Leaping into Fluency

Growing Independence in Fluency



By Megan Ledbetter




In order to become a better reader, children need to read fluently. Children do not only read the words in the book they need to understand what they are reading. Fluent readers recognize words automatically and read with expression. After students recognize the words they read automatically they begin to comprehend what they are reading.




The book-Days of Frog and Toad (copy for each group)

Stopwatch (one for each group)

Sentence strip of example sentence: The little green frog jumped off the lily pad into the water.

One minute reading chart (one for each group)

One Minute Reading Chart


Name of Partner:

First Read: ____________ Words Read

Second Read: ___________ Words Read

Third Read: _____________ Words Read


Fluency rubric (attached)

Name of Partner:

Did my partner read smoothly?         Yes  or  No

Did my partner read faster?               Yes or No

Did my partner comprehend?             Yes or No

Did my partner read with expression?  Yes or No


1.  Say: Today we are going to learn how to become a fluent reader. Does anybody know what makes a reader fluent? Okay a fluent reader reads words automatically, reads with expression and reads at a quick pace. Also to be a fluent reader you have to comprehend what you read.

2. Say: There are times when we are reading and we do not know a word, do we skip it? No! If you come to a word you do not know sound out the word and then crosscheck to see if the word makes sense in the sentence. When you figure out the word re-read the sentence to understand what the sentence is telling you. I am going to show you an example of a fluent reader and a non-fluent reader. I will place the sentence strip on the whiteboard. The sentence on the strip is The little green frog jumped off the lily pad into the water. Thhhee lllittle ggreeen fffrrooog juuuumpped ooofff ttthee lliillly pppaadd intoooo thhhe wwwattteeer. Is that the fluent way to read a sentence? No. Now I am going to read the sentence the way a fluent reader reads. The little green frog jumped off the lily pad into the water. Do you think it is easier to understand something you read as a fluent reader or a non-fluent reader? Right, it is easier to comprehend what you have read if you are a fluent reader. If you read a sentence and have to sound every word out you will be studying how to say the word instead of what the sentence is actually saying.


3.  Say: So the book we are going to read in our groups today is Days with Frog and Toad. The book, Days with Frog and Toad is about two good friends, Frog and Toad. The book follows all the adventures and fun things they do. Some of the things they get into are flying kites, celebrating Toad's birthday and one of them tells a scary story. So to see what kind of adventures Frog and Toad go on you have to read to find out!


4. I will explain to the students about the one minute reading chart and the fluency rubric. Say: Now I am going to pair you with a partner. One of you will be the recorder and the other the reader. The reader will read the book for one minute three different times. The recorder will keep up with how many words the student reads in a minute and start the stopwatch at the beginning and stop it at the end. After the first reader has read three times the reader will swap with the recorder.


5. After all the students are finished I will pass out the literacy rubric and explain that this is for me and this is to help your partner. The students will circle the correct answers and be honest about their answers.



I will assess the students by having them re-read a portion of the book, Days of Frog and Toad. I will take notes and keep up with how many words were read correctly and incorrectly, how smooth they read and if they read with any expression. I will compare my notes to the student's checklist and see what needs to be worked on for that student to become a better fluent reader.



 Lobel, Arnold (1984). Days of Frog and Toad. New York. Harper & Row.

Pickelsimer, Caitlin. "Fluent Reading with Frog and Toad."


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