Speeding While Reading!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rachel Bowman

Rationale:  Fluency is the skill to read text with accuracy, automatically, and quickly. Children need fluency in order to comprehend text as well as to maximize the amount of material covered within a given time frame. Characteristics of a fluent reader include smoothness, expression, and quickly. In order to practice fluency, students will read each time with an increased speed, style, and flow resulting in an increase in fluent reading. This means that each time a reader practices these reading tactics; he or she will be on a fluent track to fluency! 


Materials: Progression Chart (for each student) - Race track with progressive numbers on each side for speed and accuracy, model car and checkered flag to move up and down the track.


 One timer for each group (groups of two).


Sentence worksheet for each group. paper, multiple strips for extended time, practice, challenge (multiple strips may make a short story line).


Copy of Mike's Good Bad Day (Reading A-Z) for each student


Reading reflection for peer review in groups




Piece of Paper


Procedure: 1. Open the lesson in a creative exciting way: 'Hello Students! I am the world's greatest actress! I have one many awards, made many speeches, read countless poems, and I am here to read one to you!...' Begin reading a passage in the way that does not model fluency (monotone, choppy, slow, inaccurately). Ask the students to discuss how good they believe your 'acting' or reading was. Ask for suggestions for what to do differently to make your reading better. Re-read the passage with flair, speed, expression all things which model fluency and an excitement to read! Lead into the activities by explaining that today 'we are going to practice our fluency so that we can enjoy and better understand what we are reading.' Model these activities by reading a statement. Reread it again. Read it again and begin to pick up fluency. Have a volunteer rate your improvement. Next, read a passage and have your volunteer time it. Observe together, your accuracy and speed.


2. 'Students, let remember a tool that we use when we read, crosschecking. When we read and something doesn't make sense, go back and check it. Listen closely, 'I make my ped everyday.' Do you think that makes sense? Maybe I should reread it, ped doesn't seem right. Oh, I make my bed everyday.'


3. Next break the students into groups of two. Pass out a one sentence strip to each student. Taking turns, each student will read the sentence slowly with while focusing on the text itself as well as accuracy. Have the students reread this sentence focusing on fluency. The teacher may begin this activity by modeling a sentence with the steps before the groups begin. If students progress within the given time, provide a new sentence. Allow them to practice this sentence the same way as the first. If necessary, students may connect the two sentences for a greater challenge.


4. Then, read the book Mike's Good Bad Day as the children follow along in their own copy.


5. Now the children begin by choosing two to three pages in the book that they would like to use for their fluency practice. One student of the group will read the passage repeatedly as his or her partner times each reading with a stopwatch. Each time should be recorded for each student. If the reader progresses with speed he or she will move the race card up a notch. If the reader improves his or her accuracy, their checkered flag can be moved down. Each group member should have the opportunity to complete this process twice.


6. For the third reading, group will be regrouped to be with new partners. The reader will read the passage while the other student times him or her. For the fourth and final reading of the passage, the reader will read while the other student times him/her. Afterwards, the timing student will rate the progress of the reader on the peer review progression checklist. Each group member should have one turn to be the reader and one turn to be the timer.


Assessment: Students will be assessed on their fluency progression while the teacher visits each group during group work. Racing charts should be reviewed at each desk for an example of each child's progress. Activities should continue until all groups have been observed. If not, then the remaining students should visit the teacher's desk to read one sentence one on one with the teacher. Students will also turn in the peer review sheet and the paper that holds a record of the students reading time (showing best and worst time). 



References: Adams, M. (1990) Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print.  Department of Education, University of Illinois.


The Reading Genie, Developing Reading Fluency:  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/fluency.html


Mike's Good Bad Day. Reading A-Z.com.   



Race Car image 



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