SPEEDING INTO FLUENT READING
Hilary Shell
Growing Independence and Fluency



Rationale: When readers are fluent (which means the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically) he or she has the ability to recognize words automatically and comprehend written text faster than readers who are not fluent. By rereading text and becoming familiar with it, students will increase their fluency. This lesson will help students understand that fluency helps them gain more meaning from the text. After the lesson, students will be able to use a strategy to increase fluency in their independent reading.
Materials: One stopwatch per group or students, Speed Record Sheet for each child, Chalk, Chalkboard, Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, copy of Here Comes the Strikeout by Leonard Kessler for each student

(example)
Speed Record Sheet
Name:______________________         Date:_______________
1st time:______________
2nd time:______________
3rd time:_______________
 
 
Procedu
Start the lesson by explaining to the students that a fluent reader is a reader that has the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically.Which means, once we become fluent readers, we will be able to understand the written text more easily. Explain to them that one way to become fluent readers is to read a text more than once, each time reading it faster and more automatically. That is what we are going to practice doing today.
Ask, Can anyone tell me how we figure out a word we do not know as we are reading? That is right we use the cover up method.� Review the cover up method by writing the word watch on the board. Explain to the students that they would cover up everything but the vowel /a/ (a=/a/). Then that would look at what comes before the vowel, which is the letter w. Next, they look at the end of the word tch=/ch/. Lastly, they would put them all together and they have the word watch. Remember if you are stuck on a word this is a great way to figure it out!
Next, the teacher will demonstrate to the students the difference between reading with fluency and reading without fluency. Write the sentence (The bird plays in the birdbath.) on the board. Read the sentence once to the students without fluency, The bbbirrrddd ppplllaaaays in the bbbirrrrddddbbbaaath. Ask the students if they noticed how you read the sentence slowly. Next, read the sentence again fluently. The bird plays in the birdbath. Ask students if they notice a difference. Explain to them that this time the sentence was read fluently. “I did not draw out the words and I read more rapidly. Which way was easier to understand?  Right it is easier to understand text when you read with fluency.
Pass out a copy of What Will the Seal Eat? to each student. Tell students that, Mr. Seal is very hungry. He wants to eat something, but he does not know what to eat. He thinks about eating a lot of different things but finally decides on one. What do you think he decides on? I want all of you to read the story silently to yourselves to find out After students are finished reading the story, discuss the book with them.   
Next, split the students up into partners (if you have to, partner them off yourself). Explain to the students about the Speed Record Sheet. Tell the students that one of them is going to be the reader� and the other one is going to be the recorder. Tell them that the reader will read the book for one minute three different times. The recorder should announce when to begin and stop when one minute it up. After each read, the recorder will record how many words were read in that one minute. Once one student has read three one minute read alouds, students switch roles.
Once students have finished recording the one minutes read-alouds, gather them together and ask if each time their scores improved (most of them will). Tell them that this confirms that the more practice they get, the more fluent they will become.
For assessment, I will make each student come to me and do a one minute read. (Have them read another Educational Insights Book.) While one student is doing a one-minute read, have the rest of the students practice reading a book of their choice with fluency quietly at their desk.
 
Reference: "Speeding into Fluent Reading" By: Michelle Mummert  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/innov/mummertgf.htm
Cushman, Shelia and Kornblum, Rona.  What Will the Seal Eat?  Phonics Readers.  Educational Insights, 1990.
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