Reading is Fun!!!

Growing Independence and Fluency

By Emily Loyd

Rationale: Students need to be able to read fast, or have automatic word recognition. Decoding takes to long for students and can be frustrating so students need to read words by decoding, crosschecking and mentally marking words as they read to understand spellings. This lesson will direct them to do just that and how the student will know all the words as sight words are through repeated reading of the text, chart progress in paired partner reading and the motivation to reread.


Stopwatches for each pair of students

Fluency graphs for each child, whole punch for their effort

Class set of Home on the Highway

Fluency Checklist

Reader Response form

Reader Response                                                                  Name _____________

Directions: On a separate sheet of paper, answer each question with at least one complete sentence.

1.     What would you do if you were in Adam’s shoes?

2.     Would you have taken Adam on your trip if you were Jake?

3.     How else could this story have ended?

4.     Can you think of a better ending than the ending in Home on the Highway?



Explain the Activity

Say: Today you are going to learn how to read fast so you can read smoothly and it will come as natural as talking. When you are reading smoothly the story will become easier to understand.

Model Fluent Reading

Say: I am going to let you listen to me read first. I am going to read a short sentence twice. When I am done, I’ll take a vote on which time I sounded better or which time I read it smoother. (1) J-ake and A-d-a-m Adam were off the n-ext, next mor-ning, morning. The truck pull-ed, pulled into the /turn pick/. The truck pulled into the turn pick. (Oh turnpike sounds better than turnpick. I am having trouble with some of these new words so I have to finish the sentence to figure out what makes sense in the sentence. A-dam, Adam /locked/ around the cab. (locked around the cab? Oh looked) (2) Let me read the sentence again.  Jake and Adam were off the next morning. The truck pulled into the turnpike. Adam looked around the cab.


(Ask for a show of hands) Who Liked listening to my first reading? How about the second reading? If the second reading sounded better to you, tell me why? That’s because I didn’t have to stop to figure out any of the words.

Review a Strategy

Say: Did you know that I was using a strategy called cross checking when I finished the sentence and came back to the word I was stuck on. I tried to read it first. It is very important that you try to read each word before you finish the sentence and then go back to the word.

Practice Together

Say: Let’s try reading the next line on the page together as a class. (Choral Read) There were snacks and soft drinks. I thought a heard a few of you trying to sound out drinks, but you used the rest of the sentence to figure it out.

Motivate to Read

Say: Before we go any further with our lesson let me tell you about this old truck driver and this young boy he has with him. By the cover you might think that it’s a story about a father and a son on a road trip. Raise your hand if that’s what you thought. That’s what I thought. But it is actually about a young boy whose dream is to travel and see the world. One day he is given the opportunity to ride to the West coast with a truck driver something happens on their journey. Let’s read to find out what happens.

Explain the new procedure for paired practice

While explaining write the directions on the white board in front of your students. Write it so all can see and remind them to look up here if they need to.

Say: Here’s what you are going to do next:

Pair up with a reading buddy. One of the buddies needs to come get Partner Reading Progress checklists and two reader response forms from my desk, then return to your reading places. While one buddy is doing this, the other one will count all the words in this chapter and put that number at the top of your checklist forms.

Take three turns reading the chapter to each other. While one reads, the other will use the stop watch to time your partner’s readings.

Also pay close attention to how many mistakes your partner makes each time. Make tallies like this (show line tally method on the board ///) for each mistake.

Then do a subtraction problem the total number of words minus the number of tallies for each reading. That number goes on this line: _____ Words in _____ seconds.

After getting some progress measures figured out, answer the two questions on the progress form about which turn was the smoothest and which had the fewest errors.

When you are done timing each other, you can discuss the answers to the reader response questions. We will go over your answers in a little while.

Then each of you will write your answers on a separate sheet of paper back at your desks.

When you turn in our papers and checklists, I will give you a graph and three whole punches in your card. I will figure out your three rates and after putting your name at the top your whole punches will go in the time spaces to show your reading rates.

You will but your completed whole punch card on the front bulletin board on the fluency poster.


Grades are computed using a point system as follows:

Followed directions for completing forms

1 point possible

Improved in speed

2 points possible

Improved in accuracy

2 points possible

Answered 4 questions with complete sentences

2 points possible

Answers accurate/appropriate

2 points possible

Total Points

10 points
































Words per min















Sims, Matt. (2005). Home on the Highway. California: High Noon Books.

Lesson Design Resources:

Gerri Murray, Reading is a Breeze

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