Smooth Sailing


Growing Independence and Fluency

Margaret Payne


            While students are learning to read, they must also learn to read with consistency, fluency, and while using expression. Students will be doing three different one minute reads one the same text. Students will keep track and record their progress.


1. A stop watch for every group of students

2. A class set of Sam's Trip of the Doc

3. 1minute read charts for everyone

4. Progress chart

5. Pencils

6. A Popsicle sticks with eyes on it for every child in the class to help them follow along in the text.


1."Today we are going to learn about reading fluently. When you are a fluent reader you read with expression, and also smoothly. If you can do both of these things as you read it will help you comprehend what you are reading. Just as a sailboat sailing through the ocean, we want our reading to be nice and smooth."

2."When you first see a sentence it might be hard to read because it is unfamilier. The first time reading a sentence might go: ttthhheeeeyyyyyy gggggeeeeettttttt tttthhhhheeeee dddddoooocccccccc ffffaasssssssttttttttt. The second read would be even better: tthheeyy ggeettt ttooo ttthheee ddoocc ffaasstt. Then by the time the third read happens the words are going to be very familiar and will also be easier to read: They get to the doc fast."

3."We are all going to practice using our cover up critters together. When you come to a word that you don't know we are going to decode it. Using your cover up critter I want everyone to decode the word itch. Slowly uncover your word as you recognize the sounds that the letters make. Blend the sounds together to read your unfamiliar word.

4."Now I want everyone to take the stopwatch and get with your partner. I want everyone to take turns reading Sam's Trip to the Doc. The first person will read the story while the other partner times to see how many words they can read in 1 minute. You will do these three times while recording your data. As soon as the first person finishes reading three times, then y'all can switch roles and do it again. I want everyone to make sure there partner is reading with expression, and smoothly (Model a read aloud that is smooth and demonstrates expression). Now we are going to read Sam's Trip to the doc. I wonder why Sam had to go to the doctor. Let's all begin reading to find out.


      The students will be using their one minute read aloud charts to check their own improvement. The students will also be assessing each other based on the fluency chart. Each student will be told to read smoothly and with expression.


1. The reading genie website (developing Reading Fluency)

2. Lewis, Heather. Sam's Trip to the Doc. (PowerPoint decodable book off of the reading genie).


One Minute Read Chart:

Name __________________________________

Date ___________________________________

1st Minute ______________________________

2nd Minute ______________________________

3rd Minute ______________________________

Fluency Chart:

I noticed that my partner...

After 2nd          After 3rd Reading

_______          _______    Remembered More Words

_______          _______    Read Faster

_______          _______    Read Smoother

_______          _______    Read with More Expression

 Return to the Realizations index.