Really Rockin' Readers

 

 

 

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rachel Greer

 

Rationale:

When students are able to read fluently, they are able to recognize words automatically.  This makes students' reading faster, smoother, and more expressive.  When reading becomes fluent, students are able to read silently, which is approximately twice as fast as reading aloud.  The "fluency formula" states: read and reread decodable words in connected text.  When students attain fluency, they will enjoy reading more, better comprehend the text, and become more confident in their reading ability.  This lesson will teach students to read faster, smoother, and more expressively through repeated readings, timed readings, and one-minute reads.

 

Materials:

--Strips of paper that read: The more that you read, the more things you will know. (enough for half of the class and teacher)

--Strips of paper that read: The more that you learn the more places you will go. (enough for half of the class and teacher)

--Copies of the poem "Alphabet Stew" (enough for each student and teacher to have his or her own)

--Copies of the poem "Feelings About Words" (Enough for each student and teacher to have his or her own)

--Stopwatches (enough for half of the class)

--Paper (enough for each student to have his or her own)

--Pencils (enough for each student to have his or her own)

--One-minute fluency check sheet and fluency assessment check sheet (enough for each student)

 

Procedures:

1. Explain the importance of fluency.  Say: "Today we are going to talk about something called fluency.  Does anyone know what that means?" (allow time for student discussion.) "Having fluency means that someone has the ability to read quickly, correctly, and with expression.  When a reader has fluency, he or she is able to read faster and can better comprehend the material he or she has read."

 

2. Model for students the difference between fluent and nonfluent readers.  Say: "I am going to read to you twice.  Based on what we discussed about fluency, I want you decide which time I am reading fluently."  Read the quote the first time clearly and with expression: "The more that you read the more things you will know."  The second time, read slowly and with difficulty: "The [m][or] that you [r][ee][d] the [m][or] [th][ing][s] you [w][i][l] [k][n][o]."  Allow students to reply which reading was fluent and why.  "Way to go.  The first reading was fluent because it was read quickly, easily, and with expression.  I will read it one more time with fluency so you know how to do it correctly."

 

3. Review strategies readers can use when they have difficulties.  Say: "Can anyone tell me what a reader does when he or she comes across an unfamiliar word?"  Allow students time to discuss what strategies they use and what works best.  "The first step is called decoding.  That means the reader should uncover letters slowly to see how to say the word.  The second step is called crosschecking.  A reader should finish the sentence to see if the word makes sense, and if it does not, change to the word to fit the sentence.  The third and final step is to reread the sentence.  Start the sentence over to get back into the story."  The teacher should then model these strategies.  "I am going to read a sentence and get stuck on a word.  Watch and listen closely as I try to find the correct word."  Teacher reads: "The more that you���[r][e][d], the more things you will know.  Hmmm, that does not sound right, how about read? The more that you read the more things you will know."

 

4. Allow students to practice fluency.  Say: "I am going to give each of you one partner.  You and your partner may find a place in the classroom to sit together.  I am going to give each of you a strip of paper with a sentence that is different from that on your partner's."  Give each partnership two strips of paper.  One should say "The more that you read the more things you will know."  The other should say "The more that you learn the more places you will go."  Explain to students that "One way to become a fluent reader is to read the same text over and over.  I want you and your partner to read each of your strips a few times until you are reading it fluently.  Then switch strips with your partner and read the new strip until you are both reading with fluency.  I will be walking around to observe you and partner reading fluently."

 

5. Have students practice fluency.  Say: "Now we are going to practice our fluency with poetry.  I am going to give you and your partner copies of the same poem.  I am going to read the poem once out loud and I want you to read it in your head.  Then we will all read the poem together.  Have you ever thought about all of the things and thoughts that words can express?  This poem talks about all of the things we can do with words." (Teacher reads "Alphabet Stew" while students follow along and read it in their heads then students and teacher read it aloud together.)  "Now I want you and your partner to practice reading the poem back and forth until you are both reading it fluently.  I will be walking around the room to observe you and your partner."

 

6. Students practice timed reading.  Say: "Now that I have seen most of you read your poem, I want you and your partner to take turns timing each others' readings." (Give each partnership a stopwatch.) "I want you to keep track of your own times on your piece of paper.  Remember to alternate, switching who reads and who times each time.  You may not time yourself."

 

7. Students practice using one-minute reads.  Say: "Now we are going to read a new poem.  It is a little bit more challenging, but I know that you guys can handle it.  Let's take turns like we did before when we practice reading it fluently with a partner.  This poem is about the different way we think about words.  Do you have a favorite word?  Have you ever heard a word that you do not really like?  Let me read this poem to you so we can hear and see some of these words." (Give students "Feelings About Words.")

 

8. Fluency assessment.  Say: "Now that you guys have had time to practice this new poem, I am going to let you and your partner come read it to me.  I will time you while you read and tell you when to stop.  After you have read to me I would like you and your partner to go back to your place in the room and practice reading fluently with a book of your choice."  (Teacher has each partnership come and read individually to him or her while using either one-minute check sheet or fluency assessment check sheet to check fluency.)

 

One-Minute Read

Trial

WPM (correct/total)

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

Fluency Assessment

 

Satisfactory

Needs more practice

Remembered more words

 

 

Read faster

 

 

Read smoother

 

 

Read with expression

 

 

Reference

 

Dr. Bruce Murray. One-minute fluency check sheet and fluency assessment check sheet.

 

Dr. Seuss. Reading quote on paper strips.

 

Hannah Paxton, "Quickening the Pace with Poetry"

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/projects/paxtongf.html

 

O'Neill, Mary. "Feelings About Words." The Random House Book of poetry for Children: A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today's Child. New York: Random House, 1983.

 

Prelutsky, Jack. "Alphabet Stew." The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today's Child. New York: Random House, 1983.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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