Get on the Train to Fluency!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Alison Gray Chamberlin


Rationale: This lesson will help children become independent and fluent readers.  Students will read and reread a text to improve their fluency by practicing reading quickly and accurately.




-Stop watch for each student

-Pencil for each student

-Fluency time sheet (see below) for each student

-Reading Genie book The Train Trip by Geri Murray for each student




1) Say: Today we are going to be learning about what fluency means in reading.  Being a fluent reader means reading quickly and accurately. The better we become at reading quickly and accurately the easier it will become to understand what we are reading and the meaning behind it. Today we will be using what we have learned by practicing reading fluently.

2) We will be reading the book The Train Trip to practice our fluency skills. We're going to split up into groups of two and read to each other.  Each time we read, our partner will take the stop watch and time you for a minute. When a minute is up they will count how many words you were able to read and write it down on our time sheet.

3) I will give them a book talk for The Train Trip.  Say: This book is about a boy named Nate going to visit his friend Tim.  Time is very excited about his friend coming to visit him.  But it was a very long train ride for Nate, and he has fallen asleep on the ride.  When Nate wakes up he is in a very strange place and is scared.  If you want to see what happens to Nate and Tim you will have to read to find out!

4) I will then model how to read fluently and how to fill out the sheet given to them. I will ask the students to tell me which version sounds the best. The first time I will read the first three sentences of the book slowly and in a choppy way. The second time will be better but with no inflection in my voice, completely flat. The final time I will read smoothly and with expression.  I will then further explain how reading fluently is less choppy and smoother. It is easier after reading a couple of times.

5) Now, I will put students in pairs and pass out the decodable books, stop watches and time sheet.  I will explain to the class that you will time your partner three times and take turns timing each other, and that they are to fill out the sheets as you go.

6) After the children have finished the worksheet, I will call them to my desk individually to read The Train Trip to me. I will look over their time sheets and note their final reading time.  For an additional assessment I will collect each student's time sheet when they come up for an individual reading time with me.  This way, I can look at their progress with their partner and with me.




- Reading Genie Website, Genie Books in PowerPoint: The Train Trip by Geri Murray

-Chandler, Mary Lawrence. Zooming Down the Road to Fluency Spring 2009.


Example of Fluency Time Sheet

Name: ________________     Date: ____________

Partner's Name: _____________________    Book Title: _________________

1st timed reading: ______________________

2nd timed reading: _________________

3rd timed reading: ___________________

Final reading:______________

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