Developing Fluency:
Hurry, Off We Go!

By: Brigette Marsden

hurry, off we go


    Fluent reading is reading where words are recognized easily and automatically.  Readers must develop fluent reading in order to become faster, smoother, and more expressive readers.  After a child is able to read fluently they can begin to develop their silent reading skills which can only develop after the child has developed fluency in their reading.  Fluent reading is extremely important in a child's overall reading development and success.  This lesson is designed to give students repeated readings of texts in order to become more fluent readers.  In addition, it will help the students to understand the importance of automatic, fluent reading. 


-speed reading record for each student

-Partnercheck sheet for each student

-stop watches for each pair of students

-pencils for students



-coverup buddies for each student

- Copies of the book for each student or pair of students: Kite Day at Pine Lake by Sheila Cushman & Rona Kornblum. c1990.


Speed Reading Record:

       Name:_________________________            Date:___________


                        - After 1st read            _______

                        - After 2nd read           _______

                        - After 3rd read            _______


Partner Check Sheet for students to assess their partner's fluency:

As I listened to my partner read, he/she:

                                                                                    After 2nd           After 3rd

                        1. Remembered more words         _______          _______

                        2. Read faster                                    _______          _______

                        3. Read smoother                            _______          _______

                        4. Read with expression                 _______          _______



1.  Begin lesson by explaining to children that in order to become fluent readers they must learn to read with fluency and accuracy.  In addition, they must remember what they have read in order to interpret the meaning of the text.  Boys and girls, today we are going to practice reading with speed and accuracy.   By learning to read with speed and accuracy we are going to learn to become fluent readers.  It is important that we learn to read fluently so that we can read things quickly and easily without much effort so that we can focus on the meaning of the words we are reading.  Reading a story many times helps us to become fluent readers.  Today we are going to read a story many times so that we can become more fluent readers.  Each time you read I want you to try to read faster.

2.  Explain to the students the coverup strategy that they can use while reading.  While reading, you may come across some troublesome words.  A way to help you figure out the word, you can use your coverup buddy.  Write the word thump on the board.  Using my coverup buddy I am going to model how to decode a word.  When you come across a tough word use the coverup buddy to cover up parts of the word so you can sound it out.  Cover up all the letters except the u and sound out the sound of the short u=/u/.  Then I am going to look at the letters leading up to the vowel, th=/th/. Finally I will focus on the m=/m/ and the p=/p/.  So I am going to look at just the vowel, and I know that the short u makes and /u/ sound, remember like the tugboat.  Next, I am going to look at the letters leading up to the vowel, so th=/th/ so I have /th//u/ and finally I look at the end of the word, so /m/ and /p/, so /th//u//m//p/.  So now when you come across a tough word, remember your cover up buddy.

3.  Now I am going to model fluent reading.  I am going to write the following sentence on the board: The children love flying kites.  Now I want each of you to listen as I read this sentence.  The first time I am going to read it slowly without fluency.  The---children---love---flying---kites.  Now  am going to read it fluently and faster: The children love flying kites.  Which one sounds better? Which one is easier to understand? It is much easier to listen to reading that is fluent and fast than reading that is slow and is not fluent.  That is why we need to practice reading fluently and quickly so that when we read to each other it is easy to listen to and we can focus on the meaning of the words instead. 

4.  Now I am going to give each student a copy of the book Kite Day at Pine Lake .  They will each get to read it by themselves before coming together with a partner for timed readings.  This story is about a group of children who love to fly their kites at the lake. A young boy named Bob does not have his own kite and he is sad because he cannot fly kites with the other kids at the lake.  All of their kites are wonderful shapes, colors, and sizes.  Bob just wants a kite too.  Will Bob end up getting a kite? Well, read to find out.  After the students finish reading we will discuss the events of the story. 

5.  Next, the students will break up into partners and I will give each group a stopwatch and each child a Partner Check Sheet and Speed Reading Record.  Each child will read the book three times.  The listener will time each reading and give a report after the second and third readings.  They will record the times of each reading on the Speed Reading Record.  The reports are always complementary and do not put down a child.  No criticism or advice is allowed.  The child simply marks on the evaluation sheet.  With your partner you will read the book three times.  Time each reading and record the time on your Speed Reading Record. After the second and third readings, you will mark the evaluation sheet.  You may look at the times to determine if your partner is reading faster each time.  Explain the rules regarding criticism, etc. 

The students will each bring me their Speed Reading Record and partner checklist. I will perform one minute reads with each child to check for fluency and accuracy.  I will also evaluate their reading record and partner checklist. 


Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency

Tate, Natalie. "Kites are Slow, Reading is Fast"

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