Deep into Reading

Growing Independence and Fluency Design

Brooke Whitlock



          It is important for children to reach the highest level of comprehension in reading.  In order to do this, they must be fluent readers.  When a person is a fluent reader, he/she is able to read a text smoothly, more quickly, and with much more expression than someone who is still spending time decoding words.  In order to reach a level of fluent reading, a student must repeatedly read texts while being timed.  This means that they will do one minute reads, or another appropriate time.



Sentence strips that say:

Sally is sitting in her desk quietly.

Sally wants to go outside and play.

The Deep Sea book (Sound Out Chapter Books) (one for each student)

Timer/stopwatch (one for each group)

Speed Reading Fluency Checklists


Name of Reader: _______________________


Name of Partner: _______________________


          # of words read 1st time: ___________


          # of words read 2nd time: __________


          # of words read 3rd time: ___________


Did my partner:


Read smoothly?                                          ( )


Read faster?                                                         ( )


Remember what he/she was reading?                   ( )



1.       Teacher says:  Today we are going to talk about the importance of becoming fluent readers.  A fluent reader is someone who can read smoother without stopping between words.  As we become more fluent, the more we will be able to understand what we are reading.  We won���t ever have to stop and sound out words.  In order for you to become a more fluent reader, you must read books more than once.  Then, we are going to time you reading those books.  The more you read a book, the more familiar you are going to become with that book.


2.       Teacher says: I am going to show you how a reader who is not fluent would read.  (Tape sentence strips to the board.)  A student who is not a fluent reader would read the first sentence like this:  Sssaaaally is sitttttinnnng in heeer deeessssk quiiieeeetlyyyy .  A fluent reader would read the same sentence like this: Sally is sitting in her desk quietly.  Could you tell a difference between the two readers?  Which reader do you think is better?  That���s right! The fluent reader is better.  If we read faster and smoother, it is easier for us to remember what we have read.  Now, I want you to listen to be read a different sentence:  Sally wants to go outside and play.  Did I read that sentence like a fluent reader or a non-fluent reader?  That���s right!  I was acting like a fluent reader because I read it smoothly. 


3.       Teacher says:  Now, we are going to read the book The Deep Sea.  This book is about two boys named Bill and Dace, and their boat that is named The Rip Tide.  One day when Bill and Dave are out sailing on the sea, they look into the water and think that they see a seal.  It turns out that it is actually a log, and if they hit it the boat might sink!  What are Bill and Dave going to do so that they don���t sink?   We are going to read to practice our fluency, and find out what happens to Bill and Dave.  Remember when you are reading, you might come upon an unfamiliar word and that���s okay.  Who can tell me what it is we need to do if we come to a word we don���t know?  Good job!  We aren���t going to skip the word.  Instead, we will sound out the word.  Then, we will cross-check to make sure the word fits into the rest of the sentence.  Finally, we will re-read the sentence to make sure we understand what it is trying to tell us.  Now, let���s get into our groups and practice reading fluently!


4.       Once students get into their groups, I will pass out the Fluency Checklists.  Explain to students how to use the checklists.  Teacher says:  We are going to see how much we can read in one minute.  This will help us practice fluency.  Each of you are going to do a one minute readings three times. When you are not reading, you are going to follow along with your partner to see if they read smoothly, faster, and with expression.  It is also important to see if they remember what they read.  If your partner does all of these things, then put a check mark in the box on the checklist. Also, every time that you read you are going to record the number of words you read in one minute on your checklist.  If you need help writing on your fluency checklist, raise you hand and I will come help you.



In order to measure each child���s success, I am going to have each child read a portion of The Deep Sea to me again.  I will take notes on how smoothly the child reads and the number of words he/she reads correctly and incorrectly.  I will compare how they perform for me to their results on the fluency checklist.  This will allow me to see what steps we need to take after this.




Adams, M.J. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print.  Center for the study off Reading and the Reading ̢����Research and Education Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Montgomery, Morgan ��� Take the Fluency Test With Henry and Mudge!


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