Going, Going, Gone!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Mandy Coker


Rationale:  To be successful at reading anything, a person should be fluent, consistent, and accurate while reading.  Reading speed will be highlighted on while trying to read fluently. During this lesson, the students will be trying to increase how fast they can read by doing one minute readings and using reading strategies.


                -Name: _________________________            Date: ___________


                        - After 1st read            _______

                        - After 2nd read           _______

                        - After 3rd read            _______

Partner reading check sheet (per student):

            -After each reading my partner:

                                                                                    After 2nd           After 3rd

                        1. Read more words                            yes/no              yes/no

                        2. Read smoother                                yes/no              yes/no                  

3. Read with expression                      yes/no              yes/no



1.The teacher will explain to the class what being a fluent reader means. Students will then need to be informed of the steps they will take while working with groups to help them become better fluency readers.  "Fluency means that you can read words fast and easily.  It might sound like you are actually having a conversation with somebody."

2.The teacher will then pass out index cards with color-coded dots to each student and make sure everyone has one.

3.Ask the students if they have ever had a book that they really liked, and just could not finish it fast enough or before the bell rang?  Did you really like the book, but could not finish it fast enough?  Tell the students that we will work on how to read fast in the lesson to help them become better readers and use better expression while they are reading. 

When we all get through reading today we will be able to make what we are reading sound happy, exciting, scary, sad, or calm.  The students should be instructed to go to the bookshelf and pick out a book that has the same colored dot on the cover of it as their card has on it for their different reading levels.   Tell them to look for something that they might like and still be interested in later.  (Teacher should also go to the bookshelf and get a book.)

4.When all of the students have picked out a book they think they might like, tell them to go back to their seats and show them your book that you picked out.  To help them see why they are doing the activity, tell them that when you first read the book, you did not know some of the words in it which made it very hard to understand.  Also explain to them when you read it slow you could not understand what the story was about.  "Theeeee doooog iiissss veeerrryy biiig."  Then say  Tell them that you decided to read it again. "The dog is very big."  "Do you know what happened when I read it this time?  It was really weird!  The words that I did not know before, at all, I read a lot better the second time and could understand what the book was talking about.  I was so happy!"  I thought to myself, "How do I know and understand the hard words this time but did not know them last time?  The more times we read something, the easier it gets each time.  Today we are going to read the books we picked out many times, and try to use expression each time."

5.Model to the students how to read fluently and write the sentence on the board: I hear the birds sing outside.  Use this as a model for reading fluently. Tell students that you will be modeling it first as a non-fluent reader, and then you will be rereading it as a fluent reader. Ask them to pay close attention, so that they can recognize any differences in each time it is read. Read it the first time with breaks in between words and with little change in voice pitch like the following: I----hear----the-----birds---sing---outside. Next, read it as if you were a fluent reader with automatic recognition of words and different levels of pitch in your voice. Do not add long pauses in between words during this reading. It should be read like the following: I hear the birds sing outside.

5."Now start reading the book that you chose.  Read until I tell you to stop.  If you finish reading your book before I say "stop," reread your book."  (Let them read for ten minutes.) 

6.Give the students a book talk about The Tug. Let them read through it for a few minutes before they begin their timed readings. "This book is about a man named Bob who has a job on a tug. The man has a dog named Sam. The dog wants to go on the tug with the man, but his boss will not let him. There is a sub that cannot get to the dock that day. The tug has to go get the sub and bring it in to the dock. On their way back they get into fog. It is too hard to see how to get to the dock. They are afraid they will crash into the dock. Will Bob's dog still be waiting on him at the dock, and will they make it to the dock without crashing? You will have to read to find out." When the students have had enough time to read it on their own, have a class discussion to check for their comprehension. The teacher can ask questions such as the following:

              1) What happened to the tug?
                    2) Was Sam the dog still at the dock or did he run away?

        3) What kept Bob and the tug from crashing into the dock?


7. The students will read by themselves for ten minutes, then will be paired with students on the same instructional level.

8.When it is not your turn to read, you should time your partner to see how much time it takes them to read.  Each student needs to read their book three times.  After you finish reading, you need to record your time on the time chart.

9.When both of the students are finished reading tell them that we will chart our results and see how we read just a bit faster the second time we read and the third time.

10.The children can take their books home over night to read to their family.


Assessment: The teacher should call each student up individually for assessment. Give each student one minute to read as much as they can of The Tug as fluently and accurately as possible. The Reading Record sheet should be used to mark their progress. Comments of things that should be worked on can be written at the bottom of the sheet.  This could be things such as their breaks in between words and their voice pitch.



Clark, Seth. Read and Reread. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/constr/clarkgf.html 


Hodge, Jessi. Racy Readers.



Moncrief, Jane. Faster and Faster.



AU Sims, Matt. The Tug. High Noon Books, California. 1999.


Whitman, Kristan. "Quick, Let's Read Fast!!!"



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