"Race for Reading"

Keri Sweatt
Growing Independence and Fluency

Fluent readers must read consistently, fluently, accurately, and with emotion.  In order for the students to become fluent readers, we will work on reading speed by allowing students to listen to the teacher model how a fluent reader reads and by doing quick reads.


Stopwatches for each pair of students

Race car reading chart for each student (this includes a racecar trying to make its way down a drag strip. Each time a student reads, you move the car to the number of words they read in that minute) 

A copy of the book Fuzz and the Buzz  for each student


1. Now that we have learned all of our letter correspondences, it is time to become the best readers we possibly can.  In order to be the best readers, we have to try to make our books sound interesting and read without pausing very much.  This is called expression and fluency.  We are going to try to say all of our words with emotion and to read them very fast, without messing up.

2. I am going to read you all a sentence in two different ways, I want you to listen carefully and tell me which sentence sounds the best.  

Read one sentence sounding out each phoneme, short and choppy, and then read it again in a normal reading voice.  The cccaaattt hhhaaaddd a nnnaaappp iiinnn ttthhheee bbbaaaggg. Now here is the sentence a second time, The cat had a nap in the bag. I will read the sentence fluently by blending and articulating each phoneme. Which sentence sounded best?  That's right, the second one did.  That's because I read it the best that I could.

3. We are going to read a book called  Fuzz and the Buzz!  This is a story about a bear cub that gets into mischief and gets stung by a bunch of bees! Let's read and find out how gets out of the sticky situation! Allow each student to read the book to themselves.

4. Now, we are going to try to read this book even better and faster.  We are going to do something called quick reads.  We will read for a minute.  After we do that, we will count all of the words we read in that minute.  Then, we will move our racecar on our chart to that number of words.  We are going to try to get our race care all the way to the end of the drag strip.  Model for the children by setting a timer and reading for a minute.  Then, count the words and move your car accordingly.

5. Put the students in pairs and allow them to read while a partner times for a minute.  They will then count the words and move the cars.  Each reader will do this 4 times.

6. Assess the students by recording their first reading and comparing it with their last reading.  The students should have been able to read more words per minute during the last read.

Cushman, S (1990).  Fuzz and the Buzz.  Carson, CA:  Educational Insights.

Wright, Madelyn. Race for Reading.

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