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Growing Independence & Fluency Lesson Plan

Elizabeth Anne Odom


Rationale: Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically. Decoding skills make fluency easier, so the students must practice and master phoneme correspondences. Students gain comprehension skills because they do not have to focus on sounding out the words. The goal of this lesson is to help students develop reading fluency using timed reading.  Through timed readings children can observe the rate at which they are reading texts and note their progress.  

Materials: board and chalk, book- Lee and the Team (one copy per group of 3 students), markers, crayons, pencils, and stopwatches (one per pair).


1. First we will begin by reviewing cover-ups. "We have talked about what to do when you are reading and come to a word you do not know. Who can tell me the strategy we use?”  “Right, cover- ups.” For example, (write beam on the board) if I saw this word I would cover up everything but the e and the a, like this (cover the b and ms). I know that ea=/E/. Now look at what comes before the vowel, b=/b/. Blend them together to get /bea/. Now look at the end of the word m=/m/. Put it all together and you have /beam/.  When you see a word that you are not familiar with, use the cover up method to try and decode it.

2. Explain Fluency to the class.  "Good readers are able to read fast because they read and reread a text. The more times you practice reading a book, the easier it is to read because you become more familiar with the words. I am going to read a sentence from the story you will read with your partner. “L-lllee’s team is l-lllate for a g-ggame.” It is difficult to understand because what I am reading because I am not reading fluently. To become a fluent reader you must practice reading the sentence over and over. Finally read the sentence fluently: “Lee’s team is late for a game.”

3. Fluent readers must read fast, but they must also understand what they have read.  Crosschecking is a way to make sure what you read makes sense. (Write this sentence on the board: The team leans on a tree.) If I read this sentence quickly and say ‘The tree leans on the team, I would have to use my crosschecking skills to notice that a tree does not lean on the team, so the sentence does not make sense. I would then look back and say 'Oh, the team leans on a tree.”

4.  Give each group a book Lee and the Team.  Then give the students a brief book talk to interest them in the text.  “Lee is on a baseball team.  He cannot get his teammates to go run anywhere. They would rather sit in the weeds.  How will he get them to the game?  Will they win the game? You will all have to read the story to find out what happens.” “Each person in your group is going to practice reading through the text three times. Our goal is to read 60 words in one minute. As one of you is reading, the other needs to be timing him or her on the stopwatch and stopping the reader at 60 seconds.  After the 60 seconds is up, go back and count how many words you read in the minute and then write it down.”

5.  For assessment:  I will have each child read a passage to me in the reading center out of Lee and the Team the passage will contain approximately 60 words.  I will assess how fast they read by timing them and recording their time on a sheet of paper.  After they have read the passage once, I will show them their score.  They will then be able to read the passage through two more times and try to improve their reading score.  While assessing each child, the other children can work on their repeated readings toward the goal of 80 words per minute.


Bruce Murray:  Information from class lecture notes.

The Reading Genie Website:

Cushman, Sheila.  Lee and the Team.  Educational Insights: Carson, CA. 1990

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