It’s a Fluency Party!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Sarah Jane Brock

Rationale: One of the primary goals of reading instruction is for students to comprehend the text and to read automatically. In order for students to become fluent readers, they must be able to read words quickly, smoothly, and with expression. In order for students to increase their automaticity they will need to practice reading and rereading text. Reading practice among students will result in their increased reading achievement/ fluency. This lesson is designed to give students repeated readings of texts in order to become more fluent readers. It is also designed for them to have not only teacher/student help but peer help as well.


- Speed Reading Record (shown below)

- Partner Check-sheet (shown below)

- Critter Cover-ups- Popsicle with eyes to represent a little critter

- Stop watches

- Pencils with students

- Whiteboard

- Copies of book, The Barn Party


Speed Reading Record:

       Name: _________________________            Date: ___________


                        - After 1st read            _______

                        - After 2nd read           _______

                        - After 3rd read            _______

Partner check- sheet:

Name: ________ Partner: ______________ Date: _________

I noticed that my partner... (Check the circle)

After 2nd           after 3rd

( )                     ( )                     Remembered more words

( )                     ( )                     Read faster

( )                     ( )                     Read smoother

( )                     ( )                     Read with expression



1. I will start the lesson by explaining to students what being a fluent readers means and why it is important that students are fluent readers. In addition, they must remember what they have read in order to interpret the meaning of the text. "Today we are going to practice reading with speed and accuracy; this helps us become more fluent readers. Reading a story many times helps us to become fluent readers. It is important that we learn to read fluently so that we can read things easily and with an appropriate speed, this allows us to be able to focus on the meaning of the words we are reading."

2. I will then go over the cover-up technique with the students. I will remind them how we use or critter cover-up and how it helps us decode words we do not know. I will write the word chicks on the board.  Using my cover-up critter, I am going to model how to decode a word. "If I do not know what this word is, this is what I would... I cover up everything but the i, (cover up all other letters)."  Cover up all the letters except the i and sound out the short i=/i/ sound.  “Then I am going to look at the letters leading up to the vowel, ch=/ch/. "Lastly, I would look at the end of my word and blend the last sounds with my chunk. So ck=ck, so with ch-i-ck you read chick. "Now when you come across a tough word, you can use your cover- up critter."

3. Now, I am going to model fluent reading.  I am going to write the following sentence on the board: "Lad wants to come to the barn party." "Now, I want you to listen to me model the way that a fluent reader should read.  When you read with fluency, you put together chunks of sentences and read with expression. I am going to write the same sentence on the board so that you can follow along with me." The first time, I will read it slowly, without fluency, “Lad-wants-to-come-to-the-barn-party.” I will ask the children if that sounded like the way a fluent reader would read. They should recognize that it was hard to understand and very choppy. Then, I will reread the sentence in a smooth, expressive manner, "Lad wants to come to the barn party." Then, I will explain to the students that the reason it was hard to understand the non-fluent sentence is because the words were all chopped up and did not flow together to make sense.

4. Now, I am going to give each student a copy of the book, The Barn Party. They will each read it once through and then get partners for a time reading. "This book is about how Nate has been visiting Tim and Jan but lately, he is not much fun.  Can Tim and Jan come up with a plan to get their friend away from the television?" After I give them some motivation to want to find out what happens they will read the book and we will discuss the events of the story.

5. Next, the students will break up into partners and I will give each group a stopwatch and each child a Partner Check -Sheet and Speed Reading Record.  Each child will read the book three times.  The listener will time each reading and give a report after the second and third readings.  They will record the times of each reading on the Speed Reading Record. No criticism or advice is allowed.  The child simply marks on the evaluation sheet. So therefore there are no hurt feelings. Then I will explain to the students that, "with your partner, you will read the book three times.  Your partner will time each reading and record the time on your Speed Reading Record. After the second and third readings, you will mark the evaluation sheet.  You may look at the times to determine if your partner is reading faster each time."


 The students will each bring me their Speed Reading Record and partner checklist. I will perform one-minute reads with each child to check for fluency and accuracy, noting their miscues.  The one-minute reads will let me see how many words the child is reading a minute as well as how much automaticity is developed. Finally, I will ask a few comprehension questions to ensure that they did not speed read through the material and to see that they actually understood the story. 


Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency

Tamra Swindall, “Speedy Readers” http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/inroads/swindallgf.html

The Barn Party by Geri Murray Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html

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