Feeling the Need to Read


Growing Independence and Fluency

 By: Heather Smith

Rationale: Learning to read fluently is one of the most important parts to becoming a successful reader. Children can begin with a variety of different texts and repeat readings. Repeated readings are one of the most helpful ways a child can become a fluent reader.


Multiple copies of text Frog and Toad Are Friends. "Spring" pgs.4-15.

Fluency and 1 minute read check sheets for each student   

Fluency check sheet example:

Student name: _______________
After 2nd read      After 3rd read

           ________       ________  Read more words        

           ________       ________   Read faster

           ________       ________   Read smoother

           ________       ________   Read with expression



1 minute read check sheet example:

Student name: _______________

1st read ______ words/1min

 2nd read ______words/1min

 3rd read ______ words/1min




1. Begin by explaining what the students will do today. Say "Today we will practice our reading skills and learn how we can become more fluent readers". "Does anyone know what it means to be a fluent reader?" "Being a fluent reader means that you can read through a sentence without having to stop on any words." "You can recognize words automatically and can read with expression once you learn to read fluently." Explain to the students that they become fluent readers simply through a process of repeated readings. Repeated reading is when you read a book over and over again to where the words become automatic to you and you can read them without any struggle.

2. Be sure to model for the students how the y will get better by simply reading a line from the story and dramatize it a bit. For example, say "ffr-o-o-g and t-oa-oa-d are ffr-ie-ie-n-ds". Now say, "That did really sound very fluent at all, so let's reread and try it again." Say the same sentence as before, "frog and toad are friends". "See, once you read through the words first and understand them; you can then reread the sentence and become more fluent and smooth at reading it." "The more you read it, the less choppy sounding it becomes."

3. Show the book to the students and give a book talk about the book.  The first chapter in Frog and Toad are Friends begins on the first day of spring. Frog is trying to wake up Toad from his long winters nap. Toad doesn't want to get up yet and says that it is still too early for him to get up. Frog insists that he should get up because he will be lonely and have no one to play with until he gets up. What can Frog do to get Toad out of bed and out in the spring sunshine? We will have to read to find out what he does. Begin reading the first chapter to the students out loud to model fluency and expression. 

4. Have the students set up in groups of two or three. Pass out a copy of the text to each group. Let the students take turns reading to one another while the others listen. Once the students have all had a chance to read the story ask them what they have learned from this exercise and how it has helped them to become better readers? Be sure to encourage your students to continue repeated reading at home as well as at school.


Prepare fluency and 1 minute read check sheets for each student. Have the students one by one come up to you and go through these two assessments. Have the student begin reading while you keep time with a stopwatch. Let them know when they should start and stop. Make note of how many words they read in one minute on their check sheet. Now let them read to check fluency ability. You can use the check sheet design below or come up with your own to use.


Example Checksheet:

Becoming A Reading Wiz! By: Lauren Long
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends. 1970. Harper Collins Publishers Inc. New York, NY. ISBN-10: 0-06-444020-6.

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