Balloons Floating Through the Clouds

 Melinda Hardin

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rationale:  To be a successful reader it is important for a child to be able to read fluently.  One way to help a child become a fluent reader if for them to read frequently and repeat and reread what you have already read.  In helping build confidence in a student's reading ability have them do repeated readings, which can increase their fluency and their confidence.  Repeated readings also help students gain a better and wider knowledge of the texts that they have read.  Also fluent readers eventually begin reading with expression and excitement; which in turn makes the experience more pleasurable for listeners too.  By becoming a fluent reader a child increases his or her comprehension of text.  For this lesson I will use repeated one minute reads.

-Index cards with tape or post it notes
-A stopwatch for every pair of students
-Class set of decodable books, Fuzz and the Buzz decodable text by Shelia Cushman (1990 by Educational Insights)
-Poster size progress board of the sky with cloud spaces ranging from 0-85 (numbers should be erasable incase students need higher numbers)
-Balloon cutouts for students to trace their progress through the clouds on their progress poards
-Fluency time sheets to mark students' scores as seen at bottom of page

To start the lesson by explaining to students what being a fluent reader means and why being a fluent reader is important for them.  Okay class, today we are going to work on a very important skill for reading that will help you for the rest of your life.  We are going to learn to be fluent readers.  Being a fluent reader means that we can read a text easily and with an appropriate speed.  Also while we are trying to read remember to read with expression and enthusiasm in our voices so that the others can enjoy what we read.  Being a fluent reader is important because it helps you become a better reader and you can understand your readings better.
I will then tell the students that they will be working to become fluent readers by practicing times repeated readings.  Students today we will practice repeated readings.  This means we will read from a passage for one minute.  When that minute is up we will see how many words you read in that one minute.  We will do this several times and count the number of words you read each time.  Not only do we need to read quickly but it is very important to understand what we read also.
Then model how to reread a passage from a text.  Okay students I am going to read a sentence to you several different ways, and I want you all to tell me which way sounds best when I finish.  (Read text slowly and choppy the first time.  For the second time read the sentence steadily but without expression.  For the third and final time read the sentence smoothly and with expression.)  Can everyone see how my reading got better each time I read the same passage?  You see each time I read the passage my reading got better, so each time you read you will get better.  This shows how reading things helps us become better readers.   Now have the students practice becoming more fluent readers.
Now provide each of the pairs of students with the decodable book Fuzz and the Buzz, a stopwatch, a progress board, and a fluency time sheet.  In our pairs lets try rereading texts to become more fluent readers with our own books!  This book is about Fuss who is a very playful bear.  He loves going outside and having fun all the time.  Lets find out what happens to Fuzz while he is playing outside one day!  As you read the book have your partner time you for one minute.  Try to read as many words as you can, but when your partner says stop put down your book.  If you come to a word you do not know try to sound it out and then read the rest of the sentence, but if you still cannot figure out the word ask for help.  When the minute is complete place the note card or post it where you stopped reading; then go back to where you started and count all of the words that you read during your reading.  Write the number of words you read in the first blank of your fluency time sheet and move your balloon up to the cloud with the number of words you read.  Then swap rolls with your partner and after your partner has completed the task swap back.  Do this three times each and record your outcomes.
When you both have completed your readings and filled out your charts discuss with your partner how you each did.

Assessment:  To assess each student have them come up individually and do one-minute reads.  This way you can individually assess each student with his or her reading fluency.  Also collect each students reading chart to see how they worked as a pair and check to see if they improved during each timed reading.

Fluency Time Sheet:


Name:___________________________________                 Date:______________________


Title of Book:___________________________


1st timed reading:______________________


2nd timed reading:_____________________


3rd timed reading:_____________________                Stopwatch Holder:_________________



White, Amy. 1-2-3 GO!!!!

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