Lightening Fast Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency

Ally Johnson



This lesson is designed to teach fluency, which is the ability for a person to be able to read text smoothly, expressively, and quickly.  When someone reads fluently, they are able to concentrate more on the meaning or comprehension of the text.  When people do not read fluently, they often think of reading text as a chore and would rather be doing something else.  By helping teach people to read fluently, they are usually better readers and enjoy books for the meanings.  The effective practice for fluency includes repeated readings, timed reads, and graphs that are used to show improvement.



• One stopwatch for each pair of students plus one for teacher

• Post it notes

• Class set of decodable books: Sims, Matt. A Day at the Lake. California: High Noon Books, 2002.

• Fluency time sheets to mark students scores

Fluency Time Sheet:

Name: __________________________________                                   Date: _____________________


Title of Book: ___________________________________


1st Timed Reading: ______________words

2nd Timed Reading: _____________ words

3rd Timed Reading: _____________ words


Partner's Name: ______________________________


• Fluency Checklist

Fluency Checklist:


Name: ___________________________________                                 Date: ____________________


Title of Book: __________________________________


After 2nd Reading After 3rd Reading

     _________                    _________               Remembered more words

     _________                    _________               Read faster

     _________                    _________               Read smoother

     _________                    _________               Read with expression

• Pencil for each student



• I will start by explaining to the class what being a fluent reader means and why they should be fluent readers.  I will tell the students. "Today we are working with an important reading skill.  We are going to learn to become fluent readers.  Does anyone know how a fluent reader may read?  A fluent reader reads text quickly with ease.  Fluent readers also show expression with what they are reading.  When you become a fluent reader, you can read better and understand what you are reading better."

• "We are going to be working on something in class.  Can anyone guess what that is?  Right, we are going to be working on becoming fluent readers.  There are a few ways that help us become fluent readers.  We will be doing repeated timed readings.  Timed repeated readings means that you will read a passage for one minute.  After that one-minute is up, you will stop and see how many words you read and how many words you can remember.  We will do this three times and count the words each time.  During this task, it is important that you remember what you are reading and understand what you are reading."

• I will then model a piece of text to the students.  "I am going to read a sentence to you a few different ways.  When I am finished, I will ask you which one sounds best.  (First time: Iiit w..a…s was a h..o….t d d..a..y. (read sentence slow and choppy)) Tell the students that was the first.  Tell them to listen a second time.  (Second time: I..t It was h…o…t a hot ddaaay. (Read a little better but still slow and without expression.))  Tell the students to listen one more time.  (Third time: It was a hot day. (read smooth with expression).  Which sentence sounds the best?  Why do you think the third sound the best?  So each time I read the sentence, do you think I improved reading a little?  That is why each time we reread something, we read it better and understand it better."

• Pass out a copy of A Day at the Lake for each student, a stopwatch, a progress board, and a fluency time sheet.  Have the students practice reading the first two sentences fluently (like above).  After they have done this a few times tell the class, "Now we are going to read and reread A Day at the Lake to become more fluent readers.  We are going to be working in the pairs.  Ben, Pat, Jim, and Jean were at the lake on a hot afternoon.  Their moms made them snacks for the day incase they got hungry.  After swimming, they went to get a snack but they could not find them.  We will have to read the story to see what is going to happen."

• "As you are reading, your partner will time you for one minute.  Read as many words as you can in that minute.  When the minute is up, your partner will tell you to stop.  When you stop, place your post it note beside the last word you read.  You are going to say as many things as you remember reading and your partner will count the number of words you say.  When you said all you remember, go back to the beginning of the story and count all the words you read.  You will write the number of words you read in the first blank of your fluency time sheet beside the number of words you remembered from the story.  After you wrote that number in your chart, get the stopwatch from your partner and let him/her do the same thing you just did." (Show students exactly how to do this by doing each step before letting them get into their groups)

• "After you and you partner have completed this one time through, do the steps above two more times for a total of three readings each."

• "After all three blanks are filled in on both peoples chart, talk with your partner about how you improved each time.  You can go through the checklist and see if you can check off each item.  If you are able to check off each item, you are on your way to becoming a fluent reader!"



Myer, Leslie. Fall into Fluency



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