Growing Independency & Fluency
In order to be a skillful
reader, one must be able to read fluently.
Fluent reading consists of reading smoothly, quickly and with
A fluent reader does not slowly sound out words or pause
awkwardly in the
middle of sentences. In order to improve
fluency, teachers can have students do
one-minute-reads. This activity
will help students practice reading quickly and smoothly as well as
them to use expression because they are asked to read aloud.
This lesson will provide the students with an opportunity to
order to improve fluency.
Fluency sheets for each
student (see end of lesson)
Race tracks for each pair of students -- (Draw an oval shaped racetrack and divide it into sections with a Velcro piece in each section. Then have the numbers from 1-100 on small cards with Velcro on the back so that they can be changed as students grow in fluency.)
Poster board cut-outs of
for each student to move around their racetrack
Pencils for each student
Copy of Pigs Can't Fly!
by Ben Cort for each student.
White board and markers
1. Begin by saying, "T-o-d-a-y w-w-e are
g-go-going t-t-o be l-lear-learn-learning about how to
r-re-read fas-faster and with e-ex-express-expression" very slowly and
monotone. Then ask the students,
"What did you notice about the way that I was just talking?"
The students should notice that it was hard to understand you
and that it
would be very boring to listen to someone speak in this way.
"A lot of times when we first start reading, we sometimes read
slowly and forget to use our expressive voices!"
Explain to the students that they are going to be practicing
reading aloud so that they can begin reading faster and with more
2. Write this sentence on the
the cat drinking milk?
Read the sentence very quickly and misread a word, "Was the cow drinking milk?" Explain to the students, "We donāt want to read so fast that we make mistakes like saying 'cow' instead of 'cat' because we will miss out on understanding the meaning of the story!"
Then read the sentence again with the correct words but very slowly (decoding each word) and without expression, "W-a-s the c-a-t d-r-i-n-k-ing mi-lk." Explain to the students, "This time when I read the sentence what did you notice. That's right! It was so slow that you could not understand me! What else? Good job! It didn't sound like a question because I didnāt use expression. I want you to remember these two examples when you're reading so that you can be sure not to read like I just did! J"
Finally, read the sentence
fluently so that the students will have a good example to follow, "Was
drinking milk?" Be sure to use
the proper expression as it is a question and read it at a natural pace.
3. Introduce the book Pigs
Can't Fly with a book talk: "Pig was tired of being bored.
He decided that he would go visit his friends to see if they
had any ideas for him. First, he
went to visit Giraffe and that's when he got an idea.
He decided to turn himself into a giraffe. Zebra
thought Pig was being silly but Pig didn't care!
He couldn't think of anything better than being a giraffe until,
tripped! What will Pig do next?"
Explain that the students will have some time to read the book
beginning out one-minute-reads.
4. After five minutes say, "I want everyone to get with your seat partner (these would have been assigned before the lesson). You are going to take turns reading to your partner. If you are not reading, you have a very important job; you will be counting your partner's words! Our goal is to read fluently. Try to read quickly and with expression. Remember, don't read so fast that you don't understand the story."
When the students are in
partners give them explicit directions on how they are going to
exercise. "Each time you
read you will begin at the beginning of the story and read for one
I will keep the time, so I will tell you when to start and stop.
say, "Stop," the student reading will put their finger on the word
stopped and the student who is recording will count the words to the
finger and write the number on the fluency sheet.
Then you will trade jobs and the second person will read. This will continue back and forth until each
student has read
three times." Tell the students that
each time they read they will move their "racer" to the number of words
they read that time. For example,
if Kim read 79 words in the first minute she would move her racer to
that has the number 79. On Jena's
first read, she read 93 words. She
moved her racer to the block with the number 93.
Each time that they read, they write down their score and move
racer closer to the finish line. By
the final read, the students should show improvement.
"On your sheets where you fill in the number of words read, I also want
color in the bubbles that tell how your partner read.
This will help me to see if you are getting better the more
times that you are reading."
After finishing one minute reads, tell the students that they
finish the rest of the book by reading it silently to themselves.
As they are reading, the teacher will assess their performance
lesson by calling them to her table one by one and going over their
sheet with them. She will ask them
to tell her about something that they did while they read to make sure
were fluent. She will also ask them
two or three questions about the story to make sure that they
they read. By having these
discussions with the students, in addition to their fluency sheets, the
will be able to see where each student is as far as fluency.
Example questions: Why did
Pig try to become all of the other animals?
What lesson did Pig learn at the end?
What happened when Pig tried to fly?
Name of Reader:
Name of Partner:
Words read first time: __________
Words read second time: __________
Words read third time: __________
I noticed that my partner· (Color in the circle)
After 2nd After 3rd
0 0 Remembered more words
0 0 Read Faster
0 0 Read Smoother
0 0 Read with expression
Can't Fly! Barron's Educational Series: Hauppauge, NY. 2002.
"Zooming Into Fluency."
Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie
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