Fast and Fluent Reading is Fun!!


Growing Independence and Fluency

Mery McMillan


Rationale:  In order for students to become more fluent readers, students must be able to read faster, smoother and use more expression.  Reading fluency is an important tool for reading comprehension.  Students need time and practice in order to become more fluent readers.  A great way for students to become fluent readers is by rereading text. Rereading a text also gives students the opportunity to read more words per minute and strive to become better readers.  


- Student copies of Kite Day at Pine Lake (Educational Insights book, 1990)

- Speed Reading Record time sheet for each student

Speed Reading Record time sheet:

       Your Name:________________________    Partner Name: _______________________


                        - After 1st read            _______

                        - After 2nd read           _______

                        - After 3rd read            _______

 - Reading Evaluation Form for each student

    Reading Evaluation:

    My partner.................(fill in circle)

                                               After 2nd time         After 3rd time

    Read faster                                  O                      O

    Read more smoothly                   O                      O

    Read with expression                  O                      O

    Read the most words                   O                      O


- One minute timer (for teacher)

- Cover-up critter




1.     In order to introduce the lesson on fluency, the teacher will say: "Today we are going to learn how to become more fluent readers.  What are some ways that you can become a faster, more accurate reader? Why is it important that we read a story with expression? (Teacher will allow time for students to answer the question).  Great answers! Don't be discouraged if you don't get all of the words the first time.  Even fluent readers don't always know every word but you can always use your cover-up critter if you are stuck on a word.  This cover-up critter helps us whenever we come to a hard word.  We can use this cover-up critter to help us uncover each letter slowly to see how we can say the word.  This will also help us say the vowel sound first and then blend the word together from beginning to end".


2.     Say:  "First, I will write a sentence on the board: I like to fly my kite in the park on warm and sunny days!" The teacher will read the sentence very slowly and model how a non-fluent reader would read this sentence by reading slowly, making some mistakes and using no expression.  The teacher will ask the students: "Is this a good way to read this sentence?  No!  How can I read this sentence more fluently?"  After the teacher calls upon some students to answer the questions, the teacher will re-read the sentence more smoothly, accurately and will use a lively expression.  The teacher may also use a giant cover-up critter or point to the words as the teacher reads the sentence aloud. The teacher will then ask: "Is this a better way to read this sentence?  Great job!  It is very important to read in such a manner in order to become a more fluent reader".


3.     Say:  "Now we are going to read a book called Kite Day at Pine Lake.  This story is about several children who enjoy flying their kites at the lake; however, Ben does not have a kite to play with and he is very sad. What do you think Ben will do?  Do you think Ben will find a kite so that he can have fun and play with his other friends?  You will have to read the book and find out what happens!" (The teacher will present an interesting book talk so that the student is more eager to read the story. The teacher will read aloud the book first and model fluent reading.  This will also give students the opportunity to become more familiar with all of the words in the story).


4.     After the teacher has read aloud Kite Day at Pine Lake and modeled fluent reading, the teacher will say: "I want each of you to find a partner and break off in pairs.  Each of you will take turns being the reader and recorder.  I will pass each of you one copy of Kite Day at Pine Lake, a Speeding Reading Record time sheet, and a Reading Evaluation.  Please be sure to fill out your name as well as their partners name on both sheets.  Does everyone understand the directions?  Great!"


5.     Say: "I want you to quickly decide who is going to be the reader or the recorder first.  The reader will read Kite Day at Pine Lake for one minute.  I will set a timer for one minute and let you know whenever one minute is up.  I will say STOP after one minute. The reader must stop reading and point to the last word that he/or she stopped on.  The recorder will be responsible for counting the number of words that the reader read during that one minute time period.  The recorder will write the number of words that the reader read during the first one minute time period.  Next, the reader will start back at the beginning of the story and re-read the story for a total of three times.  The goal is to read the story more smoothly, accurately, and use more expression each time in order to become a more fluent reader.  Does everyone understand?  Wonderful!  Ready, set, GO!!" (The teacher will set the timer and tell students to STOP after every minute.  The teacher will also instruct when students should start reading by saying GO!! The students will swap roles after three trials have been made for the reader and the recorder.  Students will be instructed to do the exact same thing over again with their new role, "Ready, set, GO!!")


6.     After students have read and recorded one another, the teacher will say: "Look at your Speed Reading Record time sheet and your Reading Evaluation.  Did you make progress with more practice?  I want you to talk with your partner about how well you did.  Ask your partner what areas you did well on and what areas you need to work on, such as reading more smoothly, accurately, or using more expression.  Is there any one who would like to share his or her results with the rest of the class?  Awesome!  I am glad to hear that many of you read more smoothly, accurately and used expression as you read to your partner.  This is going to help you become a more fluent reader!"


7.     Each student will be assessed individually on fluency by meeting with their teacher and will read Kite Day at Pine Lake for one minute.  Each student will be timed and graded on how smooth, accurate, and expressive each student read.  The teacher will also compare the students assessment results will the students Speed Reading Record time sheet and the students Reading Evaluation.  The teacher should notice that the student developed better fluency as the student was given more practice to re-read the story. The teacher will file these papers for future comparisons in reading fluency.




Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency.


Smith, Julie "Ready, Set, Read!" (from Reading Genie Website):


Book: Kite Day at Pine Lake by: Sheila Cushman and Rona Kornblum. Illustrated by: Patti Briles. Phonics Readers.  California:  Educational Insights, 1990


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