Ready, Set, Read!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Julie Smith

Rationale: To become fluent readers, children need to learn how to read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  Reading fluency is directly related to reading comprehension.  Time and practice are essential for becoming a fluent reader.  An excellent way to practice fluency is through rereading text.  In addition, rereading text allows students to read more words per minute.


-copy of 100 School Days by Anne Rockwell for each student

-stop watch

-time sheet for each student:

Time Sheet

Date: _________________

Your Name:_________________    Your Partner‰¥ús Name:_________________    

First time:__________

Second time:__________

Third time:__________

1.  You all are learning to become fluent readers, and the best way to do that is to practice reading.  You are going to read the same text several times to improve your fluency.  We will time each of your readings to see how well reading speed improves.   As you reread the text, you will read it more expressively each time!  Remember, you might not always know every word in the text, fluent readers do not always know every word either, but you should always read to the end of the sentence or use a silent cover-up method when you are stuck on a word. 
2.  Write this sentence on the board: On the first day of school Mrs. Madoff gave me a penny.  Read the sentence slowly to the students to model a non-fluent reader.  Reread the sentence expressively, smoothly, and quickly to model a fluent reader. Ask the students "Did you like the first or second reading better?  Good!  The second time I read with fluency by reading expressively, smoothly, and quickly.
3.  Give the students a book talk about 100 School Days: This book is about a class and everyday a different student brought a penny to school.  They would put the penny in a jar on the teacher‰¥ús desk, but they did not know why she was telling them to do so.  Let‰¥ús read this book to find out what they did with all of their pennies.  Read 100 School Days to the entire class and tell them to follow along so they can become familiar with all of the words.  
4.  Split the students into pairs.  Each pair should have one copy of 100 School Days and each student should have a copy of the time sheet.  Instruct students to write their name on their time sheet as well as the name of your partner.  After you are finished, switch time sheets with your partner so that you have each other‰¥ús time sheets.
5.  You and your partner will take turns being the reader and the recorder.  Begin by deciding who will be the reader first.  Good!  The reader is to start reading at the beginning of 100 School Days  and read for 1 minute.  I will stand at the front of the room with the stopwatch.  When 1 minute is up, I will say STOP !  The reader should point to the word he/she stopped on.  Then, the recorder will count the amount of words the reader read during that 1 minute.  The recorder will then record that amount of words on the time sheet next to first time space.  Are there any questions?  Good.  Are you ready?  GO !
6.  The readers will read from the same spot again, start at the beginning.  This time, the recorder will fill in the second time space.  Are you ready?  GO !
7.  STOP !  Did the number in the second time space get bigger than the number in the first time space?  Good!  The readers will read from the same spot again, start at the beginning.  This time, the recorder will fill in the third time space.  Are you ready?  GO !
8.  STOP !  Did the number in the third time space get bigger than the number in the second time space?  Terrific!  Now it is time for you and your partner to switch roles.  We will do the exact thing over again with the new readers and recorders.  Are you ready?      GO !" (Follow the same steps to enable the new reader to read the same passage three times while being timed and recorded.)
9.  Talk to your partner about how well you did on your time sheet.  Ask your partner if you read expressively, smoothly, and quickly.  Would anyone like to share his or her good work?  Great!  I am glad to hear that you read faster, more expressively, and more accurately each time!  You sound like a fluent reader!  Remember that comprehension is our main goal and the more you read, the more fluent you will become!
10.  The students will be assessed by individually coming to the teacher‰¥ús desk for a one-minute read of 100 School Days.  Each student's time will be recorded and compared to the student's time sheet.  The new time and time sheet will be kept for future comparisons.  The students can finish reading100 School Days silently while waiting to be assessed.


100 School Days by Anne Rockwell

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz! By Katie Lincoln. Auburn University Summer 2005

Quick 䴋 Follow That Bear by Leslie McGill. Auburn University. Fall 2004

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