Pedaling Our Way Into Fluency

Brittney Herring

Rationale: Fluent reading is reading in which words are recognized automatically.  With automatic word recognition, reading becomes faster, smoother, and often times children start to read with more expression. Beginning readers do not usually begin as fluent readers. This lesson will focus on repeated readings to help children develop fluency.



speed reading record for each student

partner check- sheet for each student

stop watches for each pair of students

pencils for students



cover-up creatures

Copies of the book for each student or pair of students: The Bike Ride by

Geri Murray

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 what a fluent reader is and why it is important for all boys and girls to be fluent readers. Boys and girls today we are going to work on our fluency. An easy way to think of fluency is thinking about riding a bike. If you ride to slow, the likelihood is your going to fall over and we don䴜t want that. If you ride to fast you might wreck because you lost control. So we want to pedal at a good speed so we can take in the scenery and not wreck or fall over. Fluency can help us read more easily and at an appropriate speed so we can focus on the meaning on what we read. Today we are going to read a story many times. Reading a story many times can help us with our fluency. I hope by doing this we can all read faster by the end of the day!
  2.   Now, I am going to model fluent reading for you boys and girls.  I want you to look at the sentence I am about to write on the board. I like to ride my bike to town.  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 a lot of expression.  The first time, I will read it slowly, without any fluency, I l llike t to rride my bbikke to ttown.  Now boys and girls did that sound like a fluent reader? Noooo!  Then, I will reread the sentence in a nonchoppy smooth way, I like to ride my bike to town. 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.  When I read with fluency, my reading became more understandable because I was able to automatically recognize the words and read them immediately. If we keep reading then it will help our fluency boys and girls!
  3. Boys and girls we have already learned the strategies called cover-ups.  When you are reading a sentence and come to a word you do not know first you use the cover-up strategy.  We will use the word bud for example.  (Using cover-up creature to model) Sound out the vowel, then the first consonants, and finally the ending consonants.  (/u/ . . .  /bu/ . . .  /bud/)  Then once you say the word read the whole sentence over again to see if it makes sense.
  4.  Now, I am going to give each student a copy of the book The Bike Ride.  Each student will then have a chance to read through the story before coming together with partners. But before they read it alone, I will give them a book talk. This story is about Nate who has been visiting Tim and Jan but lately, he has not been much fun.  Do you think Tim and Jan come up with a plan to get their friend away from the television and be more fun? We will have to read the story to find out more.  After the students finish reading, we will discuss the events of the story to check for comprehension..
  5. Next, the students will break up into their 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 while the partner listens.  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. Boys and girls 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.  Now im going to show you how to time your partner and mark your sheets. (I model timing and how to mark their sheets.)


  1. 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.


The Bike Ride by Geri Murray

Cadrette, Mallory. Super Speedy Racers!

Return to Voyages Index