Slide Your Way to Reading


Megan O’Brien

Growing Independence and Fluency Design


Rationale:  This lesson will help children become fluent readers. It is important for children to become fluent readers because it signifies that children can read at a faster pace and have obtained automatic word recognition.  When children are fluent readers, it allows children to pay more attention to reading comprehension because decoding words is not the focus.  Students will learn to become fluent readers through reading, rereading, and timed readings. 



"The penguin slides across the ice into the frosty water" on a sentence strip

Pencils for each student

Timed Reading Sheet for each student (see attached)

Stopwatch – one for each group

Chalk board

Penguin Sliding to the Finish Line Chart

A copy of the book Froggy Loves Books by Jonathan London (Scholastic, 2007) for each student

Timed Reading Sheet:


      Name: ____________________________                 Date: _______________




                  After 1st read               ________


                  After 2nd read              ________


                  After 3rd read              ________



      1.  Say:  It is very important to become a fluent reader.  A fluent reader is someone who recognizes words automatically, reads at a quick pace, and reads with expression.  Today we are going to focus on reading at a quick pace. 


      2.  Let’s practice reading the sentence, "The penguin slides across the ice into the frosty water."  (I will have the sentence posted on the board)  First, I am going to read the sentence, and then I want you to read it after me.  (I will read the sentence and stop when I get to the word frosty and I will pronounce it at "frOsty".)  I don’t think "frOsty" is the right way to read this word.  Does anybody know the correct way to read the word?  If the water is very cold...(wait for response) that’s right, the word "frosty" makes more sense than "frOsty".  Now, let’s practice reading the sentence together.  (I will read the sentence with the students several times).


      3.  Now, we are going to do a timed reading practice with the book, Froggy Loves Books by Jonathan London.  I am going to pair each of you into groups of two and you and your partner are going to take turns using a stopwatch to time each other’s reading.  Before we start I want to read a sentence from the book.  I am going to read the sentence two different ways and I want everybody to tell me which way sounds like a fluent reader.  "It was Saturday, Froggy’s favorite day" (I will read the sentence very slowly and sound out multisyllabic words, such as Saturday and favorite).  Now, I am going to read it again, "It was Saturday, Froggy’s favorite day" (I will read the sentence fluently, without pausing between words).  Remember, a fluent reader reads quickly and recognizes words automatically.  Which time did I read the sentence like a fluent reader, the first or the second time?  (Wait for response).  That’s right, the second time I read the sentence quickly and recognized words automatically like a fluent reader.   


      4.  Let’s practice reading and rereading the book, Froggy Loves Books with a friend.  (I will then separate the students into groups of two).  Before we read the book, I want to tell you a little bit about the story.  Froggy wakes up one Saturday morning, eager for a day of adventure.  Froggy jumps out of the bed and runs to his mother.  Froggy’s mother asks him what he wants to do today.  Froggy thinks about going swimming, catching flies, or practicing soccer.  Froggy decides he doesn’t want to do any of these things because he wants to do his favorite thing in the world.  We’ll have to read the book to find out what it is that Froggy decides to do. 


      5.  We are going to take turns timing our partner reading the book.  Each person in the group is going to read three different times.  (I will then explain to the children how to conduct timed readings.  I will pass out a copy of Froggy Loves Books to each student and a stopwatch to each group.)  If you are timing another student, you need to hit start on the stopwatch when the student begins reading, and then hit stop once the stopwatch reaches one minute.  (I will write "01:00"  time on the board to avoid confusion of when to stop timing).  After your partner has read for one minute, you need to count how many words he or she read and write the number of words next to the 1st line.  Next, follow the same direction two more times.  After the first partner has read all three times, you read the book three times while your partner times your reading. 


      6.  I will walk around and make sure the students are doing the timed reading correctly and I will provide any help if needed.


      7.  I will call the students up individually and ask them to bring their Speed Reading Record with them.  I will show the students how many words per minute they read each of the three times on a chart.  The chart will consist of a penguin sliding from the start to finish line.  The start line being zero words per minute and the finish line being eighty-five words per minute.  The graph will increase in increments of five.  I will show the student where they read each time by moving the penguin to the correct number of words per minute.  I will then encourage the student to try to get to the finish line when they read the book for the fourth time. 


      8.  I will assess the students knowledge by having them read the entire book Froggy Loves Books and I will time the reading.  I will then show the student on the chart how many words per minute they read.



Lara Lee Hood.  Reading Genie Website.  Ready, Set, Read.

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