Blast Off With Reading!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Mallie Frasier



To become a successful reader one must read fluently, accurately, with expression, and consistently. Fluency makes reading more enjoyable for the reader and more likely develops  a lifelong reader.  Helping students with their fluency while reading, by working on their reading speed, is the goal of this lesson.  Fluent readers can comprehend the text better when they are reading because they no longer have to concentrate on decoding each individual word. They are able to read at a faster and smoother pace. Students' reading fluency will increase through this lesson by charting one-minute reads.


 Timer/stopwatch (1 per student)
 Speed reading charts (one for each student):

   Name:_________________________            Date:___________
           After 1st read           _______
           After 2nd read         _______
           After 3rd read          _______


Repeated Reading Checklist (one for each student to use with a partner):

 Partners' Names___________________________                                
     As I listened to my partner read, he/she:
                                                                After 2nd           After 3rd
     1. Remembered more words              _______          _______
     2. Read faster                                     _______          _______
     3. Read smoother                                _______          _______
     4. Read with expression                      _______          _______

Class set of the decodable book, Tin Man Fix It           


1)  The lesson should begin by explaining to the students what it means to be a fluent reader and why it is an important part of learning to read.  "We are going to talk about fluency today.  Fluency is the ability to read words quickly, smoothly, and with expression.  Fluent readers can read automatically, so they rarely have to take pauses while reading. Whenever a fluent reader is reading it sounds like they are having a normal conversation with someone.  So, why do you think it is important for readers to be fluent? One reason is because, becoming a fluent reader makes reading more enjoyable and you are able to concentrate more on the meaning and story of the whole text instead of individual words. So let's get started!"

2)   Pass out the books, Tin Man Fix It, to the students.

3)  "Have you ever read a book before that was really good and very interesting but you weren't able to read it fast enough to finish quickly?  Well, today we are going to work on that and practice ways to become fluent readers."  "In becoming a fluent reader, it is helpful to go back and re-read words until you are able to make it flow together, as if it is normal talk.  We call this cross checking.  Do you remember when we talked about cross checking?  It is the same thing we do whenever we come across unfamiliar words.  Well, cross checking can also be used to help with fluency because the more times you read something the more automatic it comes.  This then allows you to read with more expression because they are not having to concentrate one word at a time words."

4)  Model for students.  "Have you ever started reading a book and come across a number of unfamiliar words? It is kind of frustrating some time's, but I'm going to show you how to make it better."  Read the first page of the book. (1-2 sentences).  "For me, the first time I read through a new book it is difficult to understand it all because I have to read slow and figure out the unknown words."  Read the sentences again non fluently, slow, take pauses, and struggle on some words.  "I a-m go-i-n-g going to r-i-de my b-i-c-c-y-c-c-l-le bic-cy-c-cle bicycle a-f-t-er s-ch-ool t-o-day."  "Did everyone notice how hard it was for me to read some of the unfamiliar words the first time through?  It was not very smooth and it was hard for me to enjoy reading it.  So, I then read the sentences again for a second time." "I am go-ing to r-ide my bi-cy-cle a-fter sch-ool today."  "That time I was able to read a little bit faster because the unfamiliar words are becoming more familiar and I did not have to slow down to figure them out as much.  Though it was easier, it still was not smooth.  So I will reread it again."  "I am going to ride my bicycle after school today."  "That time it was smooth but it did not have any expression in it."  Reread it again with expression. "I  learned that the more times I read it the easier it got and I eventually could read the book straight through quickly, smoothly, and with expression.  I started to enjoy reading the book because it was not as difficult.

5)  "Everyone now take this time to read the book, Tin Man Fix It."  Booktalk:  "This book is about a young boy who has a friend, Tin Man.  One day they were outside planting a garden.  As they were planting the garden, a young boy quickly skates by on a skateboard.  He crashes into Tin Man.  Tin Man breaks into lots of pieces!  You will have to read the book to find out if Tin Man is able to be put back together."

6)  Read until I tell you to stop.  If you finish reading your book before I tell you to stop, then start reading it again from the beginning.  (Give the students ten minutes to read individually.)      After ten minutes, stop the students and then place them in pairs.

7)  Instruct students on what to do.  "I want you to work in pairs this time.  I want one of you to read while the other times you, on the time watch I am about to hand out to you.  Then switch roles.  Each of you should read your book three times all the way through and make sure you record the time for all of the reads on the handout that I am also passing out." Pass out the stopwatches and handouts

8)  After each student has read to a partner instruct them, "Now I want everyone to evaluate their partners to see if they are improving on their fluency each time they read it."

9)  "Everyone is doing a great job! You will all be fluent readers before you know it! But this takes lots of practice so I really want everyone to try hard and stick with it.  You can take your books home and read them to your family so you can practice even more.  The more you read the book over and over the faster and smoother you will become at reading it.  Continue to practice and we will continue to chart our improvements."

10)  In later lessons students will be given one-minute to read a book through over and over again to chart how many words per minute they are reading. Take the opportunity to listen to each student individually to assess their improvement.  Also assess them to be sure that there are not other skills they need to improve on first in order to succeed as a fluent reader.  Use the information gathered from the assessments to plan future lessons.



The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency  (Read and Reread by Seth Clark) (Ready, Set, Read!! By: Amy Lewis)

Tin Man Fix It.(1990) Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.


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