A Fabulous Fluency Party!


Growing Independence and Fluency


Kerry Adkins


Rationale: This lesson is important for improving reading, especially improving fluency. For students fluency is about being able to decode words automatically with ease and if this is achieved students will be much better readers. They will read more quickly, the words they read will have meaning, and they will read smoothly. The main objective of this lesson is to help students become more fluent and this will be achieved by reading and rereading decodable words in connected texts. During this lesson the students will perform repeated readings to practice reading fluency.



White Board

Dry Erase Markers

Giant Cover-Up Critter

Class set of Cover-Up Critters (A cover up critter is a Popsicle stick with eyes glued at the end so when it is turned sideways it covers up portions of words.)

Class set of Rube and the Tube by: Shelia Cushman. Published in 1990 by Educational Insights.


Party Hat Stickers


Fluency Literacy Sheet

One Minute Reads Sheet


Literacy Fluency Sheet


I noticed that my partner . . .


After second reading                 After third reading

_______________                     _______________      Remembered more words

_______________                     _______________      Read Faster

_______________                     _______________      Read Smoother

_______________                     _______________      Read with expression


One Minute Reading Sheet


Name:___________________   Date: _________________


1st Time: _________________________________


2nd Time _________________________________



3rd Time _________________________________




1. Good Morning everyone, today we are going to be working on fluency! I will explain to all of the children what a fluent reader is and how they can become one by rereading decodable words in connected text several times. I will also explain why it is important to become a fluent reader and give reasons such as: reading more quickly, reading more smoothly, reading with expression, and finding meaning within the text. Then I will ask if there are any questions and once all of those are answered we will move forward.


2. I am going to show everyone how you can use a cover up technique to decode words you are unsure about. I will have the word tube written on the board and I will demonstrate how to decode it with a giant handmade cover-up critter. Ok everyone, here is my cover up critter and he is going to help me decode the word tube. Does anyone have an idea about where we should start? We should start at the vowel because we all know that u_e = /U/ so we will cover up the t and the b in tube and just focus on the letters u and e. Since we know that u_e =/U/ we can uncover the t and know that tu_e says /tue/. Now we can uncover the b and we can blend /tu/ and /be/ to figure out that the word is tube!  I have made each of you a very special cover up critter! If you come across a word you do not know use your cover-up critter for help and decode it. Together you can decode any word that you want to!


3. Now I am going to model the difference between reading with and without fluency. Does anyone remember why fluency is important? Great answer, it does help us read more quickly! How about anyone else? Yes, it does make us read with expression. I have a sentence written on the board and I am going to model how I would read it if I were just learning and had little fluency or if I were a non-fluent reader. The sentence is: Rube is cute in her blue skirt. R-r-r-u-u-b-e-e-e is c-ch-c-u-u-u-t-ttt-t-e-e in h-hh-e-r-r-r b-b-b-l-l-uu-u-e s-sk-k-i-i-rr-t. Did everyone enjoy that? I did not think so. I read with very little expression and slowly because I was struggling with the words that made up the sentence. Now I will try it again: R-rube is c-cute in her b-bl-blue s-sk-irt. I improved when I read that time because I was more familiar with the difficult words and I had previously decoded them. I am gaining ground on becoming fluent. Finally, I am going to read the sentence again as a fluent reader: Rube is cute in her blue skirt. Was that better than the last time? I thought so too! I am going to tell you a secret. If you read something more than once or twice you will get better at it each time! So I improved when I read the sentence because I was reading it again. Does everyone want to become fluent readers? Excellent let's get started!


4. I will distribute the book Rube and the Tube to the class and then give a book talk. Duke is a young man who sells tubes at the sea. One day his mule, Rube, sneaks up and steals a tube from him. Will Duke be so mad that he banishes Rube from the sea forever or will he think this is a fun trick? To find out you must read this story! The students will all read this book individually and then we will discuss it as a class to ensure we all comprehended the text.


5. Ok class I am going to place you with a partner and we are going to have some fluency fun. I have two sheets here that each pair is going to get: one is about how many words you can read and the other is about improvements. I will give each pair two sets of the needed sheets, two copies of Rube and the Tube, one for each person, and a stopwatch.  I will explain that one student will be the reader and that one will be the timer and that they will be switching roles. When you are the reader you will see how many words you can read in one minute without skipping any and when the one minute is up you will put a party hat sticker at the word where you stopped and continue on until the book is finished. You will complete this process three times and then you will switch and your partner will do the same. You all may begin reading!


6. As soon as both students have finished their one minute reads they will fill out the fluency literacy sheet about their partner's performance. They can check that their partner read more smoothly, more quickly, with expression, or without forgetting as many words (see above attachment). While all of the reading and writing is going on the teacher will be walking around and providing any assistance if needed.


7. Assessment: To assess each student I will call them up and have them read Rube and the Tube for me. As they read I will monitor fluency by taking notes about their speed, accuracy, expression, and fluidity. I will also note any miscues and ask them questions to see if they also comprehended the story information. Also, I will gather the partner sheets and compare their one minute read times and look over the areas in which they improved.  The students who are not at my desk should be seated reading their decodable texts practicing decoding (with cover-up critters) and fluency.




Rube and the Tube by: Shelia Cushman. Published in 1990 by Educational Insights.

Helpful Lessons:

Courtney Davis, Smooth Sailing: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/solutions/davisgf.htm

Greer Montgomery, Read Fast to Win the Race!:



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