Fluency is Fabulous

Growing Independence and Fluency

Jamie Smith




Reading fluency is being able to read with automatic word recognition. When readers become fluent they will read more accurately, quickly, and with more expression. The strongest research evidence supports the method of repeated to gain fluency. The goal of this lesson is to improve student’s fluency through repeated readings and timed reading.




1. Student copies of Frog and Toad Are Friends

2. Stopwatch or timer for teacher and each pair

3. Fluency Checklist for each student

4. Reading Record time sheet for each student

5. Cover up Critter for each student (Popsicle sticks with googly eyes)

6. Chart paper with, “Reading is so much fun!” written on it

7. Pencils for each student



1.  The teacher should introduce the lesson by saying “We are going to be learning how to become better fluent readers today”. Fluent reading is important because the better we get at reading, the easier it is to understand what we are reading The more that you practice, the faster you’ll get and the better you’ll get! Everyone here wants to be a good reader, right? Well today we’re going to learn how!”

2.    Put the sentence strip on the board that reads: Reading is so much fun. First the teacher will read the sentence slowly without expression.”I-i-i-t i-i-i-s f-u-u-u-n t-o-o-o r-e-e-e-e-a-d.” Then read it smoothly with expression. “It is fun to read!” Then you will ask the class “can you tell a difference between the first time I read and the second time I read?” “Which time was harder for you to understand?” When I read the first time you could hardly understand the sentence I was forming, this is because I was not reading fluently. Today we are really going to focus on reading smoothly, with expression, and quickly so that others can understand what we are reading.

3.    ”When you are reading and you come across a word that you do not know you can use your cover up critter to figure out the word” “I will show you an example, Write the word stomp on the board. “First, I am going to find the vowel and cover up all the other letters. The vowel is o, I know that short a makes the /o/ sound. Then I will uncover all the letters before the vowel, which in this case is s-t- I will pronounce that /s/t/o/ then I will uncover the rest of the word and sound it out. /m/p/. If you still cannot read the word after you use the cover up critter, then you can ask your partner for help.

4.     Engage Students in a book talk about the story 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? Lets read to find out what Toad does!”

6.     The teacher should now tell the student about their repeated reading activity. Say “Today you guys are going to work in pairs to read your story! You are going to do this by doing a repeated reading, and then using your checklist to help your partner. Repeated reading is how really good readers get better at reading aloud. When you read something a few times, the words get much easier to read and easier to understand!

7.    The teacher should now pair up students and assign them different spots in the room. Each pair of students should receive a copy of Frog and Toad Are Friends, a timer, two reading time sheets, two reading checklists and their cover up critter.

8.    The teacher needs to take time to explain that one student will be the reader and the other student will be the recorder. “You guys will just be reading chapter one. Once you have finished reading the chapter you will switch jobs and listen to your partner read the first chapter.” “The first person to read will open the book a wait for their partner to tell them when to start”. “The person that is the recorder will start the timer and let it run until their partner has finished the first chapter.” “Be sure to stop the timer when you partner is finished.” “I want you to record that time on your timer Record Sheet.” “Then you will go through the fluency checklist after each time you partner reads. Each of you will end up reading chapter one three times.” “Once you have completed the fluency checklist and the Time Record sheet you will then switch jobs.” “The person that was recording will now be the reader!”

11. The student will assess each student by looking over both the fluency checklist and time sheet. The teacher should collect the Time record sheets and 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.


12. Finally, the teacher will assess the students by having each student come to the reading center and read a passage from the book Frog and Toad Are Friends. The teacher will time them and check for fluency and ask them a question to assess their comprehension of the passage. The rest of the students will be rereading the book at their desk. 




Campbell, Magen Fluent Readers are Fabulous



Toad and Frog Are Friends. Lobel, Arnold. Harper Collins. 1979. 






Time Record Sheet:




1st Time:______________________

2nd Time:_____________________

3rd Time:______________________



 Reading Checklist:


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