Climbing to New Heights

Growing Independence and Fluency
Bridgett Wilson

Title: Climbing to New Heights

Rational: Beginning readers start out slow, but with practice they are able to read words automatic. Therefore, the students build up sight words and have to focus less time on decoding and more time comprehending the story. Fluent readers have the following characteristics: faster, more expressive, silent, and involuntary readings. Fluent readers love to read and would rather be doing that than almost anything else. The goal of this lesson is to help students start reading faster and more fluently. They will accomplish this by working on timed readings and rereads. The more practice one gets, the more fluent one becomes.


Lost on a Farm by Kathryn Lewis (class set)

Stop watch (one per two students)


Dry Erase Board

Dry Erase Marker

Dad lost his hat. (procedure 1)

Dad lost his hat and can not find it. (procedure 3)

Bulletin Board “Climbing to New Heights

-The trees are made to look like number lines and pictures of a monkey holding a book to move up/down tree to record progress.

-for recording students’ progress and open display of their achievement.


One minute read chart (view below)-several

            One Minute Chart

            Name: ______________ Date:_____________


            1st minute: ________

            2nd minute: _______

            3rd minute: ________


Fluency Chart (view below)-several

            Fluency Chart


Students’ portfolio

60 word passage out of Lost on a Farm.

Lined paper to record teacher’s reflection on students’ ability to read. (procedure 8)




1)      Introduce the lesson by telling the students that they are on their way to becoming fluent readers. What are fluent readers? That’s correct. Someone who reads fast and recognizes the words fast. Automatic is a one big word that means you recognize the words quickly. (Write the following sentence on the board “Dad lost his hat!”) When students begin to read they usually read slowly. It would sound like this Ddddaaaadddd llllloooosssssttttt hhhhiiiiiissss hhhhhaaaaaat. Then we they reread the sentence it would sound like this Dddaadd- Dad lllooossst-lost his hhhaaat-hat. The students are caught up with decoding and then repeat words that they do not recognize. If a beginning reader knows all the words automatically, what does automatic mean again? Yes, recognize words quickly. The student might sound like a robot because they are not reading with expression. We are going to become fluent readers and we are going to sound like this “Dad lost his hat!” We are going to be able to do this because we going to practice. Practice will make us faster at reading books we have read before, and also books we have never seen. Who’s ready to read fluently?

2)      We will review reading strategies. Does anyone remember why we use our cover-up critters? Correct, we use them when we are stuck on a word we do not know how to read. But how? We would start by covering up all consonant letters (Demonstrate this example on the board: lost; cover-up l, s, t). Now, all we have is the vowel o and o says /o/. What is next? That’s right; we add the consonant letter that comes before the vowel, blending the letters together (/l/o/). Then after that, we blend the last two letters /s/t/ and add them after the vowel to make /l/o/s/t/. Now, that everyone knows how to use cover-ups we will be able to read any word.

3)      “Understanding is important for everyone who reads because it helps them explain to other people what is happening in the story. We must focus on reading fast and also understanding what we read. What reading strategy can we use? Cross-checking; Way-To-Go! We cross-check to make sure our sentences make sense. Here is an example, if I read (write sentence on the board) “Dad lost his hat and cannot find it” as “Dad last his hat and cannot find it”, then I could use my cross-checking skills to see that my sentence does not make sense. I would reread the sentence as it was supposed to be read “Dad lost his hat and cannot find it”.”

4)      “Everyone get with your reading partners and take out Lost on a Farm. I will be handing out fluency rubric and one-minute read charts.” After everyone is in partners and have all material I will give the following book talk. “Little Duck is lost on a farm. All he wants is to find his mother, but he does not know where to look. He meets several other animals while on the farm, can they help Little Duck find his mother. We will have to read to find out!”

5)      “Each partner will take turns reading, the partner that is not reading will use a stop watch to record the number of words(on the One Minute Chart) the reader reads in one minute, two minutes, and three minutes.” The person reading first will do the same for his/her partner. “Together you will go over to the bulletin board, “Climbing to New Heights”, and move your monkeys (climbing the banana tree) to the number which represents the most words you read per minute.”

6)      After the book has been read by both students, they will reread the book. “This is where we are practicing to become fluent readers, boys and girls. We have all read Lost on a Farm once, now we are going to read it again. Partners do not forget to record how well the second reading went on the fluency chat.” Partners will switch places. Allow this to continue until each student has read the book three times.

7)      Students will tell about their experiences of reading the book the first, second, and third time. They can also share improvements on one minute reads.


Assessments:I will collect and analyze the student’s fluency chart and one minute reads for fluency improvement. For assessment, I will call each student up to my desk to read a passage out of Lost on a Farm. The passage will be 60 words. I will assess how fast they read by timing the read and recording the student’s progress. The students will have two more chances to reread the text and improve their reading scores. This documentation should be placed in the students’ portfolio so it can be referred to next time the test is administered. As a whole, the class will discuss what happened to Little Duck that day on the farm. This can assess, orally, whether or not the students understood their reading. 



Lewis, Kathryn. Lost on a farm. Saxon Publishers, Inc. 8 pages.

Murray, Bruce. Developimg Reading Fluency.

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