Growing Independence and Fluency: Fluent Mummies
By: Emily Childs
Rationale: Learning to decode needs to be broken up so children can also practice fluent reading. Fluent reading encourages sight word recognition and turns reading into an effortless process over time with practice. This lesson focuses on strategies such as crosschecking, repeated readings, and partner timing to increase reading fluency.
Stopwatches for each pair of students
Graphs for each student to chart their WPM reading progress
Reader response form
Class set of Mummies in the Morning (Magic Tree House #3)--chapter 2 (p.9-16)
1. Explain the activity:
Say: Today we are going to work on reading just like we talk. This means we need to read fast so it comes out at a talking speed and is smooth. This makes the story more interesting and the words are easier to understand when we practice this skill.
2. Model fluent and non-fluent reading
Say: I'm going to read a portion of the story and I want you to show me the number of fingers, one or two, of which reading you preferred listening to. (1) Jack and Annie lo-oked, looke-d, looked out the window. The tree house was /per-ch-ed/. Hmmm. The tree house was perched? Perched makes more sense that /per-ch-ed/. Let me reread that sentence so I can remember the story: The tree house was perched on the top of a palm tree. There are some words I am struggling with, but when I look back at what the sentence says, I can figure out what it means more easily. (2) Let me try this passage again. Jack and Annie looked out the window. The tree house was perched on the top of a palm tree.
Raise your hand and show me with your fingers if you liked listening to the first time I read or the second time better? What made the second time sound better? All of the words were figured out so I didn't have to stop to read them. That is where our smooth reading practice will help us become better readers. This is what we are going to practice today.
3. Review a strategy
Say: Does anybody know what strategy I just used when I was reading the first time? Yes, I was crosschecking. This means I looked back at the sentence I just read and made sure it would make sense with the words I just read. IF the sentence was confusing with the word I chose, I might not have chosen the correct sounds for that word. In that case, I would need to try another pronunciation so the sentence is correct and my partner can understand what I am reading to them.
4. Practice together
Say: Let's practice the next two lines together with a choral reading. "The tree stood with the other palm trees. A patch of green surrounded by a sandy desert." I heard a few of you stumble over the word 'surrounded' and desert', but you did a great job of rereading the sentence and checking that the words made sense.
5. Motivate to read
Say: Before you jump into reading this chapter, I want to tell you what had happened in the story so far! Jack and Annie go on adventure to different times and places with the help of their magic tree house and a mystery friend. In this chapter, they have just arrived in a new place and must figure out where they are! This is an exciting and scary adventure so work on reading it fluently and smoothly so your partner can keep up with the story!
6. Explain the new procedure for paired reading practice
Write the steps you are about to talk about on the board so the students have a point of reference.
Say: Here is what we are going to do next to work on reading slowly and fluently with a partner.
Pair up with your assigned reading buddy and one of you will grab two Partner Reading Progress checklists. The other partner will count all of the words in the chapter and mark it at the top of the checklist form.
Take 3 turns reading the chapter to each other. When your partner is reading, use the stopwatch to time how long it takes to finish the chapter. This is not a race, but a way we can work on improving your time each chance you reread.
The listening partner will also mark how many mistakes their partner made when reading aloud. Next time when your partner reads aloud, see if they miss few words because they have practiced seeing these words in the book's context. You will make tallies (show an example on the board).
Then do a subtraction problem for the total number of words minus the number of tallies for each reading. The numbers goes on this line: ______ Words in _____ seconds.
After the three repeated readings, answer the two questions at the bottom of the progress sheet about the smoothest read and the read with the least number of mistakes.
Once all of the readings are done between you are your partner, you may discuss the reader response questions and write your answer on a piece of paper to turn in.
Next, turn in your checklist and response paper and then graph your words and seconds on the chart at the front of the classroom. (Remind the students to make a small circle and fill-it-in as it has been done in the past.) This will help us complete our fluency poster in the classroom.
Grades for this activity are as follows:
Followed directions for completed forms: +1
Improved in speed: +2
Improved in accuracy: +2
Answered all 4 questions with complete sentences: +2
Answers are accurate and appropriate: +2
Correctly graphed their WPM: +1
Total points = 10
Growing Independence Example Design:
Osborne, Mary Pope. Mummies in the Morning. Random House, c 1993.
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