On your mark, get set, READ!!!
Growing Independency and Fluency
Megan Kerns

                                                                                                                       

Rationale:  In order to become fluent readers, children need to learn how to read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  Fluency is refers to a student’s ability to read words automatically and accurately.  As students’ fluency increases, their comprehension grows and therefore helps them to enjoy reading more.  It has been proven that practice makes perfect and the more you practice reading, the more fluent you become.  In this lesson, students will learn how to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively in order to gain fluency.  Students will gain fluency through repeated readings, timed readings, and one-minute reads.

Materials:  Chalk or dry erase marker, stopwatch for each pair of students, pencil for each student, copy of the book Go, Dog, Go! for each student, running track progress chart for each student (like a track and field running track) with a start line, 1st curve point, 2nd curve point, and finish line, die cut of a runner for each student (any type of person running), teacher copy of progress chart for each student of the same track and runner, list of comprehension questions for each student: What size are the dogs?  What color are the dogs?  Where are the dogs going?  What had did the dogs like?, crayons for each student, construction paper for each student, checklist to take home for parents to read with:  Does child read smoothly?  Number of errors made?  Did child read with expression?  How quickly did the child read/ what was the time?. 

Procedure:  1.  Today we are going to learn how to be better and more fluent readers by reading words correctly as fast as we can.  To be a fluent reader, we must be able to read words correctly, automatically, and quickly.  When you are a fluent reader, you enjoy what you read more and reading can be so much fun and so easy!  But we have to practice hard in order to become fluent readers!

2.  Model for the students how to read fluently.  First, I am going to read a sentence to you all without using fluency.  Write the sentence on the board, “The cat chased the dog around the house.”  (the c-a-t ch-a-s-ed the d-o-g a-rou-nd the h-ou-se).  Now, I am going to read the sentence as a fluent reader would, pay attention to the difference you hear.  (The cat chased the dog around the house).  Did you hear the difference between the non-fluent reader and the fluent one?  Listen as I read the sentence again as a fluent reader.  (The cat chased the dog around the house- read a little faster).  This time I read the sentence even faster because I have already seen these words, so I am able to read it more quickly and automatically.  The first two times I read the sentence were practice times for me to be able to read the sentence a third time fluently. 

3.  The story you will be reading today to help you all practice to be fluent readers is, Go, Dog, Go!  As you all read, you don’t want to skip any words as you read and make sure you read all the words correctly, while keeping a fast pace.  Model reading the book out loud as a fluent reader for the students.  Remind the students to crosscheck if they don’t automatically recognize a word that they come across while reading.  This is a helpful tool that skillful readers use in order to help students read more successfully.  Remember, you can cover-up parts of words to help you read bigger words too.  We want the words we read to make sense to us when we read fluently, so use the tools that you all know already that may help you do so.  If you or your partner still cannot get the word right, raise your hand and I will help you with the word. 

4.  Now that you have heard me read the book as a fluent reader, you and your partner are going to read the book and practice being fluent readers.  Divide the students up into groups of two and give each a copy of the book, a pencil, a stopwatch, a track and runner. The track is just a piece of construction paper with a track and field track with a start and finish line.  The runner will run around the track.  I want you and your partner to pick your favorite six pages of the book and these are the pages you are going to read.  To keep record of our progress you will use the track and the runner.  Explain to the students how to use the progress chart.  There are four spots you can be at, the start line, first curve, second curve, and the finish line.  The goal of this activity is to see how fast you can move your runner from the start line to the finish line, depending on how fast you can read the selected pages and how fluent you all become.  Take turns reading the six pages to your partner.  While you read, your partner will time you on the stopwatch.  Explain to them how to use the stopwatch.  After you have read the pages once, write down how long it took and place the runner at the start line.  Then read them again, and if your time improves, move the runner to the first curve and so on.  The runner will only move when you improve your time.  You will continue reading the six pages until your runner reaches the finish line; taking turns each time. 

5.  Observe the students taking turns reading by walking around the room listening to the children read. 

6.  After each student has reached the finish line on their progress chart, pass out the comprehension questions to each student to answer about the story.  Questions:  What size dogs are in the book?  What color are the dogs in the book?  Where are the dogs going?  What hat did the dog like at the end of the book?  Continue walking around and monitoring the classroom. 

7.  Pass out a piece of construction paper, crayons, and pencil to each student.  I want everyone to draw and color a picture of his or her favorite thing that happened in the story.  Under the picture, explain what is happening and why it is your favorite part.  All of the pictures will be displayed on our reading bulletin board. 

8.  As you draw and color your pictures, I am going to call each of you up to my desk so you can show me how great and fluently you all can read your favorite six pages.  In order to assess each student’s fluency, each student will complete a one- minute read of book out loud to me.  A one- minute read is a fluency checking activity in which a student reads out loud to the teacher that is timed with a stopwatch.  The teacher has a progress chart for each student.  It is the student’s goal to move from the beginning point on the progress chart to the ending point on the progress chart.  If the student reads more fluently, the object will move up on the chart.  While the student reads, note or record the reading miscues.  Also, collect each student’s progress track charts to assess how quickly each student read their chose six pages. 

9.  After all are done with their pictures and with coming up to meet with me, review with them what it means to be a fluent reader and answer any questions.  Today we have learned what it means to be fluent readers.  Tonight, I want you all to take home our book and re-read it with your parents or siblings to show them what it means to be a fluent reader.  Also, if you would like, you may checkout a book from our library to take home and practice reading fluently and bring it back tomorrow to share with the class. Have your parents fill- out the checklist as you read. 

References:

Internet Site:  Landon McKean.  Go, Read. Go!   http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/constr/mckeangf.html

Internet Site:  Holly Kubik.  Ready…Set…Let’s Read.   http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/explor/kubikgf.html

Internet Site:  Angela Atkins.  How Fast Can You Read?  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/atkinsgf.html

Book:  Eastman, P.D.  Go, Dog. Go!  Random House Publishers, 1961.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1995.

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