at the beginning and read again for one minute, using the same steps as they did before.  Remind them to record the number of words they read each time and move their race cars.  Also remind the “recorder” to be filling in the Fluency Literary Rubric after the second reading by coloring in the circles that describe how the “reader” did. 
  1. Allow students to repeat these steps three times, stopping when they have all of their charts filled in.  When they have completed reading three times, have them talk to their partners about how they did.  


  1. Now, we are going to try to read this book even better and faster.  We are going to     do something called quick reads.  We will read for a minute.  After we do that, we will    count all of the words we read in that minute. 


  1. For assessment, take up the Speed Record Sheet and the Fluency Literary Rubric.  Compare the first and last readings.  They should have increased with each time.  It would also be good to have a discussion about “Caps for Sale” to make sure they comprehended what they read.  As a treat, read the rest of the book to the class since they more than likely didn’t get to finish it during their minute reads.


Adams, Lacy. Up, up, and Away with Fluency.  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/adamsgf.html 

Slobodkina, Esphyr.  Caps on Sale.  Scholastic Inc.  1968.

Melton, Shealy. Ready to Race.


Click here to return to Inventions