Let’s get to the Finish Line!

Brittney Garnett

Developing Reading Fluency

Rationale: Becoming a successful reader means that students must be able to read fluently. In this lesson students will reread texts and practice with one minute reads to gain the ability to bring the story alive by using expression, reading fast as well as smoothly. The ultimate goal for reading is increasing your capability of understanding what you read about and by becoming a fluent reader you will achieve this goal!

Materials: Dry Erase Board and Markers, Teacher Copy of Jane and Babe Educational Insights, 1990, Provide each student with a copy of Jane and Babe Educational Insights, 1990 per pair of students, 1 racecar time sheet per student numbered by 10’s (see below), 1 stopwatch per pair of studentshttp://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/constr/timesheet.bmp


1. I will start the lesson by reviewing what it takes to be a good reader. Say: Raise your hand if you can answer: “What are some things you can do to be a good reader?” Allow the students to guess as many answers as possible. Then, I will go over the importance of being a fluent reader. Next say: Reading is a fun and enjoyable thing to do. Understanding a story when you read is the main key for reading and by becoming a good fluent reader you will be able to achieve this objective. If you are having trouble reading, and struggling on the sentences in the story, you cannot fully understand and enjoy what you are reading. Today, we are going to practice on some skills during reading to help you gain the ability to become good fluent readers. So, that when you read will be able to comprehend and enjoy what you read and it won’t be a struggle anymore.

2. Review with the students that when there is a silent e at the end of the word, the vowel in the word says its name. This can also be called a “Bossy E.” I will write some words on the board to model how to read words that end in a silent e. Say:  “Look at this word l-a-n-e. I look at this word and I know that a makes a sound like I’m biting into an apple so I think this word is lllaaann. But now I see there is a silent e or bossy e at the end which means that a is going to say its name so therefore the word is lane. Other words include: name, wake, cage, late

3. Next, take out a copy of the book Jane and Babe. Say: “Today we will be reading this story while practicing the skills to become fast, smooth, and expressive readers.” Then, explain: “When learning to become good fluent readers it takes trails and errors. So when you read a book for the first time you might have to read the story over and over again to be able to know the words and understand it. Let me show you. I am going to read a sentence out of this book three times in a row. I want you to listen to me as I say it each time and see if you can tell a difference.” I will then read the sentence, Babe stays in his cage, three times. The first time I will sound it out phoneme by phoneme and talk with no expression. The second time I will read it a little more quickly but still with no expression. The third time I will read it fluently with expression. Finally ask the students: “Okay, now who can tell me which time the sentence sounded the best? The third time is definitely the best. Sometimes it just takes a little practice to make it sound really good, and by rereading the same thing over and over again, I was able to practice.

4. Next, have students get with a reading buddy. I will explain to the students that they will be doing what we call one minute reads. Say: “Now I want you all to get with your reading buddies. You should have a copy of the book Jane and Babe and a stopwatch. You will also need a racecar time sheet to record how fast you are reading. Your racecar time sheet is to record how many words you read within a minute that you timed. You cannot go over one minute. You are going to take turns with your partner reading. At the end of the minute you will record how many words you read. Each of you will do this three times. But remember, it is important to make sure you are reading the words fluently and accurately. I do not want you to rush through reading and make mistakes. Make sure that you record how many words that you read per minute with your reading buddy. I would like for you to practice the reading the whole book three times silently to yourself before timing each other.

5. As an assessment I will individually do a one minute reading with each student. I will use the racecar time sheet as well and use a stopwatch. In this way I will be able to see their improvement along the way. And they will be able to see their improvement as well when they see their progress on the racecar track of how many words they read in a minute. For those who did not improve very much I will work with more often to improve on their fluency.


Bier, Rachel. Race to the Finish!

Cushman, Sheila & Kornblum, Rona. Jane and Babe Educational Insights, 1990.

Return to Project Index