Leaping Into Reading!

By: Susanna Pate

Growing Independence and Fluency



            For children to enjoy reading they must learn to read fluently. A child must read consistently, accurately, and with expression in order to be a fluent reader. Fluency is also intended to help increase comprehension skills.  Becoming a successful reader entails reading and rereading decodable texts.  Teachers should scaffold fluent reading and show how much better it sounds rather than segmented slow reading.


1.      Book: "Frog and Toad are Friends" by Arnold Lobel. New York, NY. HarperCollins. 1970. (enough for every two students)

2.      Chart with a picture of pond on it with lily pads that have Velcro on them. (enough for each student) Beside each lily pad should be a line to write the number of words the children will read in one minute.

3.      Frog laminates with each child's name on them.

4.      Stopwatches (enough for every two students)

5.      Pencils

6.      Worksheet with three simple sentences on it. Sentences: 1.Frog ran up the path. 2. He had fallen asleep. 3. I am a frog.

7.      Assessment sheet with the following questions:

1. Does the student read smoothly?

2. Does the student demonstrate advancement?

3. Is the student reading fast enough?


1.      To start off the lesson, tell the students that to become excellent readers we have to read quickly so that the words flow better.  Explain to them that it is easier to understand and listen when we read quickly instead of slowly.  To make it even clearer for the students read them a sentence slowly and then again more fluently. "Okay, I want you to listen how I read these sentences. Thheee ffrroog hhoopees iiinnn tthhee ppoonnd. Does that make sense? The frog hopes in the pond? If the sentence does not make sense we need to crosscheck to find the word that is not making sense. Let's read it again. The frog, oh, HOPS in the pond.  Now let's read it quickly and smoothly, the frog hops in the pond. Which sentence sounds better to you? You're exactly right the second one sounds much better because it is quicker and smoother." Now, tell the students that we will be working on our reading to help us read quicker and smoother.

2.      Next, you will pair the students with partners and have them read, to each other, the worksheet with the three sentences on them.  "Now, I want you to get with the partner that I assigned you. Here is your worksheet.  I want you to read each sentence to your partner. Try to make your sentences quick and smooth. Make sure you each get enough practice reading the sentences."

3.      When the students are finished tell the students that we will be reading "Frog and Toad are Friends." "This book is about a frog that is super excited that it is spring and he wants his friend Toad to come outside.  But, Toad does not want to come outside with Frog.  What will Frog do? Do you think he will get him out of bed or will he always stay inside? To find out we are going to have to read!"

4.      After the teacher gives the book talk she/he should pass out the charts, frogs, and the books. To begin the teacher will read a couple of pages out of the book to model fluent, fast reading.  (Talking to the students) "Today we are going to read this same book that I have just read from.  Along with reading you will have a chart and a frog with your name on it.  I want you to put your frog on the first lily pad. You will read for one minute to your partner while they follow along and time you.  When the one minute is up you will count how many words you read and write that number on the line beside the lily pad.  This will be your starting point. Now, I want you to add ten to that number and write it on the next blank. Keep adding ten to the numbers until all four lines are filled.  Everyday we are going to read and when you reach the next number on the line or go over you can move your frog to the next lily pad." (Demonstrate on board)

5.      Give the students enough time to read and time each other.  Explain to them that need to keep reading and timing each other until they fill in all four blanks.  If they do not fill them all in it is okay they can continue the next day.  This is a daily exercise that will help with their fluency. 

6.      To assess the students walk around to each group while they are reading.  The teacher should have an assessment sheet, for each child, with the following questions.

1.      Does the student read smoothly?

2.      Does the student demonstrate advancement?

3.      Is the student reading fast enough (yet slow enough to understand what they are saying) Make sure the students do not make it a competition.

            *Call each child to your desk and have them read their favorite part of the book for one minute.  This will ensure to the teacher exactly how fluent the child is and is becoming. 


Burbic, Cindy. "It"s My Party and I"ll cry If I want to…." http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/begin/burbicgf.html

Pegues, Jennifer. "Dive Into Reading". http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/begin/peguesgf.html


Mandy Williamson: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/explor/williamsongf.htm

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