Fly by Reading


Growing Independence and Fluency

Haden Casey


Rationale: As children decode and begin to read words automatically, they become more fluent.   Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Children, who read fluently, enjoy reading because they no longer struggle when reading words. With practice, timed, and repeated readings, fluent readers gain independence.  In this lesson, children will practice to become fluent.   


Speed Reading Record for each student

Partner check sheet for each student

Stop Watches - one for each pair of students

Pencils for students

The Fly by Night by Terry Jones. c 1994.

Dry erase board


Cover up critters

Sentence strip- "The wild wind flies by.”


Speed Reading Record:

       Name:_________________________            Date:___________


                         After 1st read            _______

                         After 2nd read           _______

                         After 3rd read            _______


Partner Check Sheet:

When I take note of my partners read, he/she can:

                                                                                    After 2nd           After 3rd

                        1. Remembered more words         _______          _______

                        2. Read faster                                    _______          _______

                        3. Read smoother                            _______          _______

                        4. Read with expression                 _______          _______



 1.  To begin I will explain to students what being a fluent reader means.  “Boys and girls, it is important that we learn to read with speed so that we can read things quickly and easily.  Practicing by reading a story over and over again will help us all to become more fluent readers.”  Then I will ask what they think fluency means.  We will then discuss fluency’s definition and its importance. “Today we are going practice reading a story several times so that each of us will become more fluent readers. I think every one should set a goal to read faster each time we read a book.”

2.  “First I want us to work on reading some sentences together. If I were to ask a non fluent reader to read this sentence (put up sentence strip with the sentence "The wild wind flies by.") they might read it like the wild wInd flees by. But they would probably go back and think that wInd and flees doesn't really make sense. So they would say "Oh, the wild wind flies by!" They would probably still read it slow and maybe even sound like a robot.  But if you were to see this sentence many times, it would get easier and easier and you would read it quickly. Let's read this sentence quickly and fluently as a class. "The wild wind flies by." Great! 

3. I will then explain to the children that sometimes when we read we may stumble across words that are very difficult.  "Boys and girls, sometimes when reading we may come to a word we do not know how to read when we first see it.  I want to show you an easy way to read a word like that.   Here is a tool called a coverup critter.  Everyone is going to get one.  I will show you how you use it (demonstrate how to use it so they can see). Now you can do the same thing with your cover up critter when you come to a tricky word.”


4. Next, students will be put in pairs and each child will be given The Fly by Night.  I will perform a book talk: "A little girl hears a tapping on her window one night. When she looks outside, she finds a creature with yellow eyes riding on the back of a flying cat. She goes and flies with them further away from home then she intended.  Now we have to read and find out what happens.”


5. Students will go off to a part of the room with their partner and their books. I will explain to them that they are going to be given stopwatches to time their partners reading. We will discuss the Speed Reading Record and the Partner Check Sheet. I will let them know that they will read three times each and each time their partner will time them and let them know how smooth and fast and how much expression you used. During this time, I will walk around and make notes of how the students are doing.


Assessments: I will have them read The Fly by Night to me during reading centers.  I will conduct one minute reads of this to further assess their fluency.  In addition, I will review the fluency check lists that the students completed so I will have a better idea of their progress.


Ellis, Alicia.  Crabs Can’t Nap But You Can Read!

Jones, Terry.  The Fly by Night.  Peter Bedrick Books. 1996.


Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency

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