Ribbit, Ribbit: Leap Into Speedy Reading
Reading Fluency Lesson
  Kara Oglesby

Rationale: Reading fluency is a very important factor in improving reading comprehension. When children first learn to read, they concentrate intensely on pronouncing phonemes and words correctly. Comprehension of the story can be difficult in this phase of reading instruction because students have not yet learned all of the skills they need to decode. After phonemes are mastered and a child has the skills needed to decode, fluency must be achieved. When children learn to read fluently, they can focus more on the content of the story as opposed to how to read the words in the text. A wonderful way to teach reading fluency is by repeated reading. By repeated reading, students will learn to recognize words, and with each reading their speed, fluency, and comprehension will increase.

Materials: Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel, butcher paper, markers, stopwatches, die cut frogs, tape, and assortment of Frog and Toad books.

Procedures:
1. I am going to read The Letter, which is a story in the Frog and Toad series of I Can Read books. I am going to read a few pages of the story slowly and choppily. Then I will address the students. Did you enjoy listening to me read those pages? Does it make you want to read a book? (No should be the answer). No, it does not. That is why we are going to learn to read more fluently. Fluent means to read accurately at a steady speed. It is a lot more fun to read that way, and it helps you to understand the story better.
2. Now, I am going to read the whole story to you fluently, which is the way that all of you are going to learn to read. I will read the story again to the students. Did you enjoy the story more that time? I know I had a lot more fun reading it that time than I did when it was slow and choppy.
3. I am going to put a very large piece of butcher paper on the wall. On the butcher paper, I am going to draw a wishing well. I will have a die cut of a frog with each child’s name on it taped to the bottom of the wishing well. Along the side of the well will be different numbers, which stand for words per minute. Boys and girls, this is our classroom wishing well. Everyone has a frog with his or her own name on it. I have enough Frog and Toad books for everyone. You will all choose one book, and then take it back to your desk. The children will be paired off. Each pair of children will have a stopwatch. Now, take turns reading your book one time all of the way through to your partner. The partner who is not reading will time their partner for one minute. When the minute is up, write down what page and word you finished on. I will count the words and place the frogs in the correct spot on words per minute. I will make sure the students understand that this is not a race against each other. It is a race against themselves.
4. After all of the children in the classroom have read and been timed, I will instruct the students to read it through to themselves three more times.
Assessment: For assessment, I will time each child myself and move their frog up. I will discuss with each child his or her progress. This lesson could be carried out for a week by rereading his or her books every day and timing each other until their frogs jump out of the wishing well.

References:
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad are Friends. Harper Trophy Publishing Company. New  York City: 1970. 53-64.
Naylor, Katie.“Get on the Reading Fast Track.”  www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/inroads/naylorg.html.

Click here to return to Openings.