Ready, Set, Race to Read


Growing Independence and Fluency

Beth Crenshaw


Rationale: The goal of this lesson is to assist students in developing reading fluency and expression. It is important for students to grow their reading fluency and expression to develop increased reading comprehension and speed. This fluency lesson will have students read a decodable text and be partnered for reading in order for the students to increase speed in reading and develop understanding of their readings. This lesson is for students to develop strong reading fluency skills through repeated readings. When a student reads several times, they are using one of the best ways to develop fluency because each reading helps the student gain a better knowledge of the text.



White board. Book: The Race for Cake by Geri Murray. Timer for each student. Reading Time Sheet for each student. Check Sheet for partners.



1.  Question students about the definition of fluency. Does anyone know what fluency means? Allow responses. Fluency is being able to read faster and smoother at the same time. We want to become fluent readers because it helps us to know and understand what we are reading, and remember more words. However, for us to become fluent readers, we have to practice reading to get better.


2. Begin with a few cover up of chick. The students can use their reading sticks they have made in previous lessons. First demonstrate for the students how to use the cover up stick, now we are going to start with the vowel, and I see an i, and we know that a vowel by itself without an e on the end of a word, means that it is usually a short vowel, so we know we know it says /i/. Now take your finger off of the first two letters. I know that the letters ch together are partners that make the /ch/ sound. And last we are going to uncover the ck on the end of the word, and we know that ck together makes /k/. Now that we have uncovered each part of the word, we can blend it together: chick.

Using the white board, write: Bob and Joe raced the track to cross the finish line. I will model reading fluently and not fluently. Now we are going to practice saying the sentence. First, I will read it: Bbbobbb aandnndd Jjjoooe racceeeddd thhee trraccckkk ttoo crrrossss tthee fiinnnishhh llinne. Students should recognize the reading is slow and lacks expression because the words were hard. Ask the students if that reading sounded like an exciting part of the story. Now read the sentence quickly and with great expression. Bob and Joe raced the track to cross the finish line! This reading, the students should recognize that I was able to remember more words and read faster.

Now class, what was the difference in the two readings of the sentence? I am going to show you how I read smoothly and quickly the second time through practicing reading the sentence, and rereading the sentence. First I will decode each of the words in the sentence, and then because I know the words, I am able to read faster and smother. It's your turn to read fluently. Now it is your turn to read the sentence out loud and practice your speed and expression with each reading.


3. Now, I am going to pass out the book we're going to read today. Each student gets a copy of The Race for Cake. But before we read it, I am going to tell you a little about it: Jess and Ben are swimming when they smell something delicious. They know their mom is baking a cake. Yum! They race to the house, but they didn't know their dog Lad is coming with them. Let's see what happens when Lad joins the race for the cake!


4. Now, you are going to read this book to yourself. Pass out the books, timers and the time reading sheets. You will be reading this book three times. Each time you read, you will set the timer to see how fast you can read the book. After you finish reading, write down the time on your sheet. Ready, set, race to read!


5. After completing the self-readings, students should be partnered. With your partner, you will be reading through the same book, but do something different. Pass out Partner Check Sheet. When your partner is reading to you, you will check the boxes that have improved with each reading, or mark an "x" in the box if they did not do better in that read. This will only be filled out after the second and third readings. Ready, set, race to read!


6. Assessment: I will evaluate the students as they work in partners to hear them read as quickly and smoothly as possible. While the students read silently, I will assess their recordings to see how they improved over the three readings, and I will compare the partner checklist as well. During the self rereading and partner reading, I will have each students complete a one-minute read, and I will note miscues and the number of words they read in that minute.



Buckelew, "Sailing Into Fluency,"

Lindsay Phillips, "The Race is On,"




Reading Time Sheet


Name____________________________                     Date____________________




          After 1st read:__________________

          After 2nd read:__________________

          After 3rd read:__________________





Partner Check Sheet


Name:______________________________                                   Date:_______________


Partner Name:_________________________



After 2nd Reading

After 3rd reading

Read faster



Read smoother



Used expression



Remembered more words




To help you remember:

Read fast like a cheetah runs         

Read smooth like a swan swims                    

Read with expression like a monkey calls         

Remember more words like dolphins have good memories       


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