Picking Up Speed with Fluency!
Growing Independence and Fluency
by Jessica Wilson
Rationale: Recognizing words automatically is the key ingredient to becoming a fluent reader. When students become fluent readers they are better able to comprehend text as they read themselves. Comprehension is the utmost important goal in reading and students can achieve this through fluency by reading and rereading texts and timing themselves to measure their growth as fluent readers. Through this activity students will be reading and rereading texts and working with partners to time each other’s reading of familiar texts.
1. Sentence strips that say:
I do not like green eggs and ham.
We tried green eggs and ham and loved them!
2. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
3. Timer/stopwatch for each group
4. Speed Reading Fluency Checklists:
1. Say: "Good readers are what we call fluent readers. Fluent readers read words faster, smoother, and with expression. They are able to look at a word and figure it out quicker than they used to! Being a fluent reader is really important because it helps you understand the story better when you are spending more time reading rather than breaking apart a word to figure it out! To become fluent takes practice and that it what we are going to do today! We will read a book more than once and after we feel a little more confident I will time you guys to show me how fluent you are becoming. The more you read, the better you’ll get.
2. Say: "Before we really get started into our lesson, let's go over a concept that we have learned before. Can someone tell me what it means to cross-check? Right! Cross checking is when you go back a reread a sentence if it doesn’t sound right to see if there is anything you need to change. For instance, if I were to read our sentence strip 'I do not like green eggs and ham' like this: 'I do not like green eggs and h-h-ame. Hame.' Does that sound right? No, something is off. So to crosscheck I need to go back a reread the sentence again. It would go something like this: 'I do not like green eggs and hame. Oh, ham! I do not like green eggs and ham." Remember to always crosscheck if something doesn’t sound right while you read. This will help you achieve better fluency which is what we are going to talk about today.
3. Say: "Now I’m going to show you what the difference between a fluent reader and a nonfluent reader is. Look at the first sentence strip. Someone who is not fluent would probably sound like this: I doe, no, DO. I do n-no-t- not l-i-k green eg-g-s…oh, I do not LIKE green EGGS and hhhh-ha-m..HAM! I do not like green eggs and ham!" Do you see how with practice I was able to read the sentence more smoothly? That’s what non-fluent readers who are becoming fluent do when they practice. The fluent reader would be able to look at the sentence and read it this way: I do not like green eggs and ham. Did you hear the difference? How about the expression of my voice? It sounded different, didn’t it? It wasn’t so monotone, or boring. Now listen to this sentence: We tried eggs and ham and loved them! Was I a fluent or non-fluent reader? Right! I was fluent because I read quickly, smoothly, with expression, and we could understand what the sentence was saying. Now we are going to try it out ourselves!
4. Say: "Today we are going to read Dr. Seuss’ book I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham. In this story, Sam is trying to get the older character to try his green eggs and ham. He keeps trying and trying and gets turned down. Finally, the older character tells Sam that he will try them! To see if he likes it or not is something that we will have to figure out by reading the story fluently and it’s okay if you come to a word you don’t know! Just remember to always do your best to figure it out. Cross-check and keep moving! Then, at the end of the sentence go back and reread until it becomes easier and your reading becomes smoother. Now I am going to pair you up with a partner to practice together!
5. In pairing up the students I will try to match them up based on their reading abilities so that they feel more comfortable with their partner. I will hand out the partner checklists and explain to the students how to use them with their partners.
Say: "I am handing out a checklist that you and you partner will complete. Now remember, fluency comes with practice! It’s okay if there are some mistakes at first! Start out reading the first few pages up to where you see the characters in a tree. Remember to go back and reread! I will hand out a stopwatch to each group. One partner will be timing the other, listening to the other read and paying attention to how long it takes them to read. You will also be checking off the items on our checklist. Once one has finished reading and the other has timed them you will switch jobs. After you have each read through, read it again and check off the items in the 2nd column on your checklist. Switch jobs just like before. Make sure you have read these pages at least three times.
Assessment: For the assessment I will call each child back once they have finished with their partner and get them to read the same pages to me. I will time them and make notes on how smoothly, expressively, and quickly they read. I will also ask comprehension questions to check and make sure the students are comprehending as they read. I will compare my checklist to the ones the students did with their partners to see what other areas they need practice with. I will assess by using the following formula: words X 60 / seconds.
Developing Reading Fluency: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html
Cole, Brantley. Doorways. Fall 2011. "Fantastic Fluency!"
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