Growing Independence and Fluency Design

Smooth Sailing!


Ashley Anderson


Rationale: The goal of this lesson is to allow children to practice reading and rereading texts which will enable them to become more fluent readers. Becoming a fluent reader is important because children can begin focusing on the meaning of the text rather than focusing on decoding each individual word. The activities in this lesson will allow the children to become more fluent readers by allowing them to learn how to read faster. They will work on their reading fluency by rereading the text and participating in one minute reads with a partner.



          - One Minute Read Chart (for each pair)

          Name: ________Date: ____

1st minute: ______

2nd minute: ______

3rd minute: ______

          - Partner check- sheet:

Name: _____ Partner: ____ Date: ____

I noticed that my partner... (check the circle)

After 2nd           after 3rd

( )                     ( )                     Remembered more words

( )                     ( )                     Read faster

( )                     ( )                     Read smoother

( )                     ( )                     Read with expression

- 1 pencil for each child

- 1 stop watch or timer per pair of students

- Book, The Deep Sea. Matt Sims. High Noon Books, 1999.



1. Begin the lesson by reviewing cover ups. Say: Who can tell me what to do when you come to a word that you don't know? Right, you use cover ups to sound out the letters then blend them together. Let's try one together. I'm going to write the word stick on the board. If I saw this word and I didn't know how to say it, I would use cover ups to help me sound it out. I'm going cover up everything but the i because that is the vowel. I know that i says /i/. Now we look at what comes before the vowel which is /st/. We can now blend them together to get /sti/. Now we look at what's left at the end of the word which is /ck/. Now we put /sti/ and /ck/ together to make stick. We can use this strategy when we see an unfamiliar word.


2. Explain how fluency works when reading a text. Say: Good readers can read fast because they learn to read faster by reading and rereading books. The more times you read a book, the better you will be at reading because the words start to become familiar to you. I'm going to read a sentence from the book you are going to read today. D-D-aaa-vv-e Dave a-a-nn-d and B-B-iii-l-l Bill h-h-aaa-vv-e have a s-s-ai-l-l sail b-b-oa-t-t boat. When I read the sentence like that, it is hard to understand because I am not reading it fluently or quickly. Practice reading the sentence over and over getting more words correct with each try. Finally, read the sentence smoothly and fluently. ''Dave and Bill have a sailboat.''


3. Explain and model crosschecking. Say: Not only do fluent readers read fast, but they also must understand what they have read. A way to make sure we understand what we read is to use crosschecking. For example, I'm going to write this sentence on the board: Dave and Bill hit a big log with their boat.  If I read this sentence quickly and say, ''Dave and Bill hit a big lock with their boat.'' I would have to go back and use my crosschecking skills to make sure what I just read made sense. It would not matter if Dave and Bill���s boat hit a lock, so I know that I need to go back and check which word I missed. I can now read it correctly by saying, ''Dave and Bill hit a big log with their boat.'' I got better at reading this sentence because I first read the words and decoded them. Then I was able to go back and reread the sentence faster and more smoothly.


4. The students will practice fluency by pairing up and reading the text. Teacher will pass out a copy of the text The Deep Sea to each pair of students as well as pencils, stopwatches, a one minute reading rubric for each student, and a partner check list for each student (step #5). Directions, say: I want you to read the entire book together. Then go back to the beginning. One person will be the reader and the other person will be the timer. The timer will start the stopwatch as the reader begins to read. At one minute, the timer tells the reader to stop. After the reader has finished, they should count how many words they read and record that number on the rubric. Each student will read a section of the book 3 times and record your number of words for each time. Book Talk: Dave and Bill have a sailboat. The name of the boat is The Rip Tide. One day they go sailing. Before they know it, there are big waves heading their way. What do you think Bill and Dave will decide to do?


5. After each student in the pair has read, partners will fill out the partner check-sheet, which tells if their partner improved with each reading. 


6. To assess the students, I will review their one minute reads rubric and partner check-sheets in order to see improvements.  I will then have each student read the book for me as I take notes on miscues and fluency. When the student has finished reading I will ask questions to check for comprehension.


What happened to Dave and Bill's boat? It got a hole in it.

What caused the above answer? The waves were getting bigger, and they did not see the big log.

What did they have to use to save their lives? A small boat.

Who helped them get back to shore? A seal.



Zooming Toward Fluency! Sarah Mobley


Speeding Into Reading. Mandy Jones



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