On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!


Growing Independence and Fluency

Jennifer Redd

Rationale: Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically.  Time and practice are essential components for becoming a fluent reader.  An excellent way to practice fluency is through rereading the text and testing your comprehension of what you read. Fluency is the foundations of text comprehension.



Dry Erase Board

Dry erase markers

Copy of Red Gets Fed for each student and teacher

Teacher copy of Red Gets Fed by Sheila Cushman and published by Educational Insights




1. Introduce the lesson: “Fluent reading is being able to read a text fast, smooth, and with expression.  It is an important part of becoming a successful reader.  It takes a lot of practice.  Can anyone tell me what it means to read with expression?” (Review the terms making sure everyone knows what each term means before moving on. An example answer would be: "To read the book fast and actually know what you are reading to gain comprehension") “Today class, we are going to practice rereading some sentence so that we can learn to develop fluency. Let’s get started!” (Remind children that sometimes fluent readers do not know every word). 

2. Write a practice sentence on the board: Read the sentence very slow to the children.  For example, Saam wiiilll drrrrriiive to tttttthe sssssstorrreeee. Sound them out slowly again and practice the silent cover-up method.  Read the sentence again smoothly and using expression. “Which way did you like it better, slow or fast? Why did you like it better?”

3. Write another sentence on the board.  (Jen walk to the park.!)  This time, divide the class into groups or partners.  Have them practice reading it to each other several times.  “Practice smooth reading with expression class.” When they have practiced it many times, ask them which way sounded better to them. “This is a great way to practice rereading and becoming a more fluent reader!”

4.  Introduce the students to the book Red Gets Fed with a short book talk. Red is a very hungry dog.  He's also kind of sneaky. He sneaks into Meg and other family member’s rooms to try to wake them up to get some breakfast. What  do you think will happen to Red? Do you think the family will be mad? Do you think the family will be happen? I guess we will have to read to find out! Read the book, Red Gets Fed, out loud to the class. “Now, everyone needs to read the text in their copy I gave you so we can all learn and become familiar with the text.” (READ THE TEXT) “Did everyone see how I read smooth, fast, and used expression? I hope you did because you get to practice it now.”

5. “Now I want everyone to read the copy of Red Gets Fed to themselves.  When you’re finished, you may choose another book from our class library to practice reading fluently.  Remember, if there are more than two words on a page that you don’t know, you might need to choose another book.”

6. Allow the children at least 10 minutes to accomplish these goals.

Assessment: Call on each child to bring their book to your desk and have them read at least one page from their book out loud to you.  Have a checklist ready so you can record their smoothness, speed, and fluency.

Have all the words from Red Gets Fed printed out.

Check List:

How many words in a minute--one minute read
How many words correct? accuracy?
Words they are struggling with?

Did they read with expression?

Did their pitch or tone change throughout the text?

What kind of animal is Red?

Why does Red keep waking everyone up in the night?



 Red Gets Fed by Sheila Cushman. Educational Insights (1990)

Bruce Murray, The Reading Genie. http://www.auburn.edu/~murraba/

 Gina Thomas: “Quick as a Mouse” Beginning Reading.


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