Zoom into Fluency!

Shana Zink

Growing Independance and Fluency



           Fluent reading is a very important element in reading.  Fluent reading allows for automatic word recognition which leads to faster pace reading with more expression. Repeated reading of text improves children’s word recognition, fluency, and comprehension. A great way to improve reading is to read and reread decodable words in connected text. The goal of this lesson is to help students increase their fluency by reading and rereading text to become familiar with it. Throughout this lesson, students will learn that fluency helps them gain more meaning and understanding from the text. By having the students read and reread decodable words in connected texts, students will gain automatic word recognition which will aid students in their journey toward becoming fluent readers.


Speed Reading Record Sheet for each student

Fluency Literacy Rubric for each student

Stopwatches for groups of students




Colored Popsicle sticks for each child

2 Googly Eyes per child

Cushman, Shelia. Kite Day at Pine Lake. (1990) Educational Insights. Carson,  CA

Speed Reading Record Sheet:

Name: ________________________________       Date: ___________________

First time: __________________

Second time: ________________

Third time: _________________


 Fluency Literacy Rubric:

Name: ____________________ Evaluator: _________________Date: ___________

I noticed that my partner

After 2nd         After 3rd         

Remembered more words                 _______          _______

Read Faster                                       _______          _______

Read Smoother                                  _______          _______

Read with expression                        _______          _______


1.                                 I will introduce the lesson by explaining that we have been working hard to become expert decoders and now we want to become fluent readers. "Good Morning everyone, today we are going to work on our reading fluency. Did you know that reading a story several times helps us improve fluency? Fluent readers read fast and are able to read the words without having to decode them. Today we are going to read a story three times and each time we are going to work on improving our speed."

2.                                " First, let’s think of a strategy that we can use to help us figure out a word that we do not know while we are reading. A helpful tool that we use is a Cover-up Critter."  The teacher will show the class a cover-up Critter and provide them the materials to make one of their own.) "Let’s see how we could use our critter to help us read this word (write the word patch on the board). I am reading and I come to this unfamiliar word, patch. There is only one way to figure out what this word is. I start by using my critter to cover-up all the letters except for the short a. I remember that long a=/a/, Next, I am going to look at the letters in front of the a. I see p=/p/ like popcorn. I would say each sound and then blend them together. /pa/. Now blend the short vowel with the phoneme /t/. (at) Then blend the letters at the end of the word (ch) with the rest of the letters to make /p/a/t/ch/.  When you see a word that you don't know how to read, use the cover-up strategy to help you decode the word."


3.                                 "Now, I am going to model fluent reading.  I am going to write the following sentence on the board: The dog was chasing me as I rode my bike.  Now, I want you to listen to me model the way that a non-fluent reader would read this sentence. The- dog- was- chasing- me- as- I- rode- my- bike. Did you notice I read it very slowly?" I will ask the children if that sounded like the way a fluent reader would read. They should recognize that it was hard to understand and very choppy. The students should also notice that the teacher was decoding words, reading very slowly, and did not flow together smoothly. I will then explain "When you read with fluency, you put together chunks of sentences and read with expression. Now I will model reading with flueny. The dog was chasing me as I rode my bike. Did you all notice that when I read with fluency, I pronounced my words closer together and read them immediately? By practicing and rereading you will develop fluency and be able to read with more expression."

4.                              Give the children copies of the book Kite Day at Pine Lake. "This book is a story about a bunch of children that love to fly kites. Bob does not have a kite and is upset. Do you think Bob will be able to fly kites with everyone? We will have to read the story to find out."  The children will read the story first and then will discuss the events in the book with the class.  After the students will be split into partners.


5.                                 Next, I will explain to the students about the Speed Reading Record Sheet and Fluency Literacy Rubric. "Everyone you and your partner will switch off being the reader and the other will be the recorder. The reader will read the book for one minute three different times. The recorder will start and stop a stop watch and will announce when it is the time to begin and end after the end of one minute. The recorder will also write down the number of words read in one minute on the record sheet. The reader will read three times and then you will change with your partner and do the other job."

6.                                 When students have finished recording the one minute read alouds, I will have them fill out a Fluency Literacy Sheet about their partner. The students will be encouraged to write positive comments. They will check the boxes on how the student performed on the 2nd and 3rd times reading the book for one minute.


                        I will have each student bring me their records. I will then have them do a one minute read with me to check their fluency and accuracy. While the one student is doing a one minute read, the rest of the class will be practicing their fluency through reading a book while sitting at their desk.


Cushman, Shelia. Kite Day at Pine Lake. (1990) Educational Insights. Carson,  CA

Murray, B Developing Reading Fluency. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

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