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Growing Independence and Fluency

Audrey Stockdale

Rationale: Successful readers must read consistently, fluently, accurately, and with emotion. This lesson design is to promote fluent reading by working on students’ reading speed. In this lesson, students will increase their fluency by using one-minute reads with a partner using books on their reading levels. Partners will record their times on a speed chart to see how their speed increases with repeated readings.


-Timer (one per pair of students)

-One-minute read charts (one for each student)

-Large selection of decodable books (color-coded for different levels for example red-primer level, blue-pre-primer level, green-1st grade level, yellow-2nd grade level, etc. )

-Index cards with color-coded dots (one for each student, like the books above)

-Speed Record Sheet


1. Tell the students what it means to be a fluent reader. Explain to the students how they will become better readers while working with their partners. “Fluency means that you can read words fast and easily. If you are a fluent reader, you can read with emotion; for instance, it might sound like you’re actually having a conversation with somebody.” This means that while you are reading, you will quickly say the words that you see and you will read with emotion. If I wanted to say, “Oh, No! The train is coming,” I would say it like this (demonstrate how fluent readers would read this sentence) and not like this.(demonstrate how readers who are not as fluent would read this sentence) Pass out index cards with color-coded dots to each student.


2. “Have you ever had a favorite book that you just couldn’t read fast enough?

    You liked the book so much, but it was just hard to read for you? Well, today we

    are going to work on that. We are going to learn how you can read that book faster and with more expression. After today, you are going to be able to make what you are reading sound sad, scary, happy, calm, or even exciting! Now, I need everyone to go to the book shelf and pick out a book that has the same colored dot on it that your index card has. Be sure to pick a good book that you can really stay interested in later!.” (Teacher should also go to the shelf and get a book for effective modeling.)


3.   After students have chose their books and are all seated, show them your book. “This book is called Bo’s Bows. The first time I read this book, I did not know some of the words in it. This made the book very difficult to understand for me. Since the book was so hard, I read very, very slowly, and could not understand what the story was really about. Bo has many booooowws. Some have ch-ch-check-oh checks on them. Some have st-st-stipes, oh stripes on them. Then, I read the book again, and guess what? The story seemed easier for me. Bo has many bows. Some have checks on them. Some have stripes on them. It was so cool! The words that were hard for me during the first reading were much easier the second time I read the story. I even knew exactly what the story was about! I thought, how do I know all of these words this time that I could not figure out the last time? I got it! The more times we read something, the easier it gets! Now, we are all going to try reading something many times today so we can get better at it, too! Review: Give a short demonstration on how to use cover-ups. If I don’t know a word, I can cover up everything except the vowel. Then uncover the beginning, and finally uncover the ending.


4.  Now, I need everyone to read the book that you chose from the bookshelf. I need you to read the book until I tell you to stop. If you finish reading your book before I say stop, just read your book again. (Give the students ten minutes to read.)


5.  After the students have read individually for ten minutes, pair each student with a partner that is on the same instructional level.  When it’s your partner’s turn to read, you need to time your partner to see how much time it took them to read. (Explain to students how the stop watches work)  Each of you need to read your book twice. After you read your book, you need to record your time on the time chart. Okay, how many times should each of you read your own book? Right, twice, and who’s time do you record on the time chart? Excellent, yours!


6.  After all students have read aloud to their partners, explain, “Now, Let’s chart our times on the time chart and see how we read faster the second time we read our book!”


7.  After all of the students have read their books twice and recorded their times on the time chart, tell the students “ I want each of you to take your books home and show your families and friends how well you can read. I know they will be able to tell that you are a fluent reader who reads fast and with emotion! Good job, class.”



Speed Record Sheet


Name:____________________________________     Date:____________

1st time:___________________________________

2nd time:___________________________________

3rd time:___________________________________


Resources: (Read and Reread by Seth Clark)

(Faster and Faster by Jane Moncrief)

Bo’s Bows. Scholastic Readers. 2002.


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