Fluency for Fun

Growing Independence and Fluency

Amanda Godbee


Rationale:  Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly.  The goal of this lesson is to increase fluency with emphasis on reading fast and smooth, not choppy.  We will have the students achieve this goal by reading, re-reading, and assessing them.  We will also review the concept of cross checking. By reviewing this it will enable the students to improve and begin to read accurately.


         Speed Reading Record

         Partner Check Sheet

         Fun in the Hills decodable book

         Sentence strip saying "I play football with my friends."


Speed Reading Record

 Name _________________                                                                    Date ___________________

 The 1st read took me _______

 The 2nd read took me_______

 The 3rd read took me _______










Partner Check Sheet

Name _____________                                                             My partner was _________________

 As I listened to my partner read s/he
   After the 2nd read          After the 3rd read
       _________                   _________                             remembered more words

       _________                   _________                             read faster

       _________                   _________                             read smoother

       _________                   _________                             read with expression











1.Today we are going to try reading in a short amount of time with as few mistakes as we can; this is called 'fluency'. To give you an example, I am going to read you a sentence from the book Fun in the Hills. (Read the first sentence very slowly) "Th- the soon-sun cam-cam up at s-six," sad-said Ted.  How did that sound? My words didn't flow together very well because I read too slowly and I missed a few words.  Let's see if I can make it sound better. (Read it again but faster).  Did that sound better?  What did I do differently?  That's right, I read it faster.  Let's see if I can do it even better.  (Reread the sentence using speed, fluency, and expression.)  That time, I read the sentence quickly and my words flowed together smoothly. I was reading with fluency. Also, did you notice how my voice went up and down as I read certain words?  That is called expression. It is important to read with fluency because we can understand what people are reading better when they are faster, smoother, and show expression. Reading with fluency makes reading more fun.

2. One way we can read faster is to crosscheck. When we aren't sure about a word, we can reread the sentence with the word we think it is to see if it makes sense. For example, If we're reading this sentence (place sentence strip on the board with "I play football with my friends." on it) and we weren't sure this word (point to "football"), we would first try to decode and then read the word in the sentence. If we thought the word was "feet" we could reread "I play feet with my friends" and know that it's not right because "feet" doesn't make sense in that sentence.

3. One of the best ways to become fluent in reading is to read the same books over and over again. Today, we are going to work on our reading fluency by reading the same book three times. Each time that we read it, we will become more familiar with the words which will help us to read fluently.

4. (Divide class into pairs and give each pair one copy of the book Fun in the Hills, 2 speed reading record sheets, 2 partner checklists and a timer.)  "For this activity, each of you will have the job of being the reader and the listener. One of you will read while the other times how long it takes you to read the book. If you are the person using the timer, you press this button as soon as your partner begins reading, this starts the counting. As soon as they finish, you press the button again to stop the counting and allow your partner to write down the number that's on the timer (demonstrate where to find the buttons). That number tells us how long it took them to read the story. Now the second time they read, it will be a little different. You will start and stop the timer just like you did the first time, you will also let them write down their time, but this time you will fill out your partner check sheet after they finish. If they remember more words you put a check; if they read faster, you put a check (demonstrate where to put a check). Only if they did it can you put a check, nothing else. You will also do this after the third time your partner reads. After the third read, you swap positions. If you were reading first, you are now in charge of the timer, and if you used the timer first, you are now reading."

5. Children, the book you will be reading is called Fun in the Hills. This book is about two boys named Ted and Sam who are going on a hike in the woods. We are only going to read the first chapter. In this chapter, they decide to rest on a log. Then they hear a mysterious hissing sound. You'll have to read to see what happens and where the hissing sound is coming from!

6. Allow students enough time to complete the three readings and the work sheets. Walk around the room to make sure the students are completing the checklists correctly.

7. Assessment: To assess I will review the student's progress chart that they filled out with their partner.  I will then have the students reread Fun in the Hills to me.  I will note their fluency by making notes about whether they read smoothly, quickly, stopped rarely, or less smooth, less quick, or stopped frequently.  I will also ask the children questions to test their comprehension of the story.  Questions: What were Ted and Sam doing? Why were they resting on a log?

Resources: -

Adams, Marilyn J. (1990). Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Center for the Study of Reading Research and Education Center, 92-93.

Sims, Matt (2002). Fun in the Hills. High Noon Books

Bruce Murray. "Developing Reading Fluency"


Kathleen Wheat. "The Need for Speed" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/wheatgf.html

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