Reading Fast is a Blast!

By: Ali Long

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rationale:  Comprehension is one of the key goals in reading.  In order for students to better comprehend what they read they need to become fluent readers.  Fluent readers are able to comprehend text better because they are not completely focused on decoding and sounding out words slowly.  To read fluently is to not only to recognize words quickly and automatically but also accurately.  This lesson is designed to help students become more fluent through repeated reading and timed reading of the text.  Students will work in groups of two reading and rereading stories.  Students will take turns timing each other doing one-minute reads.



A copy of "Paws and Claws" for each student

Cover up critter, popsicle stick used for decoding (one for each student)

Dry erase marker

White board

Stop watch (one for each pair of students)

Speed Reading Record sheet (one for each student)

Reading fluency partner check sheet (one for each student)

Pencil for each student



Speed Reading Record:

  Name:_________________________            Date:___________


     - After 1st read            _______

     - After 2nd read           _______

     - After 3rd read            _______


-Partner Check Sheet for students to assess their partner's fluency:

 When I listened to my partner read:

                                                         After 2nd           After 3rd

       1. Remembered more words         _______          _______

       2. Read faster                                      _______          _______

       3. Read smoother                               _______          _______

       4. Read with expression                   _______          _______




Step 1: Explain to the class how important it is to be a fluent reader.  Hello class!  Today we're going to talk about fluency!  Fluency is so important when it comes to being excellent readers.  I know that all of you can be great readers! To read fluently means to read words quickly and correctly!  This makes the story easier to understand as a whole! One way we can practice fluency is by reading a story over and over again.  I want each of you to set a goal to become faster and faster each time you read today!


Step 2:  First, pass out the cover up critters and demonstrate for them what to do if they come across a word that they don't know while reading.  Remember students, whenever you are reading and you come to a word that you don't know, you can use your cover up critter to help you sound it out!  I'm going to show you an example.  Write the word badge on the board.  Start by covering all of the letters besides a.  Pronounce the sound of  a = /a/.  Then uncover the beginning letter before the vowel /b/. /b/ /a/ baaa. Then uncover the letters after the vowel dge. Dge says /j/ so when we blend our letters together it says, /b/ /a/ /j/. Oh the word is badge!


Step 3: I want you all to see what a fluent reader looks and sounds like!  So I'm going to read a sentence aloud.  First I'm going to read it slowly without fluency.  Write the sentence, "The bad man took off with the van!" on the board.  Then read it slow, "Thheee… bad… m m annn… took… off… with… the… van."  That is how a non-fluent reader would read that sentence.  I'm going to read it two more times to work on my fluency.  The bad… maaann… took off… withhh… the van.  The bad man… took off with the van.  See how every time it becomes quicker and more accurate?  That is because rereading the sentence helps us to become more fluent readers.  Fluent readers read easily like this, "The bad man took off with the van."


Step 4: Pass out the book Paws and Claws.  Give book talk.  Can anyone tell me what paws and claws are?  What do they have in common?  In our story today, we are going to see many different animal paws and claws.  However, there will come a time when we will have to identify some for ourselves!  You need to pay close attention to the characteristics of different animal paws and claws so that you can identify them!  Instruct students to do repeated readings.  I want you all to read the story one time and then we will discuss the story.  Then I want you to read it again by yourself.


Step 5:  Now, I'm going to split you up so that you are working with a partner.  One of you will be the reader and the other will be the recorder.  Explain the Speed- reading record sheet.  The reader will read the book for one minute three different times and the recorder will right down the number of words read each time.  The recorder is also responsible for starting and stopping the timer after one minute.  After the third try the reader and recorder will swap positions. 


Step 6:  After the one-minute reads the students will fill out the fluency literacy sheets for their partner.  They will evaluate how their partner performed on the second and third timed reading.


Assessment:  After they read with their partner, I will have each student come and do a timed reading with me.  I will check their fluency this way.  I will also use the speed reading record and fluency checklist as an assessment.




Hood, Laura Lee. Ready, Set, READ!!


Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency.


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