Reading Round-Up

Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Kylie Brown


Rationale: Readers need to become fluent so that they can focus their attention on comprehending the text. Fluency is crucial for readers to transition from decoding to automatic word recognition. Students develop sight word vocabulary through the practice of fluency. The method of repeated readings is the most efficient way for students to move from slow, frustrating reading to effortless, enjoyable reading. In this lesson, students will use the strategy of crosschecking during repeated readings of decodable text to gain fluency and independence in reading.


Materials: stopwatches for each pair of students, fluency graphs for each student, star stickers, fluency checklist, reader response questions, expo markers, smartboard, example sentences written on board, class set of Hank the Cowdog: The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog.



1.    Say: In order to be the very best readers we can be, we must be able to read fluently. To read fluently is to read smoothly with ease, without having to sound out each word. By being fluent readers, we are able to enjoy the book much more because we can focus on the story rather than each word!


2.  Say: Now let's look at the sentence written on the board: Kate scored the winning basketball goal! Listen as I read aloud the sentence and tell me if I sound like a fluent reader or not. Kkkk-aa-tt, Kat, oh wait I see an e on the end, Kate, scored the win-nnng, winning, bass-basskket-basket, basketball, goo-gool. Kaye scored the winning basketball gool. Hmmm that last word doesn't really make sense or sound right. Ggg-oa-ll, goal. Now let me reread the sentence to check and mark sure that's right. Kate scored the winning goal! Did I sound like a fluent reader or not? You all are correct. That was not fluent reading! Here is how we would read that sentence fluently. Kate scored the winning basketball goal! Notice 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 Mack 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 Kate scored the winning basketball goal! 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 gool 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 goal. This strategy I used to check my pronunciation is called crosschecking.


4.   Say: Now we are going to practice fluent reading by reading together as a class "Hank the Cowdog: The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog." Let's all read the first two sentences on the first page aloud. I see a tough new word here in the second sentence. "As I recall, it was the 14th of May when the silver monster bird swooped down on the ranch..." I heard some of you have trouble with the word swooped, but I lke how you used the test of the sentence to figure it out.


5.   Say: Before we read any further let me tell you what Hank the Cowdog is up to in this story. It starts as a routine morning on the ranch for Hank the Cowdog - sweeps and patrols, defense maneuvers against an attacking silver monster bird, and the usual flak from Pete the Barncat. But the day takes a surprising turn when Hank is stricken with a terrible case of "Eye-Crosserosis." Unless he can find a cure for this dangerous condition, his position as Head of Ranch Security is at stake! Let's read go find out if Hank the Cowdog can find a cure!


6.   While explaining, write the directions on the white board for students to look at. Say: -It's time to partner up with our reading buddies and go to your reading nook. While one buddy goes and sets up a reading nook, the other buddy will come up here and get two, Partner Progress checklist. Once the other buddy has claimed a reading area, I want them to count all the words in the first chapter of Hank the Cowdog: The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog. Write this number on the top of your checklist forms.

-You and your partner are going to take turns reading the story aloud to one another three times each. While one partner reads, the other uses a stopwatch to time them.

-Make sure to pay attention to the mistakes that your partner makes when reading aloud to you. Make a tally mark for each mistake (show tally method on board).

-Then do a subtraction problem: the total number of words minus the number of tallies for each reading. The total number of tally marks is to be subtracted from the total number of words in the chapter. These numbers go on this line: ____total words-____ tally marks=____ words. Then you are going to record this total of correct words and the time it took them to read in this second line: _____ words in _____ seconds. Do this three times.

-After getting some progress measures figured out, answer the two questions on there greats form to tell me which reading had the fewest errors and which reading was the fastest.

-When you are done reading, you can answer the three reader'scresponsevquestions that will be displayed on the smartboard.

1.    What are silver monster birds?

2.    What kind of animal is Pete?

3.    Where is a Drover and Hank's favorite spot on the ranch?


-Then each of you will write your own answers on a sheet of paper back at your desk. This paper will be turned into me so make sure it is written neatly.

-When you turn in your papers and checklists, I will give you a graph and three stars. I will figure out your three rates and after putting your name at the top, your stars will go in the time spaces to show your reading rates.

-You will put your completed star chart on the fluency poster on the bulletin in the classroom.


Assessment: I will review students' responses to the reading response questions they submitted and complete the attached rubric while reviewing students' work throughout the lesson.



Erickson, John. Hank the Cowdog: The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog. 1983.


Casey Piper, Fluency Fun with Junie B. Jones.


Reading Rate _________________







Less than 50

Wpm               1.           2.           3.





Partner Reading Progress


Reader Name ________________________

Checkers Name _______________________


Total words in the chapter__________

2.    Tally Marks:

_______ total words - _______ tally marks = _______ words

_______ words in _______ seconds

2. Tally Marks:

_______ total words - _______ tally marks = _______ words

_______ words in _______ seconds

3. Tally Marks:

_______ total words - _______ tally marks = _______ words

_______ words in _______ seconds


Which reading had the fewest tally marks (errors)? _______

Which reading turn was read the fastest? _______


Assessment Rubric:


Student Name:


Evidence shown for reading 3 times


Responded to comp. questions


Improved Fluency


Improved Accuracy


Completed Partner Progress Form






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