Speedy Reading

Growing in Fluency

By: Mary Jo Blackmon


Rationale: It is very important for students to be able to read with fluency. In order for students to become expert readers, students must be able to recognize words effortlessly and with speed. In this lesson, students will get practice at reading more speedily through one minute reads and through repeated readings.


·        Copy of My Monster Friends for each student

·        Bookmarkers for each student to use

·        1 minute reads recording sheet

·        Fluency checklist for each student

·        Stopwatches (one per two students)

·        White board

·        Dry erase markers


I will introduce the lesson by saying, "In order to become a successful reader you must learn to read fluently. To read fluently means that you can recognize words quickly and read a passage in a short amount of time without stopping to sound out individual words. One way we can work on fluency is to read a text more than once. With each reading of the text, you get a little faster because the story is more familiar each time. Today we will practice fluency by reading a text more than once."

"Let's review some skills that we have learned to help us decode words. If I was reading a story and I saw the word walk (I will write the word walk on the dry erase board.) and I didn't know what the word was, what is the first thing I should do? That's right, I should pull out my cover up to help me decode the word." I will then model for the student how to use the cover up on the word walk. I will cover up the letters and get the 'a' by itself. "We know that the letter 'a' makes an ahh sound. Now look at the rest of the word." I will uncover the rest of the word and show the student how to fully decode the word walk.

"Now we are ready to learn how to practice fluent reading. I'm going to read a sentence and I want you to listen carefully to how it sounds. I will write it on the board so that you can follow along with me. I also want you to notice as I'm reading which way that I read the sentence sounds better?" "James makes a lake in the tub." "Jaaaaaammmesss mmmmaakkkkees a llaaaakkee inn the tubbb." "Very good, you are correct in saying that the first way that I read the sentence sounds the best!"

"Now I will pass out a copy of My Monster Friends to everyone. The boy in this book has many monster friends. They help him out with many things. What do his monster friends help him do? You will have to read in order to find out!" I will then instruct the students that they will be reading this story multiple times and completing a fluency checklist for their partner. A fluency checklist checks for remembering words, reading faster, reading smoother, and reading with expression. "Each one of you will turn to the person next to you and one at a time you will read the story to your partner. As your partner is reading you should be looking for the following things: Does your partner remember the words? Do they read faster than the last time they read it? Do they read it smoother than the last time they read it? Are they reading it with expression? The first time your partner reads the story you will not mark anything down but the second and the third times they read the story you will complete the chart to show where they have improved."

The last activity we will be doing to practice fluency is called a one-minute read. One partner will have a stopwatch and they are going to time the student for one minute and see how many words they can read.

I will do my own personal assessment of each child by doing a one-minute read with each of them reading My Monster Friends to me. I will check to see if the student's number of words read per minute is going up with the previous records made of each child, but I will also check and see if the partner recorded the one-minute read correctly. Each child should be showing a higher level of fluency through the one-minute read and through the fluency checklist. Each child should also show that they know how to practice fluency if they need the extra help.


Fluency Literacy Rubric:

Name: _____________________________ Partner's Name: _________________________

Date: _____________

I noticed that my partner… (check the circles that apply)

After 2nd                    After 3rd

  O                                     O                      Remembered more words

  O                                     O                      Read faster

  O                                     O                      Read smoother

  O                                     O                      Read with expression


Speed Record Sheet


Name: _________________________  Date: ______________________

1st time: __________     2nd time: ___________ 3rd time: ___________


Prince, Patrick. My Monster Friends. Mimosa Publications Pty Limited, 1989.   

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

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