3,2,1 Blast Off!

Laura Charlton

Developing Reading Fluency


To understand and enjoy reading, students need to learn to read with fluency and efficiency. By learning these skills, students will improve their comprehension and expressive qualities in reading. A good way to become a more fluent reader is by re-reading a text. Repeated readings help a student gain a better knowledge of a book and helps them develop better automatic word recognition. When a child can recognize words automatically their reading becomes quicker, more expressive, students are able to read twice as fast silently, and they have better understanding of what they are reading.


Timer of stopwatch for each child
Decodable books of varying difficulty, for example, A Cat Nap, Red Gets Fed, Liz is Six etc. (Phonics Readers Series, 1990).
Fluency progress board with spaceship and stars markers (One side of the board will have a spaceship and the other will have stars so students can measure time and the number of words.)
White board/ marker


1. I will began the lesson by explaining to my student what it means to be a fluent reader and why it is important. “Today we are going to work on being a more fluent reader. This means we are going to try to make sure that when we read it is quick and flows smoothly like the way we sound when talking to a friend. When you talk to a friend do you talk like, ‘Hiiiii    llletts go plllla, play at the pulll, pool?’ No, that sounds funny doesn’t it? We need to make sure when we read it doesn’t sound like that. When you read fluently it sounds better and is much easier to understand.” At this point I will write a sentence on the board. For example I will write, “let’s go to the party”. I will read the sentence smoothly and with expression. Then I will have the students practice reading it the way I did.

2. At this point I will give each child a decodable book and a progress chart. “Today we are going to practice becoming more fluent readers by doing some repeated readings. This means you are going to have one minute to read a book. Once the minute is up you can count how many words you were able to read in that minute. We will do this several times. While speed and reading smoothly are important, also make sure you understand what you are reading so you will remember what happens.” Before the students began I will give them a brief book talk to get them interested in the story. For example, “today we will read Bud the Sub. It is about a submarine named Bud. Gus is his boss. Look, here is a ship. It looks like it’s sinking. There is a man and a dog on board! Do you think Bud will be able to save them? Let’s read the story to find out.”

3. I will time the student the first time to assess their fluency and to make sure they understand what to do. After this I will give each student a time so they can time themselves. I will also make sure they understand how to use their progress chart. Students should make sure they record the number of words they read each time to move their space ships.

4. After the students have had a chance to do all of their repeated readings (at least 3), I will collect their progress charts.


On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! The Reading Genie.

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