Leaping Into Fluency


Haylee Black

Growing Independence and Fluency

A.    Rationale:

The purpose of this lesson is to increase fluency in student's reading. Fluency is an important reading skill because it helps build reading comprehension and allows us to read more difficult texts. If a student is fluent, they are able to focus more on the meaning of a text rather than decoding the words. Readers can read more fluently once they have automatic word recognition. To better fluency skills students should participate in repeated readings. In this lesson students will use their decoding skills to reread decodable texts to become more fluent and faster readers.


B.    Materials:

Copy of Frog and Toad Are Friends text for each student

Stopwatch for each pair of students

Fluency checklist with time slot for each student

Cover up critter for each student


Copy of the sentence "The pig slept in the mud." for the overhead projector

Copy of the sentence "The dog begged for a snack." for each pair


C.     Procedures:

1.     To begin the lesson, divide the students in pairs. After everyone is settled introduce the lesson by saying: "To become expert readers we must learn to read fluently. To read fluent means to recognize words automatically in order to read the text smoothly. We can practice fluency by reading a book more than once to become familiar with it to read the words smoother. This is called repeated reading and this is what you and your partner will practice doing today."

2.     Say: "To read a text smoothly (fluently) we need to use our decoding strategies: crosschecking and rereading. Let's practice how to crosscheck a word when we aren't sure what it is. Look at this word: scrunch. I do not know what this word is so I need to decode and crosscheck it to see if I am saying it right! Let me use my cover up critter to separate the phonemes I see: /s//c//r//u//n//ch/. I recognized the letters and said their sounds, now I am going to blend them together: sscccrrruunnch. Now I am going to look at that word again and this time I think I can say it: scruunch, oh scrunch! You will be practicing these steps with the sentences you will read today!


 Now let's look at how to decode a sentence just like I did. Look at the sentence I have placed on the overhead projector: The pig slept in the mud. Just by looking at this sentence I know I am going to have a hard time with some of the words. Listen as I try to read the sentence. The piiig ssleeept in the mmuud. I don't know what I said that time but I think I can read those words better now that I have sounded them out. Let me try again using my cover up critter! The p/i/g s/l/e/p/t, slept, in the m/u/d. I almost have it, let me read it one more time and you give me thumbs up if it sounds good. The pig slept in the mud. I used crosschecking and rereading to help me read the sentence fluently. We were able to understand the sentence better the last time than the first time that I read it.

This time I want you and your partner to share this paper I am passing out. It has a sentence on it and I want the both of you to practice reading it until you can read all of the words fluently! The dog begged for a snack.

3.     Say: "Today we are going to read the first chapter in Frog and Toad Are Friends. In this book spring has just begun and Frog is up and ready to begin his adventures with Toad. He has so many fun things planned for them to do and cannot wait to get to Toad's house to get started! Frog realizes that Toad is still sleeping and tries to wake him up. Frog is having a hard time and does not know if Toad will get up. Will Toad wake up? Or will Frog have to spend the spring alone without his best friend? You will have to read to find out! You will practice your reading strategies to become a more fluent reader. The more you read the story, the easier it will be to decode and remember words."


4.     Make sure every student has a text, cover up critter, and a fluency checklist. Give each pair a stop watch and say: "You will read the text with your partner by taking turns. You will each read the text three times to practice fluency. While one person reads, the other should be listening and using their reading checklist. The reading checklist asks you to notice if your partner is reading faster and smoother, remembering more words, and reading with expression each time. Be sure to put your partner's name and your name in the spaces provided. Try noticing something good your partner does so you can share it with them when they finish their turn. After you both have read the text all three times, discuss what you read with your partner! Use these questions for the discussion: What happened in the chapter? What was your favorite part? What do you think will happen next?


D.    Assessment:

The teacher will move around the room analyzing how each group is moving along and making sure everyone is using the checksheet and listening to their partner read. The students will turn in their checksheets after the repeated readings are complete. The teacher will graph each student's speed so they can see their improvement as they work through the book. Assess the words each student can read per minute using the formula: words x 60/ seconds. (Try and get the fly to the frog).


Comprehension Questions:

What is happening at the beginning of the story?

Why does Frog want Toad to wake up?

How does Frog try to wake up Toad?



            Smith, Blair. Junie B. Jones is Captain Fluency.



Tarleton, Rebecca. Flying Into Fluent Reading.



Murray, Dr. Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.


Label, Arnold. Frog and Toad are Friends. Harper Collins Publishing. 1979.














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