Growing Independence and Fluency

Fast Like a Rabbit

Brittany Smith


Rationale:  For students to learn to be expert readers, they must be able to read fluently and accurately.  This lesson gives students practice with reading fluently.  In this lesson, students will increase their fluency by doing one-minute reads with a partner using books on their reading level.



-timer (one for each pair of students)

-one-minute charts (one for each student)

-a large selection of decodable books (books need to be color coded according to their instructional level)

-speed record sheet

-index cards with color-coded dots (one for each student--colored dots should correspond with the colors of the books)



(1)To engage the students in the lesson, the teacher should relate the word fluency to something that the students will know and tell them what fluency means.  Students, today we will be practicing our reading fluency. Let's talk about that word "fluency".  What does that mean?  Ask for any of the students' ideas.  Good.  The word fluency means fast and without messing up.  Whenever you think of a rabbit, you might think of the rabbit hopping along fast without messing up.  So, fluent readers read like rabbits and no mess ups.  Pass out the index cards to the students.


(2)Ask the students to close their eyes and picture a book in their minds that they really love to read.  Boys and girls, now we are going to close our eyes and think about our favorite book.  Think about a book that you really want to learn how to read with a lot of feeling (the book has to be in our classroom library).  Think about a book that is not too easy and not too hard for you to read.  Whenever you have the book in your mind you may go and get it off the shelf.  Make sure that your index card dot matches the dot on the book.  Everyone should return to their seats with their book and wait on the next direction.  The teacher should also go to the shelf and pick out a book so that s/he can model how to read fluently.


(3) When all students are seated, the teacher should begin modeling the one-minute reading.  Students, this is the book that I picked for my one-minute read.  This book is called Slim's Outing.  I like this book a lot but there are some words in it that make me not able to read it fluently.  But when I read Slim's Outing for the second time and I knew those really hard words, I understood the book a lot better.  I wondered why those words seemed easier the second time that I read.  Then, the light bulb came on in my head.  The more times that you read a book the easier it gets.  Explain to the students that this is what they will be doing for the lesson.  They will be reading and rereading their books that they picked out. 


(4) The students now need to read their books for approximately ten minutes to familiarize themselves.  Now, I would like you to read your book until I tell you to stop.  If you read through the entire book before I say stop then you may go back and reread it.


(5) After the ten minutes are, up the teacher should explain that s/he will be passing out the timers and that they are not toys and are not to be played with.  The teacher should explain to the students that s/he will now pair them with a partner and that whenever they get into their groups, they will take turns timing one another reading their books.  Next, we I will be paring you up with a partner and giving you a timer.  Please remember that these timers are not toys and should not be played with.  You and your partner will decide who is going to go first and on my cue, you will set your timers for one minute and your partner should begin to read.


(6) After each student has had a practice round with timing their partner, the teacher should explain to them that they will be recording their times on the speed record sheet.  Boys and girls, now we will be re-doing our readings three times and for each time, we will record each time. After each student has had a chance to record their times, the students will be able to see that their fluency has improved.  Now students, I want you to compare each of your times and see how you improved with your fluency.     



Audrey Stockdale.  Fast, Faster, Fastest.


Speed Record Sheet


1ST TIME:__________________________


2ND TIME:__________________________


3RD TIME:__________________________

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