Worming Our Way Through Speedy Reading

Elise Schupp

Growing Independence and Fluency



Reading with fluency is reading at a faster pace, smoother, and with expression. To become fluent readers, students must first be able to decode words in the text they read. Decodable books must be read multiple times in order for students to gain fluency. This lesson encourages students to practice reading decodable books quickly and smoothly.  In this lesson, we will work on gaining fluency through repeated reading and one-minute reads. All of these activities provide practice to help increase fluency.



sentence strip with ''The cat got a hat.''

class set of  Chuck and Chad decodable books

laminated (reusable) Speedy Reading sheets and laminated worms for marking number, one for each student




1.)  I will first explain what fluency is and what we are going to do today: ''Today we are going to discuss something called fluency.  Does anyone know what being a fluent reader means?

''Very good! It means learning to read easily, with expression and with a good speed! To become fluent readers, though, you have to practice.''

''First, I am going to show you the difference between a fluent and non-fluent reader.  I am going to read this sentence that is on the board first without fluency:

''Th-e c-a-t g-o-t a h-a-t.  How did that sentence sound?  I bet it wasn't very fun to listen to because I read it so slowly.  Let me try it again, this time smoother and faster. The cat got a hat.  Reading is easier to understand when it is fast and smooth. Now you see how important being a fluent reader is! Reading fluently can be hard, that is why we have to practice.  When you get to a word you do not know, remember you can cross check to figure out the tricky word, use your cover up critter or figure out the vowel sound first and then put together the rest of the word.''

2.)  Now it's your turn to try.  Each of you will get a copy of Chuck and Chad to read.  Chuck and Chad are animals.  They are both very hungry and are looking for food.  To find out if they get to eat a meal together, you'll have to read all the way to the end of the book.  When you get your book, I want you to practice reading the book to yourself.  Practice it many times because in a few minutes we will pair up and a friend will time your reading.''  Students spread out in classroom and read and reread Chuck and Chad.

3.)  Once the class has had a few minutes to read and reread Chuck and Chad, I will pair up students and explain to them that one of them will be the "reader", while the other is the "recorder."  Once the first person has read, they will switch jobs. I will explain that I am going to be the timer and I will watch the clock and stop the reader after one minute goes by.  When one minute is up, the reader will put their finger on the last word they read and the recorder will count how many words the reader read and the reader will mark it on their Speedy Reading Sheet using the laminated worm marker.  Now they will switch roles and the recorder will now become the new reader.

4.)  Allow the students to repeat this 3 more times so you can average the results, marking each read on the Speedy Reading sheet.

5.)  After the class has finished their one-minute reads, I will read the entire book to the children so they will know how it ends and what fluent reading of a book sounds like. We will discuss it and then talk about how listening to it read fluently makes it more enjoyable to listen to and easier to understand.

6.)  Assessment:  The teacher will look at how many words each student read in one minute.  Also, teacher can have children do this lesson over with another book, maybe a more challenging decodable text, to see where their level of fluency is.



Daughtry, Sarah.  Speed Reading Is Fun! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/projects/daughtrygf.html


Gluckman, Amanda.  Where Are The Wild Things? Reading Fluently! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/projects/gluckmangf.html


Chuck and Chad. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/teacherbooks.html


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