The Buzzing Bumble Bee

Kim Holzapfel

Growing Independence and Fluency



In order for students to learn how to read faster, smoother, and more expressively, they must become fluent readers.  Fluency refers to a studentās ability to read words accurately and automatically.  This lesson focuses on studentās developing the ability to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively.  Therefore, if a student accomplishes these tasks, they have gained fluency.  Fluency is gained through repeated reading, timed reading, and one-minute reads.  



-Copy of Fuzz and the Buzz for each student

-Teacher copy of Fuzz and the Buzz by Sheila Cushman and published by Educational Insights

-Stopwatch for each pair of students

-Pencil for each student

-Dry Erase board and marker

-Fluency Sheets:

   Name of Reader:                                 

   Name of Partner:                                

        Words read 1st time:                          

         Words read 2nd time:                        

       Words read 3rd time:                        

I noticed that my partner:

        2nd time         3rd time

           ”                     ”        Remembered more words

           ”                     ”        Read faster

           ”                     ”        Read smoother

           ”                     ”        Read with expression


1.  Explain to students the purpose of the lesson.  "Today we are going to talk about improving fluency.  In order to become a successful reader, you must be able to read fluently.  Fluency is when you are able to read fast without stopping to sound out each word.  You recognize the words automatically and you read them with little or no effort.  Once you become fluent readers, the text will begin to make more sense because you do not have to try so hard to read each word.  One way that we can work on fluency is by reading a text more than once.  Each time you read the text, you get faster because you are becoming more familiar with the text.  Today we are gong to practice fluency by reading a text more than once and seeing how much we can improve."


2.  Model for the students how to read with fluency.  Write on the dry erase board the following sentence:  The cat had a nap.  Tell students, "First, I am going to read the sentence without fluency.  The cccaaattt hhhaaaddd a nnnaaappp iiinnn ttthhheee bbbaaaggg.  Now I am going to read the sentence as a fluent reader would.  The cat had a nap in the bag.  Did you hear the difference between reading with fluency and reading without fluency?  Listen as I read the sentence once again and you tell me if I am a beginning reader or a fluent reader.  The cat had a nap in a bag.  Did I read the sentence as a fluent reader or as a beginning reader?  A fluent reader, thatās right!  Good job!  I read the sentence faster because it was not the first time I had read these words.  The first two times I read the sentence gave me practice and helped me read the sentence fluently the third time."


3.  We are going to use the book Fuzz and the Buzz to practice improving our fluency.  Give Booktalk.  Red is a cub.  He runs from his hut and hums in the hot sun.  He tugs at nuts and they bop him on the head.  Fuzz gets mad and yells.  The bugs buzz around Fuzz and he runs from the bugs.  You will have to read to find out what happens to Fuzz.  Students will read Fuzz and the Buzz more than once to improve their fluency.  Remind students to cross check if they do not automatically recognize a word during their reading.  "Do not forget that cross checking is a tool that fluent readers use to make sense of the sentences that they read and to read more successfully.  If you do not automatically recognize a word cover-up part of the word to make it easier to sound out.  Once you have determined the pronunciation of the word, go back and reread the sentence to see if the word makes sense in the sentence.  If the word does not make sense in the sentence, you can change your guess to a word that fits the sentence.  If you and your partner cannot figure out how to pronounce a word correctly, come ask me and I will help you figure it out."  


4.  "Now that you have heard me read the book as a fluent reader, you are going to practice reading fluently with a partner."  Divide the students up into groups of two and give each student a copy of the book and each pair a stopwatch.  One student will be the reader and the other student will be the timer.  Then, the two students will switch jobs.  "When it is your turn to read, I want you to see how many words you can read in one minute smoothly and fast.  Remember:  do not skip any words.  You can put a sticky note of where you left off so that you will know where to stop counting.  When you are finished reading, count the number of words that you read in one minute and write that number on your bee on your fluency sheet.  I want you to keep switching with your partner until you have each read three times.  You can start now."


5. I will walk around the classroom to hear them reading and to assist with the progress charts if needed.



To assess, I will call each student to my desk one by one and have them bring their progress chart they did with their partner. I will review it with the student, highlighting their areas of improvement.  Then, I will have the child read Fuzz and the Buzz once more and monitor fluency by jotting down whether they read smoothly, quickly, stopped rarely, or less smooth, less quick, or stopped frequently.  Also, while the student is reading I will note the miscues.  Then, at the end I will do a quick check for comprehension of text (See Questions Below.)  

1.  What kind of animal is Fuzz?

2.  Why does Fuzz get mad?

3.  What happens to Fuzz at the end of the book?


Checklist for teacher to use:

-Can the student identify which sentence is read with fluency?

-Can the student read the story to the teacher smoothly and quickly?

-Can the student comprehend the text and answer the questions for comprehension?



Cushman, S (1990).  Fuzz and the Buzz.  Carson, CA:  Educational Insights.

Ashley Keel- ćRead, Read, Red Dog!ä

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