Growing Independence & Fluency
Amy Lewis


Rationale:  To become a successful reader one must read fluently, accurately, with expression, and consistently.  This goal of this lesson is to help students with their fluency while reading by working on their reading speed.  Fluent readers can better comprehend the text they are reading because they no longer have to concentrate on decoding each individual word and are able to read at a faster and smoother pace. Fluency makes reading more enjoyable for the reader and the reader is then more likely to become a life long reader. Students’ reading fluency will increase through this lesson by charting one-minute reads.


Materials:   Timer/stopwatch (1 per student)
                     Speed reading charts (one for each student):

                            Name:_________________________            Date:___________
                                    After 1st read           _______
                                    After 2nd read         _______
                                    After 3rd read          _______

                     Repeated Reading Checklist (one for each student to use with a partner):

                              Partners' Names___________________________                                
                             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                      _______          _______

                     Class set of the decodable book, Tin Man Fix It           


1)      Introduce the lesson by explaining to students what it means to be a fluent reader and why it is an important part of learning to read.  “Today we are going to talk about fluency.  Fluency is a reader's ability to read words quickly, smoothly, and with emotions.  Fluent readers rarely have to take pauses while reading because it becomes automatic for them.  Whenever a fluent reader is reading it sounds like they are having a normal conversation with someone.  So, let’s talk about why it is important for readers to be fluent.  Becoming a fluent reader makes reading more enjoyable and you are able to concentrate more on the meaning and storyline of the whole text instead of individual words. So lets get started!”

2)      Pass out books to students.

3)      “I bet all of us in the classroom have read a book before that was really good and very interesting but just weren’t able to read it fast enough to finish quickly.  Well, today we are going to work on that and practice ways to become fluent readers."  "It is helpful to go back and re-read words until you are able to make it flow together as if it is normal talk.  This tool is called cross checking.  We have discussed cross checking in the past.  It is the same thing we do whenever we come across unfamiliar words.  Well, cross checking can also be used to help with fluency because the more times you read something the more automatic it comes.  This then allows the reader to read with more expression because they are not having to concentrate on individual words."

4)      Model for students.  “The first time you pick up a book there is usually a number of words that are unfamiliar."  Read the first page of the book. (1-2 sentences).  "For me, the first time I read through a new book it is difficult to understand it all because I have to read slow and figure out the unknown words."  Read the sentences again non fluently, slow, take pauses, and struggle on some words.  "I a-m go-i-n-g going to r-i-de my b-i-c-c-y-c-c-l-le bic-cy-c-cle bicycle a-f-t-er s-ch-ool t-o-day."  "Did everyone notice how hard it was for me to read some of the unfamilar words the first time through?  It was not very smooth and it was hard for me to enjoy reading it.  So, I then read the sentences again for a second time." "I am go-ing to r-ide my bi-cy-cle a-fter sch-ool today."  "That time I was able to read a little bit faster because the unfamiliar words are becoming more familiar and I did not have to slow down to figure them out as much.  Though it was easier, it still was not smooth.  So I will reread it again."  "I am going to ride my bicycle after school today."  "That time it was smoothe but it did not have any emotion in it."  Reread it again with emotion. "I   learned that the more times I read it the easier it got and I eventually could read the book straight through quickly, smoothly, and with emotions.  I really started to enjoy reading because it wasn’t as difficult.  Now you are all going to try reading the books you chose several times today so that you get better and better each time you read it."

5)     “Everyone now take this time to read the book, Tin Man Fix It."  Booktalk:  "This book is about a young boy who has a friend, Tin Man.  One day that were outside planting a garden.  As they were planting the garden, a young boy quickly skates by on a skateboard.  He crashes into Tin Man.  Tin Man breaks into lots of pieces!  You will have to read the book to find out if Tin Man is able to be put back together."

6)  Read until I tell you to stop.  If you finish reading your book before I tell you to stop, then start reading it again from the beginning.  (Give the students ten minutes to read individually.)      When ten minutes is up stop the students and then place them in pairs.

7)      Instruct students on what to do.  “I want you to work together this time.  I want one of you to read while the other times you as you read using the timer.  Then switch roles.  Each of you should read your book three times all the way through and make sure you record the time for all of the reads on the handout."

8)      After each student has read to a partner instruct them, “Now I want everyone to evaluate thier partners to see if they are improving on their fluency each time they read it.”

9)    “Everyone is doing a great job! You will all be fluent readers in no time! But this takes lots of practice so I really want everyone to try hard and stick with it.  You can take your books home and read them to your family so you can get even more practice in.  The more you read the book over and over the faster and smoother you will become at reading it.  Continue to practice and we will continue to chart our improvements.”

10)   In later lessons students will be given one-minute to read a book through over and over again to chart how many words per minute they are reading. Take the opportunity to listen to each student individually to assess their improvement.  Also assess them to be sure that there are not other skills they need to improve on first in order to succeed as a fluent reader.  Use the information gathered from the assessments to plan future lessons.



The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency  (Read and Reread by Seth Clark) (Racy Readers by Jessi Hodge) (Faster and Faster by Jane Moncrief)

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