On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

Barbie Wilson
Growing Independence & Fluency


Fluency is important for all readers because it leads to comprehension of texts. Fluent reading is a student's ability to read words correctly and automatically. With the help of phonics children can learn to recognize words more rapidly and automatically and students can gain fluency by reading and rereading text, doing one-minute reads, and timed reading. Once students have become fluent readers, they will find that they can read more smoothly and do not have to stop and sound out a lot of words. This lesson will include repeated reading that will also include timed reading to help student become more fluent readers. 

Materials: 1 race car cut-out for each student; One stopwatch for every two students; Class set of decodable books, Red Gets Fed; a picture of a track to keep up with their reading progress; race car markers for the students to put on board; Fluency time sheet stop sign stickers; and pencils.

1.) To begin this lesson, I will tell the class, "Today we are going to work on becoming fluent readers. Being a fluent reader means that you are able to read words smoothly and automatically. By being a fluent reader this helps us to comprehend the text that we are reading." There are several things that we can do to help us become fluent readers.

2.) Today we are going to work on becoming fluent readers by doing something called repeated readings. Repeated readings mean you read for one minute and after the minute is up you will then have to count how many words you were able to read within that one minute. The reason it is called repeated readings is because you will read the same text a few times and each time chart how many words you were able to read. It is important to remember to try not to read too fast because if you are zooming through the test, you may have a harder time remembering what it was you read.

3.) I will pass out the book Red Gets Fed to the class and give a brief book talk. Red is a dog. He looks like he is trying to wake up his owner. She gives him some food and then he goes to dad. I wonder what the dad will do. We will have to read the rest of the text to find out what happens to Red. Model how to reread a passage from the text. I am going to read a sentence to you in different ways and after I am finished I want you to tell me which way sounded the best. Say "Reeedd is ttthhee peeeet of Meegg" very slowly, stretching the sounds out. Now say it again, but this time say it smoothly and with expression. Then ask the students which way they thought sounded better.

4.) Now we are going to read with a partner. One will be the timer and one will read the book and then you will swap. When the time is up, the person who was the timer, will put a stop sign on the word you stopped on and then you will count how many words you read up until the stop sign. After you have gotten your number, I would like you to record this number onto the chart I have passed out to you. After you read for your first time, I want you to come up to the front of the room and move your car to the first point on the track. This will help you remember that you have read one time through. You will then read four more times and each time don't forget to write down the number of words you were able to read on your chart as well as moving your car around the track.  

5.) After the first round, have the students reread for one minute starting at the beginning and using the same steps as they did before.  Do not let them forget to record the number of words they read each time and move their race cars.

6.) Allow the students to repeat these steps three times.  The students will stop when they have filled in all of the charts. When they are finished, each student will talk to their partner to see how they did.

7.) To assess the students reading fluency, I will call each student up individually to do a minute read. One minute reads are done by timing the students to see how many words they are able to read in one minute. I will also collect their progress charts to get a better understanding of their ability to become fluent readers.


Dr. Bruce Murray, "Developing Reading Fluency." http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

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

Megan Zickos http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/zickosgf.html

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