Flying with Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency Design

By: Alea Kent



Rationale: The goal of this lesson is to help the children become more fluent readers. Fluency is important because it allows the children to focus on the meaning of the text rather than decoding every single word. It also allows children to enjoy reading more. In this lesson, children will work on fluency by reviewing cover-ups and crosschecking and by rereading texts with a partner.



-cover-up critter for each student (A cover up critter can easily be made by taking a popsicle stick and gluing two eyes to the end of it. The children will use this to cover up part of the word if they are struggling with it. It helps them to sound out each individual sound and break the word down into smaller segments which are easier to decode)

- 1 pencil for each child

- 1 stop watch or timer per pair of students

-"Dad's Lost Hat" by Bridgette Wilson


- One Minute Read Chart (for each pair)

          Name: ________Date: ____

1st minute: ______

2nd minute: ______

3rd minute: ______


- Partner check- sheet:

Name: _____ Partner: ____ Date: ____

I noticed that my partner... (check the circle)

After 2nd           after 3rd

( )                     ( )                     Remembered more words

( )                     ( )                     Read faster

( )                     ( )                     Read smoother

( )                     ( )                     Read with expression



1. Begin the lesson by reviewing cover-ups. "Hello class. Today we are going to work on our reading fluency, but before we begin that, can anyone tell me what we do when we come to a word that we do not know? That's right, we use our cover-up critters to cover up parts of the word, then we blend the sounds together." Write crash on the board. "If I saw this word in a book and I did not know it, I would use my cover up critter to help me sound it out. I would first find the vowel which is a and I know that a=/a/. Then I would look at what comes before the a. C says /k/. Next is r, r=/r/. When I blend them together I get the /cr/ sound. Now I know the first three letters say /cra/. Finally, I uncover the rest of the word. I know when I see s and h together they make a 'shhhhhh' sound. When I blend the whole word together, I get crash. We can use this strategy whenever we see an unfamiliar word.


2. Explain what fluency is. "As I said earlier, today we are going to work on fluency. Fluency is when good readers read quickly and with expression. One way to get better at fluency is to read a book several times. The more you read it, the quicker you will become because the words will be familiar to you." Write sentence "I like to ride my bike fast." on the board. "The first time I read this sentence might be slow. III l-l-iii-k-e ttt-oooo r-r-ii-d-e m-yyy b-b-iiii-k-e f-aaaa-sss-t. However, the second time I read it I can read it faster because I know the words. I like to ride my bike fast.


3. Explain/review how to crosscheck. "Not only do good readers read fluent, but they all understand what they are reading. A good way to do this is to crosscheck. For example, if I read the sentence 'I like to ride my bic fast,' that would not make much sense. I would know that the word must be 'bike' not 'bic'.


4. Allow the children to reread texts to become better at fluency. Pair students up, pass out the text to each pair of students as well as pencils, stopwatches, one minute reading form, and a partner checklist for each student. "Today, we are going to read an entire book together. The book is called, 'Dad's Lost Hat' by Bridgett Wilson. In this story, a little girl is outside playing with her dad's hat. The wind comes by and carries it into the air. Her dog thinks it would be very funny to jump into the air to grab the hat then take it down a long path. Will she ever get her dad's hat back or will her dad be very angry? You'll have to read to find out!"


5. "Once you read the entire book together, I want you both to go back to the beginning. One person will be the reader and the other person will be the timer. The timer will start the stopwatch as the reader begins to read. At one minute, the timer tells the reader to stop. After the reader has finished, they should count how many words they read and record that number on the rubric. Each student will read a section of the book 3 times for one minute each and record your number of words for each time on the one minute read chart.


6. "Also, after you read each time, your partner needs to fill out the partner check sheet for you to see if you read faster, smoother, and with expression."


7. To assess students, I will review their one-minute read sheets as well as their partner check sheets. I will also ask a few comprehension questions at the end to make sure the students understood the story. The questions will include:

-Where did the dog take the hat? Down the path.

-Did the girl chase after the dog? Yes.

-Was she able to catch him? Why or why not? No because he was too fast.

-How did Dad get the hat back? The dog ran to him to be fed, and he had the   hat in his mouth.



Anderson, Ashley. Smooth Sailing!

Hale, Erin. Race Down the Track with Fluency.

Wilson, Bridgette. Dad's Lost Hat.


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