Did you hear that?  Sounded like fluency!

Growing Independence and Fluency
Heather Lynch

Rationale:  In order for students to read accurately and automatically they need to read fluently.  The goal of this lesson is to increase student’s fluency by doing multiple reads.  Through repeated reading students become more comfortable with the words and increase their sight vocabularies.  Through this they are able to focus more on comprehending the story. 

Dry erase board or chalkboard for students to see
Dry erase markers or chalk
Sentence strips with 2 sentences on them (1 pair for each pair of students)
Sentences:  My mother baked yummy cookies.  The dog ran around the house very fast.
“I Heard Said the Bird” by Polly Berends.  (1 copy for each pair of students)
Stopwatches (1 for each pair of students)
Fluency time sheets (example at end of lesson)
Pencils for each student
Blank white paper for comprehension assessment (enough for each student)

1.  Begin by explaining why it is important to read fluently.  “I am so proud of the improvements that all of you have made in your reading.  Now that you can all sound out words it is important to become fluent in your readings.  This means to read more smoothly and fluently.  Let me show you what that means.”  Write this sentence on the white board:  On Sunday when I go to visit my grandmother I take her a present.  “I am going to read this sentence twice and I want you to tell me which one sounds more fluent.”  Read sentence first time- “On Su-su-sunday when I go to (pause) vviisssit my gra nd mother I take (pause) her a ppprresssssent.  Now I am going to read the sentence again.”  Read second time fluently.  “Which reading was more fluent?”  Give students time to respond.  “That’s right the second time was smoother and faster.”  By reading the sentence over and over I got better at reading it so it went faster!

2.  Explain to students that now they are going to practice their fluency on some simple sentences.  “Now I am going to pair you up with another student (pair students) and we are going to practice our fluency with some short sentences.”  Give out sentence strips to each pair.  “I want you to read through each sentence one time while your partner listens and at the end your partner can tell you what you need to do better.  Then I want you to swap.  Take turns reading both sentences 3 times.

3.  Now we are going to read a really great book called “I Heard Said the Bird”.  This book is about a bunch of barnyard animals who hear from a bird that a NEW ONE is coming.  The problem is no one knows what the new one is.  I am going to read the first page 3 times to see if my fluency gets better.  Read the first page-  “A b-b-bird flew into the (pause) barnyard.  ‘I hhheard,’ said the bird.  I (pause) heard…  “What?” as-asked all of the an-an-animals.  “What did (pause) you hear?”  “I heard,” said the (pause) bird, “that there’s a n-n-new one (pause) c-c-com-coming.”  Let’s see if that gets better when I read it a second time.  Read the sentence a second time, this time more accurately but still slow.  That was a lot better, but I bet if I read it a third time I will get it more fluent.  Read sentence the third time fluently.  “See sometimes if we read things a few times we can become more fluent readers we just need to sound out the words we don’t know and get more comfortable using them.”

4.  Now I am going to pass out the copies of “I Heard Said the Bird” to each pair of students.  “We are going to track our fluency by using these fluency charts.  What I want you to do is take these stopwatches and when you partner starts to read you are going to hit the time button and when they finish the book hit the time button again.  There are three blanks and each of the three times your partner reads the book write down the time it took them to read it.”  Show the students how to work the stopwatch.  “When each person has finished their three readings bring your time sheets up to me.”

5.  When each student has finished their readings and brought their time sheets to the teacher give them a blank sheet of paper and write a sentence and draw a picture about the book.  This will check their comprehension.

6.  For assessment I will use the collected time sheets to chart each student’s progress through the repeated readings.  I will also use the comprehension assignment to make sure they know what they are reading.

Berends, Polly.  “I Heard Said the Bird”.  Scholastic Inc.   New York.  1995.

Grimes, Jeanine.  “Flying to Fluency”.  The Reading Genie website.  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invent/grimesgf.html

Fluency Time Sheet:

Name:________________________    Date:_______________

Title of Book:_____________________________

1st timed reading:___________________

2nd timed reading:___________________

3rd timed reading:___________________

Name of Stopwatch Holder:____________________________

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