Galloping to Fluency

horse

Developing Fluency

Britney Cain

Rationale

After learning phonemes and correct pronunciation, it is important for students to become fluent readers by reading a passage at a steady pace, while comprehending what they are reading. Students should practice this skill by using repeated readings and asking comprehension questions at the end of a passage or story. The more students read the more familiar they will become with the text.

Materials

Pal the Pony written by R.A. Herman, Illustrated by Betina Ogden (copy for each student)

Galloping to Fluency chart

Class set of stop watches

Sticky flags (enough for each student)

Teacher fluency rating sheet

Procedure

 1. Explain fluency to students. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO PRACTICE READING WITH FLUENCY. FLUENCY IS SIMPLY READING A SENTENCE OR PASSAGE SMOOTHLY, WITHOUT STOPPING TO DECODE WORDS. SOMETIMES, WE MAY GET AHEAD OF OURSELVES AND READ A WORD INCORRECTLY, BUT WE CAN FIX THAT MISTAKE BY CROSS-CHECKING. CROSSCHECKING IS WHEN YOU GET TO THE END OF A SENTENCE AND REALIZE THAT IT DOESN'T QUITE MAKE SENSE. Read the following sentence on the board, "PAT POT THE DISH IN THE SINK", HM, THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. I BETTER READ IT AGAIN TO SEE IF I READ A WORD INCORRECTLY. "PAT PUT THE DISH IN THE SINK" OH, PUT, THAT MAKES MORE SENSE. REMEMBER TO USE THIS STRATEGY WHEN YOU ARE READING WITH FLUENCY SO THAT EACH SENTENCE MAKES SENSE.

2. Give a brief book talk about the story that each student will read to their partner. PAL IS A PONY ON STAR RANCH, AND TODAY ALL OF THE HORSES ON THE RANCH ARE GETTING READY FOR A RODEO. A RODEO IS A SPECIAL SHOW WHERE COWBOYS RIDE HORSES AND BULLS, AND SOMETIMES THEY EVEN PERFORM SPECIAL TRICKS WITH THE ANIMALS. ALL OF THE ANIMALS ARE PRACTICING THEIR SPECIAL TALENT BEFORE THE RODEO, BUT PAL CAN'T SEEM TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HIS SPECIAL TALENT IS. DO YOU THINK HE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO PERFORM IN THE RODEO? WE BETTER READ AND FIND OUT.

3. Read the first page of Pal the Pony to the students in a choppy manner, so that they understand the importance of fluency. Pronounce lives incorrectly, and practice cross-checking so that students understand how the use the strategy properly.  DID ANYONE ENJOY HEARING THE STORY READ THAT WAY? DOES ANYONE EVEN REMEMBER WHAT THE SENTENCE I JUST READ WAS ABOUT? I BETTER READ IT AGAIN WITH FLUENCY SO THAT I CAN COMPREHEND THE STORY BETTER. "Pal is a little pony. He lives on the Star Ranch." THIS SOUNDS LIKE IT IS GOING TO BE AN INTERESTING STORY NOW THAT I READ THE SENTENCE WITH FLUENCY.

4. Model reading the first page aloud with fluency to students.

5. TODAY I WANT YOU TO PRACTICE READING WITH FLUENCY LIKE I DID. REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN USE CROSS-CHECKING IF THE SENTENCE YOU READ DOESN'T SEEM TO MAKE SENSE. Divide students into partners. Each students will have a copy of the book, their Galloping to Fluency chart, sticky flags to mark where they stopped reading, and one stop watch. EACH PERSON WILL TAKE A TURN READING, WHILE THE OTHER PERSON TIMES THEM WITH THE STOP WATCH. AFTER YOU HAVE READ FOR ONE MINUTE, YOU WILL PLACE YOUR STICKY FLAG NEXT TO THE WORD YOU STOPPED AT. COUNT THE NUMBER OF WORDS THAT YOU READ, AND RECORD IT ON YOUR CHART. SWAP PLACES WITH YOUR FRIEND AFTER YOU HAVE WRITTEN DOWN THE NUMBER OF WORDS YOU READ. EACH STUDENT WILL HAVE 3 TURNS TO READ, WHICH MEAN YOU WILL HAVE 3 DIFFERENT NUMBERS WRITTEN ON YOUR CHART. USE AN INSIDE VOICE WHILE READING, SO THAT WE DO NOT DISTRUB EACH OTHER OR OTHER CLASSROOMS.

6. Teacher will walk around the room to ensure students are staying on task. I will be available for help if needed.

7. In order to assess the students' fluency after reading Pal the Pony, I will ask students to come to my desk individually to read to me. They will also bring their progress charts for me to review. While they are reading the story, I will mark miscues, and take notes of their fluency by using a 1-5 rating system on speed, smoothness, and comprehension. After they have read the story, I will ask the following comprehension questions:

            Why does Pal think he can't be in the rodeo?

            Name one job Pal tried, but did not succeed at.

What job did Pal get at the end of the book?

Resources

Lesson Design: Buzzzzzing to Fluency by Cassie Cherof http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/cherofgf.html

Take a ride on the Reading Railroad by Jackie Erd http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/guides/erdgf.html

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