"DEAR, Mrs. R.!"




Fluency Lesson

Dani Rosener



A primary goal of reading instruction is to teach students to read fluently.  Reading fluently means reading quickly and accurately with smoothness and expression.  This involves automatic word recognition, a primary goal of reading for fluency.  To learn to read fluently, students must practice reading and rereading decodable words in connected text (as opposed to guessing from context clues).  When students do not have to concentrate on decoding words, they can focus on the meaning of the text, which will increase comprehension.  The goal of this lesson is to help students improve reading fluency and comprehension through an indirect approach, as students will read and reread a book of their choice silently.  Also, to encourage students to become life-long readers, students will have access to a variety of interesting topics to choose from.  Research shows that children who have choices during their silent reads have a more positive outlook on reading, which ultimately leads to reading success. 



Library of Choices- Magazines and decodable readers of varying subjects for every student.

During DEAR, a teacher should have a book of their own to read.

Pig on the Loose by Geri Murray found at: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html
Cover-up buddies

Pencil and paper for one-minute reads

Reading Logs- One for each student. 



1.  Begin the lesson by setting a purpose.   Say, "Can anyone tell me something you have to practice to be good at?"  (Anticipate responses such as sports activities or playing a musical instrument.)  "Well, just like playing an instrument, playing a sport or creating art, you must practice to get good at it! Did you know that you also have to practice reading in order to become a fluent reader? It makes sense, right? A fluent reader is a reader who can read quickly and smoothly and with expression.  When you read fluently, you can understand the story better because you don't have to stop and sound out each word.  Instead, you can focus on what the story is about. The best way to become a fluent reader is by rereading stories over and over.  Today we will learn strategies for reading fluently while reading silently.  Let me explain to you how this works."

2.  On the SMARTboard, pull up text from Pig on the Loose by Geri Murray. Display the text for fluency strategy modeling session. 

Say, "If I were really struggling with the words because I could not read fluently, I might read the first page like this: T-i. T-ime- Tim and Jane, er, Jan weer guh-gul-gla, glade to her thee neh-ne-u-ne-ws, news. . .   Did you hear how hard I had to concentrate on every word?  I sure had trouble with the word "glade." But, now that I have read the rest of the sentence, I think I know what the word is now!  Let me try that again. Timmm and Jaaan were glad (oh, glad!) to hear the nnews."  When you get to a word you don't know or aren't sure about, remember to crosscheck by first reading to the end of the sentence and then rereading the sentence again to see if the word makes sense.  Now, listen to how much better the sentence sounds when I read it fluently, "Tim and Jan were glad to hear the news."  Which way do you think the sentence sounded better, when I read it the first time or the last time? The last time I read it, it was much smoother and easier to understand because I read it quickly, accurately and with expression. Just like any other sport, instrument or hobby, you have to practice at it to get better!" 

 3.  Write the word Boil on the board and show students the cover-up buddy they've used for other reading lessons.  Say, "If you get to a tricky word, you can still use your cover-up buddy to help you sound it out. Remember how to use them? If I come to a word I don't automatically know, I use my finger and my buddy to cover up everything but the vowel."  (Demonstrate.)  "I see that oi says the /oi /sound.  Take finger off of the first. "I know that b says /b/, and I read /b/ and /oi/ together, "boi."  Now you may uncover the last sound /l/.  When I blend all of those sounds together, I can read the word boil.  I would like for you to read the word for me. I'll practice with you beginning with the vowel and then uncovering one sound at a time." Model how to use the cover-up buddy while students read the sounds and then the word.  "Great job!  Remember to always look at the vowel first."

4.  "What I want you to do when you read silently, is use a few strategies along with cover-ups that will help you practice to get better!  First, when you read your choice for the first time, you may use cover-ups, but you may also use your whisper voices.  This will help you hear yourself saying the words.  Listen to me read this in a whisper voice, "Dad and I will be going on a cruise in June."  I could hear myself the say the words, and I could practice my expression while I read.  The second time I read it, I will not use my whisper voice anymore, but mouth the words while I read them in my head.  Watch: (demonstrate).  Now, the third time I read, I am not going to read in a whisper voice, or mouth the words.  I am going to read this silently to myself.  (demonstrate)  These are the strategies that will help you become a more fluent reader!

5.  "Today we're going to "Drop Everything and Read!"  (Thunderous Applause)  You will have reader's choice for this time, but you will be using the three strategies I just showed you:  Whisper voice/cover-ups, Mouth Moves and Mental Reading.  There will be no finishing of homework, talking, drawing or book reports, for that matter!  You may read anything that interests you, for instance, I am reading Street Gang, the Complete history of Sesame Street by Michael Davis.  I won't ask you to do a report on your reading; however, I will ask that we come together at the end in small groups to talk about what you have read.   This is purely your chance to gain fluency and comprehension while reading a book you are interested in reading, and to share your new knowledge with someone else! 

6.  (Break students into groups) When I call your group, you may silently walk to the library and make a selection.  Find a quiet place in the room where you will not be disturbed and can concentrate.  I ask that you be as far away from another student as you are tall.  Make sense?  Ok, group one, you may go..."

7.  "Excellent, students.  I saw many of you using our strategies already.  When I call your group, you may go back to your tables and discuss what you have read.  Everyone in the group will have 2 minutes to share.  When you are done, keep your reader's choice on your desk, but take out your reading log and write about your reading while I take one-minute reads. "


During reading log time (25 min), record a one-minute read for each student, making notes of miscues. Compare this to past recorded reads.


Developing Reading Fluency," by Bruce Murray, The Reading Genie, http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

"The Race is on!" by Lindsay Phillips:  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/solutions/phillipsgf.htm



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