Buzz into Fluent Reading!

Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Jennifer Bruha


While it is important for children to learn how to read through decoding, it is a slow and laborious process. Slow reading inhibits reading comprehension. Fluency instruction can help prevent that hindrance by turning newly encountered words into sight words. Repeated reading allows a child to move forward from slowly decoding to effortlessly reading. This lesson directs children to use strategies that build sight words through crosschecking for meaning, repeated reading, and charting progress in buddy reading to sustain motivation to reread.



·   Class set of Where There’s a Bear, There’s Trouble! by Michael Catchpool

·   Reader Response Questions

Reader Response                   Name: ________________________

1) Why were the animals following each other “as quietly as can be”? Why were they trying to be quiet?

2) What were the animals trying to find? Why?

3) What did each of the animals think was happening when they ran away after the bees flew out of the hive?

4) How do you think each of the animals felt after they crashed into each other?


·   Partner Reading Progress check sheet

·   Fluency graphs (see below)

·   Bee stickers

·   Stopwatches



1)     Explain the activity –

·         Say: Today we are going to learn how to pick up speed while reading. If we pick up speed when we read, we will read more smoothly and sound just as if we were talking to someone normally. When you read smoothly, you understand the words more easily and you can become interested in what you are reading.

2)     Model fluent and non-fluent reading –

·         Say: I’m going to read a passage from a book twice. After I read, we will take a vote on which reading you liked better. 1) “One br-ow-n brown bear saw one yel- yellooo yellow bee. And one yellow bee saw one brown bear. One brown bear th-ou th-ough-t thought, ‘Wh-ere where there’s a bee, there’s hone hone-y honey…Sticky honey, yummy honey, drip- drip-pie honey, gummy honey.’” [Mmmmm, drip-I doesn’t sound right. I think it is supposed to be drippy.] 2) Let me try this passage again. “One brown bear saw one yellow bee. And one yellow bee say one brown bear. One brown bear thought, ‘Where there’s a bee, there’s honey…Sticky honey, yummy honey, drippy honey, gummy honey.”

·         Say: Who liked my first reading? Who like my second reading better? Why did the second time sound better? Good! It’s because I had already read these words the first time and figured out what they were. The second time I read, I didn’t need to stop and figure them out. I was able to concentrate more on the story itself. It sounds like the bear wants some of that honey!

3)     Review a strategy –

·         Say: What did I do when I came to the word drippy and couldn’t figure it out? That’s right, I kept reading to see if it fit in the sentence. When I realized it didn’t, I went back to the sentence, re-read the word, and was able to figure out that it was actually the word drippy, not drip-pie.

4)     Practice together –

·         Say: Let’s try the next sentence together. [Choral read]: I’ll follow this bee as quietly as can be. I heard some people struggling on the word quietly, but you finished the sentence and figured it out.

5)     Motivate to read –

·         Say: Before we read any more of this story, I want to tell you a little bit about this brown bear and this yellow bee. The brown bear is only following the bee to find some honey, but the bee is scared when the bear starts following him. So, he flies away as fast as he can. A couple of other animals start to follow them, thinking that the bear and the bee will lead them to other foods. But when the bear finally finds his honey, there’s trouble for all the animals! We’ll have to read to find out what trouble they get into and how they get out of it!

6)     Explain the new procedure for paired practice –

·         Project the following directions on the board using the document camera for students to refer to during activity.

·         Say:

a)     Pair up with a partner. Have one partner come up and get two “Reading partner progress” sheets, as well as two reader response forms. The other partner will count all the words in the book and write that number at the top of the check sheets.

b)     Take 3 turns reading the book to each other. While one partner reads, the other partner will time the reading using a stopwatch. This partner will also use the tally method [demonstrate on board] to mark how many mistakes the reading partner makes.

c)      When the reading partner is finished, subtract the tallies from the total number of words in the book. Mark that on your Partner Reading Progress sheet on this line [point to correct line].

d)     Mark which turn was the smoothest and which had the least amount of errors on your Partner Reading Progress sheet.

e)     When both partners have read, talk about the reader response questions. Each of you needs to write down your answers on a separate sheet of paper after you finish reading.



Students will be assessed via the following grading points:


Followed directions for completing forms


Improved in speed


Improved in accuracy


Answered RR questions in complete sentences


Answers are accurate and appropriate


Total points



Fluency Graph:


____________________________ Reading Rate