Ready, Set, READ!!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Lara Lee Hood

Comprehension is an important part of learning to read. Beginning readers can spend so much of their effort trying to decode the words that they do not spend much time comprehending what they read.  These readers need to learn fluency, which is the ability to recognize words accurately and automatically. Fluent readers use less of their time decoding, leaving more time to comprehension. This lesson will help students become more fluent through repeated readings of text.  Students will be working with partners to help them learn different decoding strategies from their peers and to get more time to read.  

In order to become faster readers who read with more expression, one must develop fluency in their reading. Fluent reading is the ability to recognize words automatically, and being able to read them easily. Fluent reading is important in developing silent reading skills as well as a child’s overall reading success. The design of this particular lesson is to offer repetitive readings of texts for students so that they become more fluent readers, and to help students understand how significant fluent reading is.


Speed Reading Record for each student

Partner check sheet for each student

Stop Watches - one for each pair of students

Pencils for students

Kite Day at Pine Lake



Speed Reading Record:

     Name:_________________________            Date:___________


              After 1st read             _______

               After 2nd read           _______

               After 3rd read            _______


Partner Check Sheet for students to assess their partner’s fluency:

 When I listened to my partner read:

                                                                  After 2nd           After 3rd

       1. Remembered more words         _______          _______

        2. Read faster                                 _______          _______

        3. Read smoother                          _______          _______

       4. Read with expression                 _______          _______


1.  Explain to students what being a fluent reader means.  Class, it is important that we learn to read with speed so that we can read things  quickly and easily. Reading a story over and over again will help us all to become more fluent readers.  I will then ask what they think fluency means, and we will discuss its definition and its importance as a class. Today we are going to read a story several times so that each of us will become more fluent readers. I think every one should set a goal to read faster each time we read a book.
2.  Remind the students about the using their cover-ups so that the students can use this strategy while reading.  Remember whenever you come across difficult words while reading, you can use your cover-up to help you figure out what the word is. I will write the word bridge on the board, and model how to use the cover-up by decoding this word just to give them an example.  As you come across a difficult word, use your cover-up to help you sound the word out. I will cover up all the letters except the  and pronounce the sound of the short i=/i/.  Then I am going to uncover the letters one at a time leading up to the vowel, b=/b/, r=/r/, and dge =/j/. Notice that these three sounds together make the /j/ sound. Then I will start at the beginning and tell them, b-b-r-r=/br/ now add the /i/ sound, b-r-i-i, now put the /j/ sound on the end. B-r-i-d-g-e! good!
3.  Demonstrate a fluent and non-fluent reader.  Next I am going to model fluent reading.  I am going to write the following sentence on the board: I like to lick my yummy ice-cream cone. Listen closely as I read this sentence to you.  At first I am going to read it slowly without fluency.  I ... like ... to ... lick ... my ...yummy ice ...cream ... cone.  I like ... to lick...  my yummy ice ... cream cone. I like to lick... my...yummy ice-cream cone. In order to get better at reading this sentence, I’ll need to read it again and again. Doing this repetitively will help me read quicker so that I can read with more expression. Now I will show you how to read it faster with fluency: I like to lick my yummy ice-cream cone.  Does this sound better to you when I talk quicker and is it easier to understand? It is much easier for everyone to listen when something is read fluently and quickly. It is boring if a teacher stands up and reads slow and messes up her words. That is why we need to practice reading fluently and quickly. When we read to each other, we want it to be easy to listen to so that we can focus on the meaning of the words.
4.  Explain to students that they are going to be doing repeated readings.  Now I will pass out the book Kite Day at Pine Lake to each student. Has anyone ever flown a kite before?  Yes, me too! This book is a story about a bunch of children that love to fly kites. They have kites of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Bob is upset because he does not have a kite. I wonder what will happen. Do you think the kids will make Bob a kite? What do you think will happen? Let’s read and find out! Students will read the book on their own. Afterwards, we will discuss the story as a class and ask questions to see their comprehension and understanding of the text. They will each have a chance to read it by themselves before reading it aloud with a partner for timed readings. 
5.  Explain to the students that they are going to be doing one minute reads.  Next, I am going to split the students up into groups of 2. I will explain to the students about the Speed Reading Record Sheet and Fluency Literacy Rubric. When you break into pairs, one of you will be the reader and the other will be the recorder. The reader will read the book for one minute three different times. The recorder will start and stop the stop watch and will announce when it is the time to begin and end after the end of one minute. The recorder will also write down the number of words read in one minute on the record sheet. After the reader has read three times, you will swap it up and do the same thing again.
6.  Explain to the students about the Fluency Literacy Sheets.  When students have finished recording the one minute read aloud, I will have them fill out a Fluency Literacy Sheet about their partner. They will check the boxes on how the student performed on the 2nd and 3rd times reading the book for one minute.


The students will each bring me their Speed Reading Record and their Partner Checklist. Each student will do one minute reads individually for me so that I can check for fluency and accuracy.  I will also evaluate the reading record and partner checklist they turned in. 


Cushman, Sheila and Rona Kornblum. Kite Day at Pine Lake. 1990.

 Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995) Teaching Decodable in Holistic Classrooms. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. pp 122-145.

Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency 

Stevens, Holland.  Run Fast, Read Fast!

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