Fun with Fluency!

Elizabeth Boshart

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  In order to become better readers, students must learn to read fluently.  Fluent readers are able to read with automatic word recognition, at a quick, smooth rate, and with expression.  Once students become fluent readers, their reading comprehension improves because they are no longer focusing on decoding words, and are instead focused on the meaning of the text.  Rereading is one strategy that will be used in this lesson that can help children to understand the meaning of the text.



1. Stopwatch

2. A Train Trip decodable text

3. Pencils

4. Time 1: _________ Time 2: __________

5. Copy of the sentence: Tommy ate ten chocolate donuts on Thursday.

6. Checklist              

      O               Read faster

      O               Read smoother

      O               Remembered more

      O               Read with expression



1.      Begin the lesson by explaining to students the importance of fluency.  Tell them how reading a story with fluency not only makes it easier to comprehend, but it also make reading more interesting.  Read the sentence, "It was a big day, Tim's friend Nate was coming on the train" (stopping to read each word).  Ask students if they understood what was just read to them.  Then, reread the sentence more smoothly and with correct expression.  Tell the students "Raise your hand if you could tell the difference in how the first sentence was read and how the second sentence was read."  Tell student how important fluency is and explain that it helps us with reading comprehension.  Tell students, "Rereading the text is a great way to help us comprehend more of what we are reading." 

2.     Model how to read a passage with more expression from A Train Trip.  "I am going to read a sentence to you in two different ways, one with fluency and one without." (Read the passage, "I can't wait! At last I can play with a boy the same age as me.  We can camp and play games"). First, read in a very monotone voice, pausing to sound out individual letters.  Then, tell students, "Now, I am going to read it in a smooth voice, using expression that helps portray the excitement that the boy is feeling."  Have students discuss what made the second reading sound better than the first.

3. "Now, let's read together with expression.  We are going to read the sentence, Now I will be late.  Tim will hate to wait!  I am going to be listening to make sure that everyone is reading with expression.  Listen to how I read the sentence, and then repeat after me."  Read the sentence with expression. Split the room in half and have one side read the passage, and then have the other side read. 

4.     "Now it's your turn to practice fluency with a partner. The first partner will read A Train Trip, while the second partner takes notes on their checklist, and then the second partner will read it."  They will each receive a checklist to take notes on. 

5.     After all students are finished reading the story, give them further instructions.  "You will do the same thing for the second and third time you read the story.  Your partner will also be using the checklist to see each time you read if you remembered more words, read faster, smoother, or with more expression.  Once you have read 2 times and your partner has recorded all the information, you will switch and record the information for them."

6.     For the assessment, I will call the students back one by one and hand them a copy of A Train Trip.  I will ask them to read the story to me while I keep a running record.  Once they read the story, I will calculate their words per minute using wordsx60/seconds.  I will then give students a score from 1-3 (1 being poor and 3 being great) to rate how they read with expression during the story.


Murray, Geri. A Train Trip. Reading Genie.

Warren, Sara.  Fly into Fluent Reading.

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