On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!!


By: Alisa Isom 

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rationale: Becoming fluent readers takes much practice and determination. To read fluently simply means to be able to read words accurately and automatically. When readers have mastered reading fluently they find it easier to comprehend what they are reading. When students spend much of their time trying to decode words it takes away from their comprehension of the story, so therefore fluency is a very important skill for readers to learn. Readers become fluent in their reading by participating in repeated readings of their text. In this lesson, students will work with a partner in a repeated reading text and will take turns reading a story several times to learn different decoding strategies from each other that will help them in becoming fluent readers. Participating in the repeated reading will allow the students to see the difference that it can make and will show them the importance of becoming fluent readers.



Pen Pals by: Sheila Cushman Carson,CA (USA 1990), for each student

Board with sentence written on it, my cat stepped on my toe.

Cover-ups for each student

Timers for each group of two

Enough pencils if needed

Speeding reading record for each student


Speed Reading Record:

Name__________ Date__________



After 1st read____

After 2nd read____

After 3rd read____


Partner checksheet for fluency.

Name:_________  Date_______


                                                              After 2nd       After 3rd

Remembered more words                     _______      _______


Read faster                                           ________     _______


Read smoother                                     ________     _______


Read with expression                           _______       ______





1.     I will begin the lesson by explaining to the class what it means to be fluent readers. I will then demonstrate what a fluent reader would sound like and how a non fluent reader would sound like. Ok class, today we are going to begin our lesson by discussing the importance of fluency. Do any of you know what it means to read fluently? No, well to read fluently means to read words accurately and automatically, and that is actually the goal that all readers want to have. In other words, it means to read fast and to have no trouble reading the words correctly. I'm going to give you all an example to help you understand what I am meaning. Ok, look at this sentence that I have written on the board, if I were to read it in a non fluent way it would sound like this, "My…. Cat…… ssstteeepped…. on ..my…. ttoee." Now when I read that, did that seem very smooth? No, that is right! When I read that statement my words were not very clear, I was reading a little slower so therefore it was hard to understand the meaning of the message, and the words that I was reading did not come out quickly, I had trouble sounding them out. In order to become quicker and successful readers you must learn to break down those words and use your cover-ups to figure out the words, then once you have figured out the words, practice reading over and over until you are fluently reading. When I say use your cover-ups, does everyone know what I mean by that? This is what I mean, look at this word on t he board, brick, pretend that I came across this word in a book within a sentence and this word was a word that I was struggling with and therefore it was slowing me down with my reading; I would start out by taking my cover-up, cover the letters surrounding the vowel which is i, say the sound /i/, then uncover the letters in front of /i/, it would be /bri/, say that with me class. Good! The next step would be to uncover the other letters behind the vowel, so we have /bri/ then uncover the /ck/ put the two together,/b//r//i//ck/, and that is how you would use your cover-up. Does everyone understand? We will have time set aside strictly for cover-up practice in just a minute.  Now listen to me read this sentence that we had just gone over this time and see what you think, "My cat stepped on my toe. That time, I said it much smoother and you were able to understand it better. I did not spend much time trying to sound out the words.  It is important to learn to read quickly and easily so that it will be easier for you to focus on comprehending the story and not on decoding the word. Well class that is the goal I want for all of you to master and you do that by much practice, because when you practice a book through repetition you learn to get better and better at the words that you were struggling with. Today we are going to practice reading stories several times with a partner and your going to try and set goals to read faster each time you read a book!

2.     Before we start reading, I am going to discuss with students how to use their cover ups to be able to decode words and then discuss with them that once they figure out the word using their coverups they need to re read the sentence and the story several times to get fluent. Ok class, let us now talk about what to do when you run in to words that you are having trouble sounding out. I have already demonstrated one word with you, to demonstrate to you what you would need to do in situations where you come across a difficult word, but you all need more practice.Let's say that you were reading a sentence in a story and you come across the word catch, and you are having trouble figuring out the word. I'm going to write the word catch on the board, and then demonstrate how to use your cover-up properly. Ok to begin, you would need to cover-up the letters surrounding the vowel sound, so in this case you would cover the /k/ sound and the /ch/=tch sound. When covering up those letters what sound is left? The /a/ sound that is correct, so you would start saying the /a/ sound and then start with the first letter and combine the two sounds. Ok, so the first letter is c which says /c/ now combine the two, and that makes /ca/. Let's all say it together, /ca/, very good. Then you would uncover the last 3 letters which make the /ch/ sound, in this case it has tch, and we also know that ch makes the /ch/ sound.  Does everyone understand? I want to see everyone start out using these when they come across words that they are not understanding and that way your first round you will figure them out and then be able to re read the story until you are able to read it fluently! You think you can do it! I know you can!

3.     I will now pass out the book Pen Pals to each student and will explain to them that they are going to first read the story to themselves using their cover-ups when needed, and then we will as a whole discuss the story for comprehension. I then will explain to them that they will be getting with a partner later and will do their timed reading with each other. Ok class now we are about to read a story and then discuss it. Our story is called Pen Pals, in this story there is a baby named Ben who has to sit in his pen and he can't get out. He has a cat that he really cares about and loves and his name is Ted.  One day Ben yells and yells for Ted the cat to come over there to him, but Ted can not get in. This really upsets Ben, and you know how babies get when they get upset, they cry! Well Ben starts crying and yelling for his dad, and his dad finally came over. What do you think his dad is going to be able to do? Do you think he will fix it for the cat to be able to get in? Well we better read and find out! Once students are finished reading to, we will discuss the story for comprehension. They will have time to read it once more before the get with a partner for timed readings.

4.     Thank you class for being so good as you read to yourself! I am now going to divide you up to where everyone will be with a partner and ya'll are going to do one minute read alouds. What that means is that one person will be the recorder and set the timer while the other is reading for one minute, once they read for one minute then the recorder will record the number of words read in one minute. Each student will complete 3 one minute readings. So, each student will do that 3 times.Does everyone understand? Teacher will also explain how to count up the number of words that were read, and will go over exactly where to put the results. If you have trouble or any questions just raise your hand and I will walk over to you. I will be walking around the whole time.

5.     I will now discuss the Fluency Literacy Sheet. Ok class, there is one other thing that you and your partner will need to fill out while doing this. You will need to fill out for your partner the fluency literacy sheet, and what that is is where you will fill out how your partner did on their 2nd and 3rd time of reading. The worksheet looks like this. The first question says, remembered more words, and you would mark  either the 2nd or 3rd time, depending on which time that they remembered more words. The second question says read faster, and you would do the same thing, mark 2nd or 3rd depending on which round you felt that they read faster. Does everyone understand? Good, and again I will be walking around checking on all of you so make sure you raise your hand if you get stuck on something.



For the assessment I will look at their Fluency literacy sheet as well as their reading record. I find it important for me to spend one on one time with them, so I will have them come to me one by one and have t hem read to me and I will record their fluency and their reading record as well.



Sheila Cushman "Pen Pals."

Lewis, Amy "Ready, Set, Read!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/lewisgf.html


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