Developing Reading Fluency

By: Lindsey Goodwyn


Rationale: It is very important for students to learn to read for comprehension. In order to do this, students must first become fluent readers. Fluency refers to the ability to read words accurately and automatically. In this lesson, students will learn how to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively in order to gain fluency.  Students will gain fluency through repeated readings, timed readings, and one-minute reads.  It has been proven that the more students read the more their reading skills will improve.


Chalk and Chalkboard

1 copy of Tin Man Fix-It by Shelia Cushman (Publisher: Educational Insights, 1990) per 2 children

Stopwatch per 2 children

Tin Man packet: pencil, slips of paper with 1, 2, 3 (to record time), 2 cutouts of a person with 3 missing parts (legs, arms, heart)

Cover up critter per 2 children (Popsicle stick with eyes and mouth)



1. Explain our goal. "Today we are going to practice reading more fluently. Reading fluently means to read more quickly, accurately, and automatically. When you learn to read fluently, you will not have to stop and sound out each word. When you are able to read faster it gives you the time to focus on what the text is about. A way to become a fluent reader is to practice reading texts more than one time. This allows you to become familiar with the words in the texts and begin to read them faster."

2. Model for the students how to read with fluency. Write the sentence this sentence on the board: Jill got a frog at the pet shop. "First, I am going to read the sentence without fluency. J-i-l-l g-o-t a f-r-o-g at the p-e-t sh-o-p. Now I am going to read the sentence as a fluent reader. See if you can hear the difference. Jill got a frog at the pet shop. Listen as I read it again. Jill got a frog at the pet shop. Did you notice that it was even faster the second time? I read it faster because the first two times gave me practice and helped me read the sentence fluently the third time.

3. "We are now going to practice reading with fluency. Let's read Tin Man Fix-It." Give book talk:  Once there was a tin man that was working in a garden with Jim. When all of a sudden a boy named Sid ran into the tin man and he fell apart! To see if Jim or Sid can put him back together lets read the book!" Remind the students to use their cover up critters when they come to a word they do not recognize and need to decode. Also remind them to crosscheck after reading a word to make sure it makes sense in the story. If the word does not make sense in the sentence, you can change your guess to a word that fits the sentence.  If you and your partner work together and can't pronounce the word correctly, come ask me and I will help you figure it out. Model reading Tin Man Fix-It as a fluent reader. Now that you have heard me read with fluency you can now try reading with fluency with a partner.

4. Now split the students into groups of two with a copy of the book Tin Man Fix-It, a cover up critter, stopwatch, and tin man packet. Explain: "I want you to take turns reading the book.  One partner will read and one partner will time the other with a stopwatch.  I want you to stop the timer when one minute is up and mark the word where you stopped with your pencils.  Then I want you to switch places with your partner so you both have a turn to read and time.  Remember that you shouldn't skip any words.  Try to cross checking or cover-up to figure out a word you don't know.  Read Tin Man Fix-It three times.  After you read I want you to count the number of words you read and write them on your slip of paper and give your man another missing part to keep up with the number of times you have read.  You can start reading now. 

5. Walk around the classroom to monitor, assist, and observe students as they practice reading with fluency with a partner.

6. To assess students I will interview each student at my desk. I will ask them to read one minute in the book Tin Man Fix-It and will note any miscues and how many words they have read. I will also ask them some follow up questions to see whether or not they were able to comprehend the story as well:

    What were Sid and Jim doing at the beginning of the story?

    How did Tim fall on the ground?

    How did Jim fix Tim?

    Who fixed the flower garden at the end?


Amber DeBlanc' Fluency Lesson Design: Up, Up, Up, Goes the Sub!

Landon McKeen's Fluency Lesson Design: Go, Read, Go.

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