Let's Learn to Read Successfully With Fluency!

Caroline Peek

Developing Reading Fluency


Developing Reading Fluency Design:  Let's Learn to Read Successfully With Fluency!

Rationale:  In this lesson, the learning goal is for the struggling reader is to broaden his/her sight vocabulary while developing reading fluency. Oftentimes, beginning readers become frustrated because they are trying so hard to decode unfamiliar words that they fail to comprehend and/or enjoy the text. However, as they gain more sight words and begin to decode unfamiliar words with fluency, they begin to enjoy the process of reading. The rationale and main goal of this lesson is for the reader to accomplish the fluency goal and read competently at an appropriate speed. The fluency goal, as mentioned on the Reading Genie website, is defined as "Read and Reread   Decodable Words in Connected Texts. As the instructor, I want the student to have appropriate practice with repeated reading; therefore, he/she is not consistently guessing from contextual clues.

Materials: Motivating graph/chart that will be used to visually mark progress, copies of the following two excerpts that will be used for repeated reading:  The Little Blue Engine from Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends and the decodable text book titled Race for Cake by Geri Murray, a handheld timer for the one-minute readings, the checklist that I will complete while the learner reads aloud


Int1. Introduce the lesson by telling the student that we are going to be working on reading fluency. I will then explain what reading fluency is, and how we will be working on it. For example: "If I were to read something with fluency, I would decode words very quickly. I would not pause for a long time trying to figure out unfamiliar words. The words coming out of my mouth would flow smoothly. It also helps me when I read with fluency, because I actually understand what I am reading and the story makes sense to me!"

<!2. Next, explain how fluency is beneficial to readers of all ages. "I have had a lot of practice with reading, and I can now read almost everything fluently. This makes reading an enjoyable, fun activity for me. I want you to have the same joy and excitement that one feels when they read successfully! It is really fun, and today's activities will help you work towards becoming a fluent reader."

<  3.Introduce the motivating chart that will be constructed according to the child's interests. This chart will serve as a visual marker of the learner's progress. "Here is a chart that is going to be your reward system. I will move the chart as you improve throughout today's lesson! This will be a great way for you to see how much you are learning and moving in the right direction!"

<!4."We are going to be doing repeated readings today. This will help you to work on the amount of time it takes to successfully complete a reading. I don't want you to feel rushed or pressured while the timer is going, it is just going to help me keep track of your progress! I have two different pieces of literature that you are going to read for me today. You will read each of them two times. The reward chart will be for you to see your progress after repeating the reading, and I have made a checklist that I will use to help me mark how you are improving! Here is the checklist that I will be looking at while you read. (Go over each item on the list) These are the things that you should be working on today!"

<!5. Next, the instructor will introduce the Shel Silverstein poem. The teacher will model how to read it according to the checklist, so that the expectations will be clear. Then, the instructor will begin the activity… "First, I would like for you to read The Little Blue Engine. This poem is by one of my very favorite poets! I want you to read it once, the very best that you can. Don't worry if you see a word that you don't know right away. Do the best you can!" The instructor will time the first reading, and mark the words that the student reads incorrectly on his/her copy of the poem. The teacher will also check the checklist that has been created for this activity. After the reading is completed, the teacher will note the amount of time on the timer, and move the rewards chart. The rewards chart will be set up with the total number of words in the poem at the top, and decreasing towards the bottom. The teacher will tell the student how many words they read correctly out of the total number of words in the poem, and have the student move his/her reward chart. The above process will be repeated for the second reading of the poem. Ideally, the student will move the reward chart up, and see how reading things more than once is beneficial. It is an instant gratification to see one's progress.

<!6.For more practice, the teacher will introduce Race for Cake, which is a decodable book written on an appropriate level for a beginning reader who is working on fluency. It is a well designed book that will be effective in this lesson. The instructor will give a brief book talk that will peak the reader's interest in this story.

 For example, "This book is about two young boys. One day, they went swimming in the lake and one started to smell a yummy cake baking! The boys hopped out of the lake and began to race towards the wonderful smell. I wonder if they will make it in time? Will anybody get hurt along the way? You will have to read Race for Cake to find out!" 

Th7. The same processes will occur for Race for Cake as the previous poem. This second repeated reading should serve as reinforcement for the child that he/she is improving and becoming a more fluent reader. It is wonderful for children to immediately see their progress, especially when it comes to reading!




The little blue engine looked up at the hill.

His light was weak, his whistle was shrill.

He was tired and small, and the hill was tall.

And his face blushed read as he softly said,

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."


So he started up with a chug and a strain,

And he puffed and pulled with might and main.

And slowly he climbed, a foot at a time,

And his engine coughed as he whispered soft,

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."


With a squeak and a creak and a toot and a sigh,

With an extra hope and an extra try,

He would not stop-now he neared the top-

And strong and proud he cried out loud,

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"


He was almost there, when-CRASH! SMASH! BASH!

He slid down and mashed into engine hash

On the rocks below…which goes to show

If the track is tough and the hill is rough,

THINKING you can just ain't enough!



Rewards Chart


                                 REMEMBERED MORE WORDS                _______                                _______

                              IMPROVED SPEED                                       _______                                _______


                                 FLOWED AND READ SMOOTHLY            ________                               _______


                                 READ WITH EXPRESSION                         ________                              _______



Shel Silverstein's poetry book, Where the Sidewalk Ends


"Developing Reading Fluency" on the Reading Genie website



Geri Murray's decodable book, Race for Cake (also found on the Reading Genie site)


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