3-2-1 Blast Off With Reading

By: Pamela Bailey

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rational: Students need to understand the importance of reading fluently and accurately. Fluent reading is reading in which words a recognized automatically. Students' reading becomes faster, smoother, and more expressive with automatic word recognition. When students read with fluency it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Once students learn to read with fluency they are able to focus their attention on the understanding of the text. This lesson will help children learn to read faster and more fluently.  The students will work on reading fluency through repeated readings while being timed.  The students will also gain fluency through repeated readings as well as one-minute reads.


Stop watch


One Minute Record Charts (one per student)

Fluency Rubric Charts for each student

Progress Chart for each student

Class set of the decodable book: Red Gets Fed

Dry erase board/ with marker


One Minute Read Chart:

Name: ______________________ Date: ____________

1st minute: ______

2nd minute: ______

3rd minute: ______


Fluency Rubric Chart)



1. Teacher will introduce the lesson by explaining what it means to be a fluent reader verses a beginning reader. "Who knows what it means to be a fluent reader?" "Yes! That right!" a fluent reader is a fast and smooth reader that read with expression. They are able to recognize the words automatically. I will write a sentence on the board; Red is a big dog. A beginning reader might read this sentence like this:" Rrrrreeed iss a bbbiiig ddoog." They might stumble over the words and repeat words that they do not recognize. "So today we are going to practice how to become a more fluent reader, and the only way to become fluent is to practice.  The more practice that you have with a book; the faster you are able to read it.  Reading a book that you have already read before also helps you become more fluent with books that you have never even seen before. So, ready let's blast off with reading!

2. First, I will review with the students what to do when they come to a word that they don't know. "We want to remember to use our cover ups." I will review with the class how to use cover-ups to help them decode words.  "How do we use our cover-up critter to help us decode a word that we might not know? (I will write the word 'crash' on the board).  That's right.  We start with the vowel which is /a/.  We cover up everything after the letter a including the letter a.  We will look at the letters before the letter a, which is cr.  We will blend these two letters together to get cr.  Then we add the letter a, cra.  Then we cover the first 3 letters up and blend the last letters together, and say sh.  Then we start from the beginning and put everything together. /c/ /r /a/ /sh/. When you see a word that you don't know how to read, use the cover-up strategy to help you decode the word.

3. I want students to know that they can crosscheck what they have read to see if it make sense.  Students will know that: "To understand what we have read, we cannot just focus on reading fast.  For example, if I read this sentence (Write on the board) The dog sleep in a bed, and I read it as the dog sleep in a bead. Then I would use cross checking skills to know that the word bead does not make sense.

4.  I will split the class up into partner pairs.  I will then pass out our book, Red Gets Fed, to each child; I will also hand out a Fluency Rubric and One Minute Read Chart to each individual child.  I will give the following book talk about Red Gets Fed, but will be careful not to give away the solution to the problem: 'Red is a pet dog.  He is a good, but he wants to be fed.  He goes and bothers Meg trying to wake her up so that she will get him something to eat.  Do you think that Meg will wake up and feed Red?  We‰¥úll have to read to find out what happens."

5. I will tell each student to take turns reading to their partner.  The person who is not reading will record how many words the "reader" reads within one minute.  The "recorder" will tell the "reader" when to start and stop by using the stopwatch.  The "recorder" will then make a note on the One Minute Read Chart about how many words were read in that minute. They will then switch turns (the "reader" becoming the "recorder" and vice versa) and repeat the process. The reader will be able to move the soccer player up towards the soccer goal each chance depending on how many words they got right. 

6. Once the students have completed the entire book once, I will have them practice by doing a repeated reading of the same text. I will also remind each "recorder" to fill out the Fluency Rubric after the "reader" has completely reading the book. This is the second reading.

7.  I will have the students to do one more rereading of the book for a total of three readings of the book.  I will remind the students to continue to record their partner's one minute reads and fill in the Fluency Rubric.  I will allow the students to discuss their improvements after their readings and rereading of the book with their partner.

8.  I will then collect the students' completed Fluency Rubrics and One Minute Read Charts.  I will compare the students' first, second, and last readings to check for improvement in fluency.  I will assess the students by having each student read a passage to me in the reading center out of Red Gets Fed.  The passage will contain approximately 60 words.  I will assess how fast they read by timing them and recording their time on a checklist.  They will then read the passage through two more times and try to improve their score.   We will then have a discussion about Red Gets Fed to make sure that everyone comprehended the text.  


Cushman, Shelia. Red Gets Fed. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990.

Kendra Haywood:  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/haywoodgf.html

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