Climbing the Ladder to Reading Fluency

Alyson Jones

Growing Independency and Fluency

Rational:  In order to be a successful independent reader, a student must develop their fluency. Reading fluently allows for automatic word recognition, in which reading becomes faster and more connected and expressive. There are ways that you can help your students become a fluent reader. Your students must read, read and reread the same decodable text many times. This helps develop students' fluency and it will increase their confidence in reading. In this lesson, students will read and reread a decodable book to improve fluency. We will do one minute reads.


1 copy per pair of the book Charlotte's Web By E.B. White

1 ladder chart for each student and a girl or boy (the charts should be on paper so that if the number of words read needs to be increased it can be)

1 copy of the Fluency Record Time Sheet for each student (see worksheet under assessment)

1 stopwatch per group

Pencils for each group

1. I will start the lesson by explaining to students what being a fluent readers means and why it is important that students are fluent readers.  Students, today we are going to begin working on becoming fluent readers. This means that we can read a text easily, accurately, and with appropriate speed. Being fluent is important because it helps you become a better reader and you can comprehend what you reading better.

2. I will now explain to the students how we will be practicing increasing our fluency. Ok boys and girls we are going to do one minute reads. One minute reads are where you will read a story for one minute and then you stop and count the number of words that you read accurately within that one minute. We will do this a total of 4 times. Each time that you read your goal is to read more words correctly. Each student will have a chart to mark how many words they read each time. I will explain to the students that it is very important to read quickly but it is more important that we understand what we read. Boys and girls, it is very important for you to read quickly, but it is important that you understand what you are reading.  

3. It is very important that you model to your students how a fluent reader sounds. I will write the sentence I like to sail to the island on the board. I will model how to read this sentence and thoroughly explain each time how I got better when I read the sentence.

Step 1: Point to I and say I. /l/ I see i_e so I know that the "i" says its name so /l/ /I/ /k./ I like toe.  hum I don't think that's right but I am going to finish reading the sentence. I like toe /s/ /ai/ /l/ sail toe the /i//s/ land. Oh I like to sail to the is land. That's not is/land that word is island. Mentally marking the "s" to be silent. I will also mark a line through the s in the word island for the students to see.

Step 2. Reread the sentence and model for the students. I  /l/ /I/ /k/ like to   /s/ /e/ /l/ sail to the /I/ land.

Step 3. Reread the sentence again and add expression to it. I like to sail to the island. I changed the sound of my voice to emphasize certain words in this sentence.  

4. The students will now break up into pairs and read 3 times a piece. While one read the other will time them and help them count the words that they read accurately. Each student will climb their ladder chart as they go. It should be marked for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time, so that you can see how much they progressed as they reread the text. The 4th time the student will come and read to me. "Ok boys and girls we are going to break up in to pairs." One of you will read the text and your partner will time you for 1 minute. You will read a total of 3 times to you partner and then you will switch. Time keepers it is your job to write the number of words on your partner������s sheet, so that I will know how many words they read each time. Everyone will return to their seats and then each of you will read the text a 4th time to me.

Assessments: The students will have a fluency record that they will each have that was recorded by their partner.

Fluency Record Time Sheet

 Name: _______________________           Date: ________________________

 Title of Book: _________________

1st timed reading: ______________

 2nd timed reading: ______________

 3rd timed reading: ______________

4th timed reading: _____________ (with teacher)

 Name of stopwatch holder: ________________________

Ladder Chart:

The ladder chart should look like one side of a ladder. Each step should represent any amount of words that they have read in 1 min. By each step there should be an increase of around 10 words. I would use Velcro to attach the girl or boy that is climbing the ladder.  
Example: One should remember that this should be according to student that is reading. To avoid frustration have a goal that the student can reach in 3 minute reads. Then increase the numbers the next time.

________ 25


________ 5


Growing Independency and Fluency 1 2 3 Go Amy White

Charlotee's Web By: E.B. White Copyright 1980

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