Va Va Voom Into
Independence and Fluency
Growing Independence and Fluency
Rationale: Students read slowly when they first begin reading,
but increase speed as words become automatic. Word recognition
becomes quicker and more involuntary through decoding. Fluency
allows students to concentrate on comprehension instead of on having a
hard time to decode words. Some signs of fluency are rapid, more
expressive, unvoiced, and instinctive reading. Fluent readers
also feel gratification in reading, because they are not having a hard
time with each and every word but have a bigger sight vocabulary.
Reading and rereading decodable words in a connected text helps
students become more fluent readers. This lesson will help
children learn how to read more rapidly and confidently. They
will work on their reading fluency through repetitive readings under
time constraints. The learners will gain fluency through repeated
readings and one-minute reads.
-Class set of decodable books, Red Gets Fed by Sheila Cushman (one per
-dry erase board and marker
-one minute read charts for each student
-fluency rubric for each child
-progress chart for each child (a baseball player going around the
bases; gets to move a base when they progress; or could have a soccer
player making it to the goal or a basketball player making it to the
One Minute Read Chart:
1st minute: ______
2nd minute: ______
3rd minute: ______
Evaluator:_______________________ Date: ____________
I noticed that my partner: (put an X in the blank)
After 2nd After 3rd
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining the distinction between a fluent
and beginning reader. "Today, we are going to practice reading
more fluently. Who knows what fluently means? That's
exactly right! Fluent readers read quickly. They also read
automatically. (Write the following on the board: 'My cat is
fat') A beginning reader sounds like this when reading the
sentence on the board: 'Mmmmyy cccaaattt iiisss fffaaattt.' Then
they might say 'Mmyy- my- ccaatt- cat- is- ffaatt-fat' stumbling over
the words and repeating words that they do not distinguish. A
beginning reader who can read the words automatically might say 'My cat
is fat' but sound like a robot, because he or she does not read with
expression. But a fluent reader who recognizes words
automatically and reads with expression sounds like this: 'My cat is
fat!' Fluent reader sounds like this, because all of the words
are apparent to the reader. The only way to become fluent is to
practice. The more practice that you have with a book, the more
rapidly you are able to read it. Reading a book that you have
already read before also helps you become more effortless with books
that you have never even seen before. Let's get practicing, so
that we can become fluent readers too!"
2. First, I will review the cover-up strategy with all of them.
"Okay everybody, what do we do when we come to a word that we cant read
when we are reading? That's right, we use cover-ups. For
example if I saw this word (write slack on the board) when I was
reading and did not know it, I would cover-up all the letters (s, l, c,
k) but the vowelel a because I know thatat a= /a/. Now look at
the letters before the vowel a, the sl. Blend these phonemes with
the vowel a. This sounds like /s/l/a/. Then blend the
letters at the end of the word, the ck, with the rest of the letters to
make /s/l/a/ck/. When you see a word that you don't know how to
read, use the cover-up method to help you decode the word."
3. Tell the students: "To understand what we have read, we cannot just
concentrate on reading fast. We can crosscheck what we read to
make sure our sentence makes sense. For example, if I read this
sentence (Write on the board: "The dock quacked and quacked.") as "The
dock quacked and quacked" then I could use my crosschecking ability to
decide that a dock doesn't quack so my reading doesn't make
sense. I would then reread my sentence correctly as "The duck
quacked and quacked."
4. I will break the class up into pairs. I will then give 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 cautious
not to give away the resolution to the conflict: "Red is a pet
dog. He is a sweet, but mischievous dog. 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'll
have to read to find out what happens."
5. I will tell students to take turns reading to their partner.
The person who is not reading will note 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, while the "reader" can move his baseball,
soccer, or basketball player toward the goal (based on number of words
read). They will then switch turns (the "reader" becoming the
"recorder" and vice versa) and do the process again.
6. After both children have finished the whole book one time, I will
have them practice by doing a repeated reading of the same text.
This time I will also remind each "recorder" to fill out the Fluency
Rubric after the "reader" has entirely read the book.
7. Let the students to do one more rereading of the book for a total of
three readings of the book. Remind the children to carry on
recording their partner's one-minute reads and to complete the Fluency
Rubric. I will let the students discuss how they got better
within their readings and rereadings 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 development in fluency. For
assessment, I will have each child read a section to me in the reading
center out of Red Gets Fed. The passage will contain
approximately 60 words. I will measure how fast they read by
timing them and recording their time on a checklist. They will
then be able to read the passage through two more times and try to
better their score. Our class will also have a conversation about
Red Gets Fed to make sure that everyone has understood the text and did
not just race through the reading without understanding the text.
Cushman, Shelia. Red Gets Fed. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990.
Melton, Shealy. Ready to Race. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/connect/meltongf.html.
Murray, Bruce. Developimg Reading Fluency. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html.
Cadrette, Mallory. Super Speedy Readers!!! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/cadrettegf.html.
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