He Shoots and He Scores!

By: Lindsey Stewart

Growing Independence and Fluency



Fluency is the ability to recognize words automatically while reading. Through the development of fluency, students will be able to read faster, smoother, more expressively, and silently. Reading practice and modeling for the students is important in developing fluency that not only helps students become better readers but enjoy reading.



Progress chart for each student

Fluency check sheet for each student

Stopwatch for each pair

Copy of decodable book for each student




1.I will begin the lesson by explaining the importance of fluency to the students and model examples of a fluent and a nonfluent reader. “Fluency is important in helping each of you become a better reader.” To begin, I will write the text, “The ball is on the court” on the board. “Using this sentence I will show you the processes a reader goes through to become fluent. First I will demonstrate a nonfluent reader. T-h-e /k-i-d-s/p-l-a-y /b-a-l-l /o-n /t-h-e/c-o-u-r-t.” After doing this the teacher should then repeat the text by blending the phonemes together but still reading in a slow choppy pattern. “The_ kids_play_ball_on_the_ court. Can you tell the difference? Listen to me a third time, and see if there is another change. The kids play ball on the court.” The students should recognize that the reading became faster and smoother as the text became more familiar. I will reiterate this idea and explain that this is the process and the goal of a fluent reader.

2.Introduce the students to the decodable book Ben’s Shot by Lindsey Stewart. “In this story a boy tells how his friend cannot jump. He shows him how, but to find out if it helps you will have to read the book.” Read the story to the students modeling how to read fluently with no interruptions.

3.Now, I will have the students get with a partner. I will give stopwatches to each pair of students. “You will each read the book to your partner. As one person reads the book, the partner will see how many words their partner can read in one minute. Write down the number of words to keep track and move the student’s basketball closer to their goal on their progress chart. After each of you has times your partner, reader the text two more times and use the fluency checklist provided to give feedback to your partner. If the student has an improvement checkmark, they can move their basketball a little closer to the goal on the progress chart. ” Before turning the students loose, I will model what I mean by timing their partners. When you say go, your partner is going to start reading and you are going to push the start button on the watch. After one minute, you are going to tell your partner to stop while you push the stop button. (Remember one minute will read 1:00) Now it’s your turn!


I will have the students do one last one-minute read using the familiar decodable book. I will compare my results to that of their partners to look for fluency improvement.



Murray,Bruce. “Developing Reading Fluency.” http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

McDavid,Eleanor. Score a Homerun for Reading! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/mcdavidgf.html