Vroom, Vroom to Fluency
On our journey to become successful readers, it is important that we learn to read fluently. Fluency is fast, smooth, and expressive reading that sounds like speech. A good way to become a fluent reader is to read on a regular basis and to repeat what you have read. Repeated reading helps students gain a better understanding of the text and become more familiar with it. Fluent readers recognize words automatically and with this automatic recognition, students will improve their reading skills. This lesson is designed to help students learn strategies that will help them to read fluently and become more successful readers.
Class set of the book Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas
Class set of laminated banana tree illustrations with words per minute on them from 0-85
Class set of erasable markers
Class set of Velcro monkeys
Class set of stop watches
Class set of speed record sheets
Pencil for each student
1. I will start the lesson by explaining to the students the meaning of fluency and why it is important that we become fluent readers." Today boys and girls, we are going to learn about fluency. Fluency is fast, smooth, and expressive reading that sounds like speech. It is important that we read fluently, so that we can gain a better knowledge of the text that we are reading. Reading fluently sounds like a conversation that you may have with your friend. When we talk to our friends do we say things like "Hiii to-to-today I -a-a-am go-going to the ga-ga-game"? Of course not, that sounds like a broken record. It is important that we read fast, smooth, and expressively, so that we won't sound like a broken record and understand what we are reading.
2. I will now model for the students how to use repeated reading to help them read fluently. "Now I am going to read a sentence to you. If I read the sentence fast, smooth, and with expression, I want you to say vroom, vroom like a race car. If I don���t read the sentence fast, smooth, and with expression, I want you to say pit stop." During the first reading, read the sentence with hesitation and pauses. "H-Hn-Henry's b-b-big d-dog Mud-Mudge lov-loved Chr-Christmas t-t-time." You are correct! I need to take a pit stop! I did not read the sentence with fluency. "Now re-read the sentence using a fast, smooth, and expressive voice. Explain to the students that when re-reading a sentence, they must start the sentence over to get back into the story. "Now listen as I read the sentence a second time, starting at the beginning of the sentence. "Henry's big dog Mudge loved Christmas time." Vroom, vroom, you are correct! I did read the sentence fluently using a fast, smooth, and expressive voice. This time I read the sentence faster because it was my second time reading it. Repeating the sentence helped me to practice and become familiar with the text. Okay, who can raise their hand and tell me what fluency is? Right, fluency is reading fast, smoothly, and with expression.
3. Tell the students that they are going to work on their reading fluency by doing independent repeated reading. "To help you improve your reading fluency, you each will independently read Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas two times for one minute each. After each minute is up, you will make a tally mark where you stopped and count how many words you read that minute. Then write how many words you read each minute on the Speed Record Sheet, in the section titled independent reading. After each reading, it is important that you also move your monkey along the tree, so the monkey can reach the bananas. This will help you to see your fluency improving with each repeated reading. Remember, we want to read like we are having a conversation with our friends, so try to make all the words flow together smoothly." Pass out the class sets of Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas, the Speed Record Sheets, and the laminated banana tree illustrations with accompanying Velcro monkeys.
4. Give the students a book talk to get them interested in the story. "Henry is a young boy and he has a big dog name Mudge. Henry and Mudge both love Christmas time and they enjoy giving Christmas gifts. Henry and Mudge decide to make special Christmas gifts for Henry's family. To find out what gifts Henry and Mudge make, you will have to read the book." Model how to re-read a passage from the text. "I am going to read a sentence from the book to you in different ways. After I am finished, I want you to tell me which sentence was read using fluency. During the first reading, read the sentence choppy and slow. "Hhh-Henry and Mudge w-w-went in-into t-t-the kit-kitchen t-t-to help." During the second reading, read the sentence fast and smoothly. "Henry and Mudge went into the kitchen to help." Great job, I did read fluently during the second reading because I re-read the sentence and became familiar with the text.
5. Teach the students about the cover up method before they start independent reading. "it is okay if you do not know all the words in the book. When you come across a word that is unfamiliar to you, use the cover up method. The cover up method helps us recognize words automatically when we see them in the future, and it helps us improve our reading fluency. I am going to show you how to use the cover up method." Write the word cat on the board. "If I were reading and came across the word cat, I would use the cover up method to help me pronounce it if I didn't know how. I would cover up every letter except for a." Cover up the letter c and t. I know that the letter a makes the /a/ sound. Now look at what comes before the letter a, the letter c. Blend them together to get /ca/. Now uncover the letter t for the students. "Now look at the letter at the end of the word t=/t/. Put it all together and you have the word /cat/. Whenever you see unfamiliar words use the cover up method to help you figure it out.
6. After the students have read the book twice independently and recorded how many words the have read on the Speed Record Sheet, pair each of the students in groups of two. "Now I am going to pair you in groups of two. You each will do a one minute read to your partner, and record how many words you have read on the Speed Record Sheet section titled partner reading. Be sure to move your monkey up the chart to see your words per minute progression. One student will read while the other student operates the stopwatch and then you will switch. Try to read with accuracy and expression." Show students how to use the stopwatch. When your stop watch is ready and your partner is ready to read, say on your mark get set go." Walk around the room observing the students as they read.
7. Assessment: I will call each student up to do a one minute read with me to individually assess their reading fluency. I will then record how many words the students read in that minute on the Speed Record Sheet titled Teacher Fluency Assessment. I will collect the student's Speed Record Sheets to see how the students have improved from reading independently, to reading for a partner, and to reading for the teacher.
Speed Record Sheet
First Minute: _______ words read
Second Minute: _________ words read
First Minute: _______ words read
Teacher Fluency Assessment
First Minute: _______ words read
Miller, Tiffany. Poof Let's Become Fluent!
Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas.(2004). Scholastic Inc. New York, Ny.
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