Rocket Reading


Growing Independence and Fluency

Katelyn Jernigan

Students must not only learn to read, but also learn to read with consistency, fluency, and expression.  This lesson will allow students to improve these qualities using three one-minute reads to monitor their progress. 



- Stopwatches (one for each pair of students)

- Class set of Jane and Babe

- Class set of One-Minute Read chart (see below)

- Class set of Fluency Rubric (see below)

- Class set of Cover-Up Crittters

- Poster with We made a plate for the cake.

- Poster with the word crane

- Progress Chart for each student (see below)

- Book Kite Day at Pine Lake

- Pencils



1. “Today we are going to talk about reading with fluency.  When you read fluently, you read smoothly and with expression.  By doing this, you can understand what you are reading better.  Just think of reading as blasting off in a rocket, fast and smooth when flying through space.

2. “It is easier to read fluently when you have seen the words before.  Read this sentence to yourself.” [Show sentence poster] “If you have never seen the words before, you might read like this: Wwweee mmmaaaaddde a ppllaatte fffoorrr theee cccaakkke.  The second time you might a little faster and smoother.  Read it again out loud with me.  We mmaade a plaatte for the ccakke.  The third time you might read very smooth and a little faster.  We made a plate for the cake. 

3. “If there is a word you don’t know, you can cover it up.” [Pass out cover up critters] “Let’s use this word.” [Show crane poster] “First, cover up everything but the vowels. (c, r, and n) We know that a_e = /A/, so the vowel says /A/.  Next, uncover the first part of the word and add it to the vowel: /krA/.  Finally, add the last letter: /krAn/…crane.”

4. [Pass out the books, stopwatches, one-minute read sheets, fluency rubrics, and divide the students into pairs]  “Now, with your partner, read the book Jane and Babe.  It is about a girl whose friend is a lion.  What kinds of things do they do together?  We will read to find out.  One partner will read it aloud while the other uses the stopwatch to time them to see how many words they read in one minute.  The partner will read it three times and then switch and the other will read it three times.  Make sure to record you answers on the sheet.  After you have both read, use the fluency rubric to see if your partner read faster, smoother, with more expression, or remembered more words when the read it the second and third time.” [Model how to do this]


After the students finish, call each student up so they can read you a passage from Kite Day at Pine Lake.  Use the progress chart to record how many words they read in one minute.  Also take a running record to record their miscues. 



- Reading Genie Developing Reading Fluency

- Cushman, Sheila and Kornblum. Jane and Babe Educational Insights: 1990.

- Cushman, Sheila and Kornblum. Kite Day at Pine Lake Educational Insights: 1990.

- Progress Chart

One Minute Read Chart:

Name __________________________________

Date ___________________________________

1st Minute ______________________________

2nd Minute ______________________________

3rd Minute ______________________________

Fluency Chart:

I noticed that my partner...

After 2nd          After 3rd Reading

_______          _______    Remembered More Words

_______          _______    Read Faster

_______          _______    Read Smoother

_______          _______    Read with More Expression

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