Growing Independence and Fluency
Rationale: Being a fluent reader is very important when children are trying to comprehend a story. In order to understand what is happening in a story without spending much time decoding the words, children must be fluent readers. A fluent reader has the ability to recognize words instantly and correctly. They use more of their time comprehending rather than decoding words.
Reading fluently is important because children no longer have to concentrate on decoding the words; they can focus more of their time on what the actual text is saying. It is also important for enjoyment purposes. Children do not enjoy listening to choppy readers; if the reading is smooth like speech then the children will be more likely to like the story and connect with it.
Stopwatch for each group of students
One copy for each pair of Arthur’s Pet Buisness by Marc Brown
Pencils for each child
One sentence strip with the sentence: "You’ve been looking at puppies for months," said D.W.
Speed Reading Record for each student:
Name:_______________ Date: _____________________
After 1st reading _________
After 2nd reading _________
After 3rd reading __________
Partner Check Sheet to assess their partner’s Fluency:
When I listened to my partner read:
After 2nd read After 3rd read
1. Remembered more words ___________ ___________
2. Read slower ___________ ___________
3. Read smoother ___________ ___________
4. Read with expression ___________ ___________
1. Explain to students what being a fluent reader means. "Being a fluent reader is very important. In order to become a fluent reader you must practice and work hard. A fluent reader is someone who reads smoothly and with speed. Reading stories more than one time will help us to become more fluent readers. If we are fluent readers we recognize words instantly and do not have to stop and think about what the word may be. Fluent readers are more enjoyable to listen to and make reading more fun."
2. Demonstrate a fluent and non-fluent reader. "I want you to listen to how I read this sentence from the story Arthur’s Pet Business and tell me if you think I am reading fluently." I will read from the sentence strip with the words already printed on it. "Yyyyou’ve bbbbbeen lllllooking aaaatt ppuuppies ffffor mmmonths," sssaid D.W." (This first time I read the sentence very slowly and choppy with no expression) "Now I will read the same sentence from the story." (This second time I read the sentence less choppy but still slowly without expression). "Do you think that is how a fluent reader sounds? Was I reading at an enjoyable smooth rate?" (The final time I read the sentence I will read it with expression as smoothly and quickly as possible.) "You’ve been looking at puppies for months," said D.W. How did the sentence sound that time? Do you think I sounded like a fluent reader? The goal for this lesson is to have everyone read the way I did that very last time. That is what a fluent reader should sound like. Let’s all read it together as a class.
3. Explain to the students that they are going to be doing repeated readings. "Now I would like for you to look at the person to your left. This will be your reading partner for today’s exercises. In order to help you become a more fluent reader, we are going to practice by reading sentences and stories more than one time. I want each of you to look at this sentence strip that we were just reading aloud. Read this sentence to your partner three times, and then allow your partner to read the same sentence back to you three times as well. It is okay if you do not think you are reading like a fluent reader does because by repeating the sentence you will come closer and closer to becoming a smoother reader.
4. Explain to the students that they are going to be doing one minute reads. "Now we are going to practice reading in another way to become a more fluent reader; this way is called a one minute read." I will explain to the students about the Speed Reading Record Sheet and Fluency Literacy Rubric. "During the time I am about to give you I want one of you to be the reader, and the other partner to be the recorder. The recorder will tell the reader when to start reading and when to stop reading. The recorder should allow the reader one minute to read. You should use your stop watch that I have given you in order to keep the time correctly. After you have given the reader one minute to read the book Arthur’s Pet Business, I want you to count the number of words your partner read within one minute. Record this number on your Speed Reading Record. Allow your partner to do this two more times. On the second and thirds try you will still record the number of words read within the minute but you also have one more thing the record. On the Fluency Literacy Rubric I want you to mark the box that your partner did better during (the second or third try). This story is about a boy named Arthur that looks through a pet shop’s window one day and sees a puppy he likes. He decides that he wants a puppy and tells his parents that night at the dinner table. Arthur’s father says he is not sure if he is responsible enough yet for a puppy but that he will think about it. Do you think Arthur will get the puppy? Let’s read the story to find out. Remember your goal for this exercise is to read as quickly and smoothly as possible. When you and your partner are ready you may begin.
Assessment: As the pairs of students are doing their one minute reads the teacher will walk around the room to monitor the children’s progress. When the children are done with their reading, they will bring me their Speed Reading Record and their Partner’s Checklist. Afterwards, I will have each student do a one minute read with me so I can check their fluency as well.
Brown, Marc. Arthur’s Pet Buisness. 1990.
Murray, Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency
Montgomery, Morgan. Take the Fluency Test With Henry and Mudge!
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