Swift, Smooth Readers

Increasing Speed and Fluency

Ansley Salter


In order for children to become expert readers and to enjoy reading, they must become fluent readers. To be fluent children must learn to read faster, smoother, and with more expression. Children should learn to recognize words effortlessly and also be able to decode instantly. This allows children to comprehend easier and enjoy their reading. This lesson will help students develop reading fluency through reading and rereading as well as timed readings.


Class set of Book "Julius" by Syd Hoff

2 Sentence Strips per group:

The tall boy went to the park.

The birds sang in the trees.

Stopwatch for every group

Pencils to mark errors

Partner Checklist

Time Chart for Reading Fluency



I will first introduce the lesson by explaining what fluency is. "Fluency is the ability to read smoother, faster, and with more expression" I will give the children an example of what it sounds like when someone is not a fluent reader. I will read the sentence "The tall boy went to the park." I will read if very slow and choppy. I will ask the children "Do you think this was an example of fluent reading?" Great! This is not an example of fluent reading.

Now let's practice fluent reading. "One way to develop fluent reading is to read and reread." "Everyone get your sentence strips. Let's read over the sentences together." "Is everyone ready? Let's read them aloud 3 times." "Ok, now I want you to take turns reading them to your partner. I want you to read it to them 5 times and then swap. I will walk around if you have any problems." While walking around I will be observing the children for reading fluently. I will also be there to assist anyone if they need it.   

"Good job! Who can answer this question for me? If you have trouble with a word, what should you do? Great use cover ups! Can anyway tell me how to use cover ups? Wonderful! You first cover everything up but the vowel. Once you know what sound the vowel makes uncover the beginning of the word. Figure out that sound and blend it with the vowel. Once you have that blended together uncover the ending and see if you can blend the whole word together."

 "Great! Now everyone get the books. I want one each person to read the first two pages of "Julius" by Syd Hoff, to their partner. "When you finish with the two pages, give it to your partner to read aloud to you. Practice reading to them aloud several times and use the partner checklist to see how your partner does. I will be coming around it see how great you all are doing."

"Now that you have had a chance to read that part several times let's check and see how great you really are doing. Here are some stopwatches. I want you to take turns reading the pages. While your partner reads you will time them. Here is how you will do it. As soon as your partner begins to read push the start button. When you partner reads the last word they will say finished. When you hear them say finished press the stop button and write down their time." "Before we begin are there any questions?" "Ok! Great! You can begin!"

Assessment: "Great! I am so proud of you! Now, I will call you up one at a time to read me your pages. If you are not up here with me you should be practicing to be a more fluent reader. I want you to continue reading "Julius" at your seat. Later, we will be timing ourselves reading the entire book and use our time sheets to mark our progress, so you want to be practiced!







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