Go Speed Reader!

Teaching Students to be Fluent Readers

Jenn Miranda 

 

Rationale:  Our goal as teachers in the elementary grades is to have children shift from beginning readers to successful readers.  Successful readers read fluently and with expression.  In order for a person to read fluently, they must read words automatically and accurately.  Successful readers also read smoothly with little pause between words.  The goal of this lesson is to get the students to read fluently, read with expression, and read smoother.  Students will gain fluency and become successful readers through one minute readings, timed readings, and repeated readings.  In Marilyn Adams’ book Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print, she says that ““Repeated readings of sentences and passages are found to produce marked improvement in children’s word recognition, fluency, and comprehension” (Adams 93). 

 


Materials:

 

Copy of Drip, Drop (I Can Read Book Series) for each student

Teacher copy of Drip, Drop (I Can Read Book Series)

Stopwatch per pair of students

Dry-erase board and marker

Pencil for each student

One-minute read charts for each student

       example of chart used:

trial one- number of words:
_____________________
time:
_________________
trial two- number of words:
_____________________
time:
_________________

                                                                       

Class set of laminated rain drop illustrations with words per minute printed on them and a mouse to show each student’s progress.

            Example of rain cloud:    example of mouse:   

Expo Marker

Sticky notes

 

Procedures: 

 

1.  Explain why we are doing this lesson to the students:  “Today we are going to be working on making you all better readers.  We are going to try and make everyone more fluent readers.  To be a fluent reader it means that you can read words without stopping between words.  You are also able to recognize the word automatically. This means that you keep reading without stumbling on the word.  When you become a fluent reader, passages will make more sense because you are able to comprehend the text easier because you do not have to stop.  If you read a text more then once, you become more familiar with it, so you will read at a faster pace the next time.  Today we are going to practice fluency by reading a passage over and over again to see if we can improve.

 

2.  Write the following sentence on the dry erase board:  I like to play football.  Model to the students how a non-fluent reader would read the book.  Then model how a fluent reader would read the book.  “I am going to read this sentence (point to the sentence on the board) without fluency.  I want you all to pay close attention to how I read this.  Iiii llllike tttto pppplay ffffootball.  Now I am going to read the sentence like a fluent reader would read it.  I like to play football.  Who could tell me the difference between the two?  Listen again as I read the sentence faster.  I like to play football.  Did you notice how this time I read the sentence faster because I have read it a few times.  I practiced!  I have read the sentence fluently.”

 

3.  Have the children read and practice the sentence written on the board.  I like to play football.  The students will repeat and practice this sentence until they are able to ready it fluently.  Students will also have the opportunity to read the sentence I like ice cream.  They will practice this sentence until they are able to read it fluently.  Now we will move onto the text.  The students will be paired off in partners for the remainder of the lesson.  This will allow one student to read and the other time and chart the results. 

 

4.  We are going to use the book Drip, Drop to work on our fluency.  I will remind students that if they are stuck on a word to use our cross-check or cover-up methods to help.  “Don’t forget that when fluent readers get stuck on a word they cross-check to make sense of the sentence.  If you get stuck on a word use your cover-up tool in order to figure out the parts of the word.  Once you have figured out how to sound out the word, go back and reread the sentence using the word.  You will be able to tell if you chose the correct word if the sentence makes sense.  If the sentence does not make sense, go back to the word you were having trouble with and change it to make sense in the sentence.  If you and your partner are still having trouble with the word, raise your hand and I will come help.”

 

5. Give a brief book talk on Drip, Drop.  This book is about a little mouse named Pip Squeak.  It is raining outside and his roof is leaking.  The water is getting into his house.  Pip Squeak cannot catch the water in the buckets fast enough.  We will have to read on to find out what Pip Squeak does to beat the rain.” 

 

6.  Model a sentence from the book so the students are again reminded how to read fluently.  “I am going to read a sentence from the book Drip, Drop.  I am going to read it with fluency and I want everyone to read similar to the example.  Pip Squeak lay in his bed.  Something wet fell on his head.  Drip! Drop! Plip! Plop!”

 

7.  The partners are already split up, and now I will explain what the pairs will do with the book.  “Now that everyone has heard the example, we are going to have one person read while the other partner times.  We will switch and have the other person time while the other partner reads.  If you are reading, I want you to see how many words you can read correctly in one minute.  You will try to read smoothly, but at a quick pace.  Be sure not to skip any words.  If you are the timer, make sure you stop the reader right at one minute so they stop reading.  When you are finished, place a sticky note where you stopped and go back and count the number of words you read.  Then write the number you got right on your mouse with the expo marker and place it on the raindrop.  Then switch.  The reader will now become the timer and the timer will now become the reader.  I will be walking around the classroom while everyone is reading, listening to everyone read and helping chart the results if you need help.  Be sure to raise your hand if you need my help.”

 

6.  Assessment:  Have the students come up one by one with their charts.  Review the problems with the student so he or she can see what he or she needs to work on.  Then have the student individually read a passage (usually a sentence or two) in Drip, Drop to monitor their fluency personally.  This check should continue weekly for fluency improvement with the students.  Since the book is rather long, we can continue to work with the book for several weeks!

 

 

References:

 

Cooper, Erin On Your Mark…Get Set…Read!

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/catalysts/coopergf.html

 

Weeks, Sarah and Manning, Jane.  Drip, Drop (I Can Read Book Series).  Printed in the USA.  HarperCollins Children’s Books.  2002.  32 pages. 

 

Adams, Marilyn.  Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print.  Illinois.  Center for he Study of Reading.  The Reading Research and Education Center University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  1990.  p. 93.

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