Third Time’s the Charm

Reading for Fluency

Amanda Shankles



To read fluently, a student must read quickly, smoothly, and expressively. Word Recognition needs to be automatic during reading. If word recognition is automatic, reading is more enjoyable and comprehension is being focused on more. In order to become automatic in word recognition, students should read and re-read connected decodable texts. The more a student reads a specific text, the more fluent they become. In this lesson, students will learn how to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively in order to gain fluency.  Students will do this through repeated and timed readings.



  1. “Today class, we are going to learn how to become more fluent readers. Fluent means faster. When we learn to read faster, we are able to enjoy reading more as well as focus on what the words are actually telling us.”
  2. Hold up a board with a sentence saying, My dog likes to dig in the grass. “I’m going to read this sentence twice. At the end, I would like someone to raise their hand and tell me what is different. M-y dog l-i-k-es to dig in the g-r-a-ss. Okay, now I’m going to read it faster. My dog likes to dig in the grass. Who can tell me what was different about the two times?” Call on a student. “Thanks right. And the second time was easier to understand.”
  3. Split the class into groups of 2. Each student will have a fluency chart and pencil. Each group will have a book. “In your groups you are going to read to each other. Choose someone to read first. The first person will read the book aloud to their partner. The other partner will be the time keeper. After reading aloud once, you need to read it silently 2 times. After reading silently, read aloud again and have your partner time again. Record each of your times on the sheet. See how much faster you were able to read.”
  4. Once the first reader is done, change jobs and repeat the process.
  5. Have students come back together as a group and discuss some of the outcomes of the reading and re-reading.


Have students turn in time sheets and look at improvements of the timed readings. If no improvement, have those students read aloud to me to see what they are struggling with.


Fuzz and the Buzz. Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Educational Insights.

Battles, Ellen. 1, 2, 3, Blast Off. (2007)

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