Fantastic Fluency!
Carrie Smith
Growing Independence and Fluency
Reading News

Rationale: In order to comprehend texts, one must be fluent and have the ability to decode.  A child’s decoding and fluency can be improved by someone “assisting” them to read text material they are unable to read by themselves.  Assisted reading strategies involve activities where students “see” written words while simultaneously “hearing” the pronunciations of those words.  Research shows that Dahl and Samuel’s method of repeated reading had positive benefits on both decoding and comprehension. In this lesson, students will reread a passage to a teacher until they reach an 85 word per minute criterion rate.


Materials: Poster with “The big green grasshopper eats the centipede.” written on it.

About 15 copies of Kite Day at Pine Lake (enough for half the class)

Copy of page 12 of The Smoke Scare

Progress graph for each student




Procedure: 1. Introduce lesson by explaining that good readers can read fast and without much effort to figure out words.  This is called fluency.  Can everyone say that?  (Class will say fluency as a class).  This helps them to spend more “brain power” on understanding the overall message of the text.  Reading a text more than once can help us become more fluent readers.  Today, we are going to practice with a partner reading a passage three times.  While you are reading to each other, I will call you up one by one to read at my desk.

2. First, let me show you how I can become a more fluent reader by reading a passage three times.  (Prop poster on the board).  Teacher points to words and reads: “TTThhheee bbbiiig gggreeen gggrrraaasssshhhopperr, Oh! Grasshopper.  eeeats the kkkenntipeeede, Oh! Centipede.”  Now, I will reread the passage: “The big green gggrrrasshopper eats the sssentipeeede.”  Now, listen as I read the passage for a third time: “The big green grasshopper eats the centipede.”  Did you notice how it got easier for me to read the passage each time?  Now, I will ask you to pair up with a partner and read Kite Day at Pine Lake outloud three times each.  (Firs give a book talk:  It is kite day at Pine Lake.  All the kids have brought their kites.  Jeff’s kite is big.  Ike’s kite is red with dots.  Jan’s kite has five sides.  All the kids are having fun flying their kites.  But Bob is sad because he doesn’t have a kite.  What will happen to Bob?  Will he ever get to fly a kite?  You'll have to read to find out.) (Have one partner from each group come get Kite Day at Pine Lake for their team.)

3. While students are reading, call them up one by one to teacher’s desk.  Students will be asked to read What Will the Seal Eat?.  The teacher will time the reading for one minute and immediately afterward calculate their reading speed and number of recognition errors and record on a graph for the student.  This procedure is repeated until the student reaches 85 wpm (The speed at which student comprehension was defined as successful for the study).  Teacher should show students their progress after they reach 85 wpm.

4. Assessment: Students will be assessed during the next time there is a repeated reading exercise (within at least a two week period).  Students will again be asked to come up one by one to the teacher’s desk and read the Murray passage.  Again their progress will be marked on a graph.  It should take students less times to reach 85 wpm.  This process can be repeated each time there is a class repeated reading exercise.  The teacher can track the progress throughout the year.


Eldredge, John. Teach Decoding: Why and How. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 1995.  

Education Insights.  What Will the Seal Eat?.

Myer, Leslie.  Fall into Fluency.

Education Insights. Kite Day at Pine Lake

Additional Resources:

Progress Chart for Words Per Minute Count

Progress Chart.

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