Meredith Pedersen

I. Rationale:
Students need to develop fluency in order to become expert readers. This involves reading fast, smoothly and with expression. Children also need to start recognizing words automatically and effortlessly. Through repeated readings, timed readings and one-minute reads, this lesson aims at helping children become faster, more fluent readers.

II. Materials

  • James and the Good Day book, 1 per student
  • Stopwatch or timer for each pair of students
  • Cover-up sticks (decorated popsicle sticks), 1 per student
  • Pencils, 1 per student
  • Dry erase board & marker
  • Fluency sheets

Speed Reading Sheet
Name of reader: ____________
Name of partner: ____________
# of words read 1st time: ____________
# of words read 2nd time: ____________
# of words read 3rd time: ____________

Fluent Reader Checklist
I noticed that my partner:
2nd time         3rd time
      x                 x                 Remembered more words
      x                 x                 Read faster
      x                 x                 Read smoother
      x                 x                 Read with expression

III. Procedures
1. Explain the purpose of the lesson to students. “Class, today we are going to work hard at becoming fluent readers. In order to become a good reader, you need to read fluently. This means that when you read, you don’t have to stop and sound out each word. You’ll be able to recognize most of the words you see on a page of a book and understand what you read. It may sound tricky or impossible now, but we’re going to start working on this every day so we can become good readers. One way to become a fluent reader is by reading text more than once so you become familiar with the words. That’s what we’ll be doing today!"

2. Explain and model fluent reading for the students. On the dry erase board, write, The cub runs from the bees. Say to the students, “First, I will read this without fluency. Th… the cccccuuuub rrrruuuunnnnss frrrrrroooommmm thhhheee bbbbbeeeesss. Now I will read it like a fluent reader. The cub runs from the bees. Did that second reading sound better than the first one? Do you see the difference? Good! Listen again and tell me if I am reading the sentence as a fluent reader. The cub runs from the bees. Was I a beginning or a fluent reader? That’s right, a fluent reader! Reading the sentence over and over again gave me practice and helped me read better each time.”

3. Model and remind students tools they can use in their readings, such as cover-ups. Write the word side on the board. “Class, when we are reading and come across a word we don’t know, remember to use your cover-up strategy! We’ll do it together with this word on the board. If I saw this word and did not know it, the first thing I would do is cover everything up except the I. Watch… (cover the s and d). I should know that i_e=/I/. Next, I would look at what comes before the vowel, s=/s/. I blend my two sounds and get /si/. Finally I would look at the end of the word d=/d/. Starting with the vowel helps us solve these tricky words more easily. From now on, whenever we see an unfamiliar word, let’s use the cover-up strategy to see if we can read it.”

4. Pass out copies of James and the Good Day for students to read. Tell students that reading this book more than once today will help them with their fluency. Be sure to give a booktalk. “James is so excited about having a fun day! He decides to sail his toy boat in the bathtub. But something goes horribly wrong and the bath water floods his house! Will James still have a good day now? We’ll have to read this book in order to find out!” Have students read their books at least once, reminding them to use tools such as cross-checking and coverups. “Class, let’s not forget that we can cross-check a sentence if it sounds funny when we read it. And remember, if you get stuck on a word, use your fun cover-up stick to help you read it piece by piece. If you use these tools, make sure you read the sentence over again so you understand what happens in the story.” After students read their books at least once, discuss the story as a class.

5. Have students split up into groups of 2. Explain the Speed Reading sheet to the students. “When you are with your partner, one will be the reader and the other will be the recorder. The reader will read James and the Good Day 3 different times, for one minute each. The recorder will kept track of the time on a stopwatch and write down how many words their partner has read. When the reader has done their three readings, you and your partner will switch roles and do it all over again.”

6. After doing one-minute reads with their partner, students will also fill out Fluent Reader sheet about their partner, filling in the boxes on how they performed during the second and third reading.

IV. Assessment
To assess the children, do individual one-minute readings with each child. Have them read James and the Good Day and record how many words they read per minute, to see if they are making improvements with the number of words they can read. This and the Fluent Reader Checklist will show if the students are making progress towards faster and more fluent reading.

V. References

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