Come Sail Away and Read

Katie Guyton

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  Children cannot enjoy reading books unless they learn how to read fluently.  They can read the words but not understand what they have read because they have spent a lot of time sounding out the words.  We can help children become fluent readers by encouraging them to read often and read repeatedly.  By having children read stories more than once, you are helping them become better at reading.  Being able to read fluently can lead readers to be able to read with expression and even encourage voluntary reading. 


Fuzz and the Buzz (book)

Dry erase board

Dry erase marker

Progress chart (one per child)

Stopwatch (one per two children)

One minute record chart:

Name:______________                     Date:_____________

1st minute:________

2nd minute:________

3rd minute:________

Fluency rubric chart:


1.      The lesson will begin by asking the children what a fluent reader is.  I will then explain to them what a fluent reader is and model for them.  "A fluent reader is someone who can blend all of their words together as they read.  Does it sound better when I read "A-baby-bird-fell-out-of-the-tree" or A baby bird fell out of the tree?"  It sounds better when there isn't a pause in between all of the words.  Today we are going to word on becoming fluent readers."

2.      Next we are going to work on how to become fluent readers.  We are going to start off by decoding words on our dry erase board.  Everyone will write a word on their board and then together we will decode the word.  "Now I want everyone to write the word from on your board.  When we decode the word from what sound do we start with?  Yes, we start with o. Then we sound our fffrrrr. Great! We put those together to say fffrrrooo and next we add the mmm sound.  When we blend it all together we say fffrrrooommm.  Now say it quickly."  What we did, was decode and blend.  This allows the students to really hear what sounds are in the word and then blend them together.

3.      Next I will explain to them that being a fluent reader does not mean being a fast reader.  "It takes more than reading quickly to be a fluent reader.  One must make sure that what they are reading makes sense.  By doing this you have to cross check."  Have students write a sentence on their dry erase board.  When they are done have them read it out loud to insure that the sentence makes sense.  This allows the other students to read and hear the sentence and get extra help. 

4.      Next I will pass out Fuzz and the Buzz.  Each student will also receive a record chart and fluency rubric.  "We are now going to read Fuzz and the Buzz. This book is about a little bear who gets into some bee trouble.  What will he do to get the bees away?  Well, we are going to read and find out."

5.      Students will be paired off according to their reading ability.  They will decide on their own who will be the reader and who will be the recorder.  "The recorders responsibility will be to time the reader for a minute.  After the minute is up the recorder will write down how many words the reader can read in a minute. After the reader has read three times, the recorder will have a chance to read and the reader will record.  After each reading, you will be able to move your sail boats closer to land.  You have to beat your word count each time to be able to move your boat."

6.       After each student has read three times, take up all of the time sheets and rubrics.  Students will be assessed by how well they read the book and how many words they read by the third reading.  I will call each student up to my desk and assess comprehension by asking a few questions about the book.  While the assessment is going on the other children will be reading silently at their desks.




I will review their one minute reads for the assessment.  I will also have each student come up to my desk, one by one, and ask comprehension questions.  "What did Fuzz do to make the buzz go away?  Why did he hear the buzz everywhere he went?"


Smooth Sailing Through Reading by Candace Goodwin

Educational Insights. Fuzz and the Buzz. 1990.

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