Go Star Reader!

Growing Independency and Fluency Lesson Design

Shelley Steiner

Rationale: Students need to read fluently and competently in order to read material that is given to them within a specific amount of time. A student that is a slow reader will have a hard time being able to keep up with other classmates. Students may also feel embarrassed to read in front of others and grow to dislike reading.  All readers need practice in reading in to become a more fluent reader. Students will read with fluency from practice and exposure to more texts.


a model sentence to display on the board for the class to see
The cat will let a pig run in the hot sun.


clip – board

one checkered flag to wave after telling an instruction 

James and the Good Day  (multiple copies/number of students)

fluency checklists (at least one for each student) <attached>



list of student names to record scores in file

"Starry Board" (like the painting)-a bulletin board to place a star for each student with reading score (names are not on stars)

"Ready to start your reading engines boys and girls? Today we are going to work on reading speed."

First practice reading a word that is "unfamiliar" to you,  pest.

Say, "Start with covering up each letter but not the vowel, e. The e makes the sound /e/.Then uncover the first letter, p.  The p makes the /p/ sound.  Now combine the sounds.  Next uncover the second to last letter, s.  The s makes the /s/ sound.  Next uncover the last letter, t.  The t makes the /t/ sound.  Combine all the sounds, pest.    Do not forget that if you are stuck, read the rest of the sentence to see what would make sense (crosscheck)

Model reading a sentence with poor reading fluency.

The sentence is: The cat will let a pig run in the hot sun. (Display on the board for the class to observe)       

Begin by slowly decoding your practice sentence one letter at a time (have a troubled look on face) "The…/a/…/c/…/ca/…/t/…/cat/...oh, the cat!"   complete modeling

Then say the sentence with good reading fluency and a smile on your face

"The cat will let a pig run in the hot sun."

Now it is your turn (put a copy of James and the Good Day in front of each student).

Give a book talk: James, a young boy, wants to have a fun day. Just as soon as he gets up that morning he thinks about sailing his boat in his bathtub. Well, he does but then forgets to take it out when he ran outside to play. Will the boat be alright?!

Then say, "First I will give you time to read the book silently. I will be walking around to observe. When I think mostly all of you have finished the story, I will sound my bell. Then you will each be assigned a partner.

Pass out a fluency checklist to each student. (explain how to complete a checklist with class and for each student to read at least twice).  [example fluency checklist attached]

When time is up, sound the bell. "ding…ding!"

Tell the students, "When you hear me call your name, come on up to my royal reading chair. You will each read to me for one-minute." **make sure to write down the score of each one -  minute read**

The students will take a book copy home to read before bed or to parents (etc.).
The lesson is to help the child feel better about themself not worse.

Let this new type of lesson serve as a warm-up for additional lessons that involve a token system for individual or the class.


Bennett, Shelley.  Growing Independency and Fluency Lesson Design: Speed Read. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/discov/bennettgf.htm

James and the Good Day.  Educational Insights:  Carson, CA.1990.