Zooming Down the Road to Fluency


Mary Lawrence Chandler

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale: In order to improve reading comprehension, students must become independent and fluent readers. Fluency can be improved by practicing reading quickly and accurately. By reading and rereading texts, students will be able to put this into practice.



A stop watch for each student, pencils, white erase board,  fluency time sheet (see below),  decodable book  Red Gets Fed  by S. Cushman (Educational Insights, 1990) for each student



1) I will begin the lesson by explaining to the students what it means to be a fluent reader and why this should be our goal. “We are going to be working on our fluency with reading. Being a fluent reader means reading quickly and accurately. The better we become at reading quickly and accurately the easier it will become to understand what we are reading and the meaning behind it.”

2) I will then explain to the students that we will be timing our readings today to practice fluency. “Students, today we will be reading the book Red Gets Fed to practice our fluency. Each time we read, a partner will take the stop watch and time you for a minute. When a minute is up they will count how many words you were able to read. Then we will write it down on our time sheet.”

3) I will then give them a book talk for Red Gets Fed before modeling how to read fluently. “This book is about a dog named Red. Red is a sweet dog who loves to get fed. One morning he was so ready to be fed that he tried to wake up everyone in his house! To find out if Red get Fed you’ll have to read.”

4) I will then model how to read fluently and how to fill out the sheet given to them. I will ask the students to tell me which version sounds the best. The first time I will read the sentence “Red gets fed before bed” slowly and in a choppy way. The second time will be better but with no inflection in my voice, completely flat. The final time I will read smoothly and with expression. I will then ask the students which one was best.  I will then further explain how reading fluently is less choppy and smoother. It is easier after reading a couple of times.

5) At this time I will place students in pairs and pass out the decodable books, stop watches and time sheet.  I will explain to the class that you will time your partner three times. When you are finished they will time you. You will fill out the sheets as you go.

6) After the children have finished this assessment, I will call them to my desk individually to read Red Gets Fed to me. I will look over their time sheets and note their final reading time.

Assessment: I will collect each student’s time sheet when they come up for an individual reading time with me.  This way, I can look at their progress as well as asses them myself.



Cushman, S.  (1990) Red Gets Fed. Carson, CA Educational Insights.

Murray, Bruce.  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

Nims, Courtney. “Up, Up and Away with Fluencyhttp://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/nimsgf.html


Example of Fluency Time Sheet

Name: ________________     Date: ____________

Partner’s Name: _____________________    Book Title: _________________

1st timed reading: ______________________

2nd timed reading: _________________

3rd timed reading: ___________________

Final reading:______________


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