Building a Fluency Boat Developing Reading Fluency

By: Grant Chaffin

Rational- It is important for students to learn how to read text fluently. Reading must be something that becomes effortless for children in order for them to be able to focus on comprehension. Part of being a fluent reader is reading quickly and accurately. Students will gain fluency be completing repeated reading and timed readings.


Materials - One copy of the The Best by Matt Sims Published by High Noon Books 2001 ( 1 per child)

Stop watch 2 per pair of children

Cover up critter for each child

Something to record times on and with.



1. First, tell the children what are goal will be for the day. Tell them - Today

children we are going to be working on our reading fluency. Today we are going to be working on a particular part of our fluency speed and accuracy. When you can read a text quickly without stopping to sound out words it allows you to focus more on what the text is about, and you can focus on what the writer is trying to help you learn.

2. Next, I will model for the students the difference between a fluent reading and a not fluent reading. Say, "First I am going to read the sentence as if it were the first time I have ever seen it. S-ee sp-ot r-un. Now I am going to read the sentence a little more quickly with fluency. See if you can tell a difference. See spot run. You see how much smoother and easier to understand that was. I can continue to read more quickly because the first few times help me to practice.

3. Now we are going to be practicing some speed readings. We are going to use sections from The Best. Now at this point I will give a book talk on the book. "Chet and his uncle know how to work together. They find a boat kit on a web site and learn how to make a boat from the bottom up. We will have to read more to find out what happens to them and their boat." At this point you will want to remind the students of strategies that they can use when they come to challenging words like cover up critters and cross checking. Have the students break up into groups and read the first last 3 pages of the story as quickly as possible. Have one students read while the other one times. Let the students know that if they come to a word that they cannot figure out together, they should raise their hand and let you know.

4. Now explain the actual process to the students. Say - In your groups of two I want one partner to find the right page and get ready to read. The timer should start the timer as soon as the other partner starts reading. Also the partner should stop the watch as soon as the partner Finishes. Then the time records the time and the partners swap. Each person should read 3 times.

5. As the student complete this task walk around the room and observe, and also make yourself easy to access if the students need help.

6. As an assessment you will group the students six at a time and have one student read the passage as quickly and accurately as possible, and those time will be compared to the group recorded times.

References: Lindsey Goodwyn lesson design Fix It.


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