Crosschecking Crocodiles

Design for Growing Independency and Fluency

Haley Barnes


Rationale: One vital component of reading and reading comprehension is reading with fluency. To read with fluency means to read with automatic word recognition. When readers can recognize words effortlessly and automatically, they can work full time at getting the message of the text, resulting in drastic improvements in reading comprehension. This lesson was designed to help readers become more fluent by through repeated readings and timed readings.  With this lesson, students will be able to read texts smoothly, quickly and with expression, thus improving fluency.



-         Book Toad and Frog are Friends

-         timer/stopwatch for each pair

-         fluency checklist (one for each student)

-         pencils and paper

-         Worksheet (for short u assessment)

-       cover up critter (decorated Popsicle stick with googley eyes on the end for each student)

-       fluency chart (one for each student)



1.     Begin the lesson by saying "Okay class, today we will be learning about how to become fluent readers. Does anyone know what the word fluent means? (Wait for response). When we are fluent readers, we are able to recognize words automatically, which means we don't have to stop our reading to analyze each word. To be a fluent reader means we begin to read quickly, smoothly and with expression. When we have fluency while we read, we are better able to comprehend what we read, making our reading more pleasant. Also, when we read out loud to others and our reading is fluent, our stories are more enjoyable for others."

2.     Say: Now let's look at the sentence written on the board: Let's take a hike or ride our bikes. Listen as I read aloud the sentence and tell me if I sound like a fluent reader or not. Let's t-t-taa-c-k, oh wait I see an e on the end, take, a hike or r-riid, ride, our bbiikkss. Let's take a hike or ride our biks. Hmmm that last word doesn't really make sense or sound right. Bbb-ii-kes, bikes.  Now let me reread the sentence to check and make sure that's right. Let's take a hike or ride our bikes. Did I sound like a fluent reader then or not? You all are correct. That was not fluent reading! Here is how we would read that sentence fluently. Let's take a hike or ride our bikes. Notice how I didn't have to sound out any words. I spoke it smoothly and it was much easier to understand! Now turn to a partner and practice reading the second sentence on the board: My dog Spot is wild! Read it aloud to one another until you can each read it fluently.


3.     Say: Did you notice that when I read the sentence that sentence I got stuck on the very last word? In order to figure out how to read it, I had to reread the sentence from the beginning and try my pronunciation. When I read bicks I knew it didn't sound like a real word. Then when I went back and re-read the sentence, I realized that it actually said bikes. This strategy I used to check my pronunciation is called crosschecking.

4.     Give each student a partner and pass out the books. Give a book talk about Toad and Frog Are Friends. Book talk: "This story is about Frog and Toad and the friendship they have. Frog and Toad go through some hard times together. Frog gets sick, but what will Toad do?... We'll have to read to find out what happens! How would you react if your best friend got really sick? Let's read to find out what Toad does!"

5.     Instruct the students to read the first two pages to themselves silently.

6.     Once every group has read the story twice, pass out a stopwatch and the chart to each group. "We are going to play the Fluency Game! Listen closely so you will know what to do. One person will be the timer and one will be the reader, then you will swap. I want partner one to start as the timer and partner two to start as the reader.

7.     "Then, you will graph it on the chart I have passed out. After you have graphed the reader's number, I want you to swap jobs."

8.     As you are explaining the graph, show the students what you mean. Use an extra graph to model the oral instructions. "Do this three times. Use the different "trackers" to mark each timed read, so each partner should have three "trackers" on the chart marking their number for each read".

9.     The teacher will have students come up individually to my desk and read paragraphs of the book so that they can assess them on my own along with the peer assessments. This way the teacher can have an accurate idea of how the reader is progressing.

10.                       The teacher will go over their answers after to fully assess and see who needs extra help. Use the formula: Words X 60 divided by amount of time in seconds spent reading. This will be part of the assessment for each student. They can then put a star on their fluency chart.




Lesson Reference:

Catherine Edwards, Fluency fun!


Casey Piper, Fluency Fun with Junie B. Jones!



Time Record Sheet:




1st Time:______________________

2nd Time:_____________________

3rd Time:______________________


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