Growing Independence and Fluency
Ashley Ramsey

Rationale: Students become fluent by learning to read at a faster pace without mistakes.  Fluent readers should be able to read automatically with accuracy and use expression.  Fluency is developed through repeated and timed readings.  â€œHot Rod Readersâ€ will help students to become fluent readers by developing the skills they need to read automatically, accurately, and expressively.

Materials:

1. Copy of In the Big Top per student

2. Copy of In the Big Top for the teacher

3. Dry erase board and marker for each student

4. Stopwatch for each pair of students

5. Post-its

6. Pencil for each student

7. Cover-up critters for each student

8. Growth chart for each student *the chart is circus themed with a picture of a hot rod moving toward a circus tent.  Each time the student reads, they will record the number of words they can read in a given time period (chart is numbered from 0-50) and put a post-it above the number that matches the number of words they were able to read.  The goal is to the highest number possible so that you can be close to reaching the circus tent or â€œbig topâ€.  Each time the student reads they should get a higher number.

Procedure: 1. Teacher says to class "Today we are going to work on developing fluency.  Does anyone know what fluency is?  Fluency is when you are able to read fast without stopping to decode or sound out each word.  You are able to recognize the words as soon as you see them without struggling.  One way that we can work on fluency is by reading a book more than once.  Each time you read the book, you get faster because you are becoming more familiar with the text.  Today we are gong to practice fluency by reading a book more than once and recording the results of our exercise.â€

2. Teacher will model for the students how to read with fluency:  Teacher says to class, â€œWrite on the dry erase board the following sentence: The cat took a nap.â€ Teacher explains, "First, I am going to read the sentence without fluency (teacher struggles to decode the words).  â€œThe c-a-t t-o-o-k a n-a-p.â€  â€œNow I am going to read the sentence like a fluent reader would.â€ â€œThe cat took a nap.â€   â€œCan you hear the difference?â€  â€œListen as I read the sentence one more time.â€  â€œThe cat took a nap.â€  â€œThis time I read the sentence faster because it was the second time I read the sentence, it was familiar to me.â€

5. Teacher circulates around the classroom to listen to the pairs reading and to assist if needed.

Assessment: Teacher says to class, â€œWhen I call your name, come to my desk and show me your progress chart. I will go over your chart with you.  Then, I will ask you to read a page from In the Big Top.â€

The teacher will monitor fluency by taking miscue and comments on how automatic, accurate, and expressive the students' reading was.  After all of the students have come up, the teacher will ask the students to take out a sheet and paper and a pencil.  The instructor will do a quick comprehension check by asking the class to record their answers to the following questions:

1. How did they get to the Big Top?

2. Who had to fit in the hot rod before they could go?

3. Pop looks different from the rest of the characters, what is he dressed as?

References