We Give A Hoot About Fluency!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Megan Bowden




For a person to become successful as a reader he/she must consistently read fluently, accurately, and with expression. To become fluent one must practice by repeated readings. By participating in repeated readings, students are able to become fluent by decoding words, which leads to automatic word recognition. This lesson will help students become fluent by testing their reading speed. The fluency formula used to test their reading speed is "words x 60/seconds." The teacher will chart the students' reading time, as they are able to read the text faster each time. The more fluent students become the better they are able to comprehend the message of the text they are reading. This leads students to become successful readers.



Student copies of Junie B. Jones and The Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park

Stopwatch or timer for teacher and each student

Fluency Checklist for each student (see attached form)

Reading Record Time Sheet for each student (see attached form)

Cover Up Critter for each student [popsicle stick with two googly eyes]

Sentence Strips that reads: "I have a pet dog." and "A day at the lake is fun."

Pencils and Paper for each student



1.      The teacher should introduce the lesson by saying, "We are going to learn how to become expert readers today. We can do this by reading a book more than once so we can become familiar with it." The teacher should explain to the students saying, "In order to be expert readers, we must be fluent readers. Fluency is when we read words quickly and automatically. By being fluent readers, we will be able to understand the story better because it will sound like you are having a normal conversation with someone. Let's practice becoming fluent readers together."


2.      Say: "Have you ever tried to read a sentence that has a word in it that you do not know? I have to. When this happens all we have to do is stop and sound out the word. We can use our cover up critter to help us with this. Sometimes when we have to stop in the middle of a sentence, we forget what the sentence was about. It is always best for us to go back and reread the sentence several times, using our new word. This way we are crosschecking to make sure our sentence makes sense, learning the new word, and making sure that we know what we were reading."


3.      Put sentence strip on the board. "Look at this sentence and listen as I read it. I have a pet bog. I have a pet bog? That doesn't sound right. I need to crosscheck and see if I can find a word that would make more sense there. I have a pet bog? Hmm… oh! I have a pet DOG. I have a pet dog. That word isn't bog it's dog. As you read today I want us to remember to crosscheck if you read a sentence and it doesn't make sense. Remember to reread the sentence so we make sure the sentence makes sense, storing the new word in our memory, and understanding the story."


4.      Put the second sentence strip on the board. Say: "The first time you pick up a book you may not know some of the words. I am going to read this sentence that I have on the board. "A day at the l-a-a-a-k-k-e-e is fun. A day at the lakey is fun? That can't be right. L-aaa-k, oh lake! I noticed I had to stop a few times while reading this sentence, so let me try again. A day at the l-aaa-kk-e is fun. This time was must better, but let me try one more time. A day at the lake is fun. Now that I know all of the words in the sentence, I want to read it with expression. (Read the sentence with expression). Now raise your hand if you understood the story better when I read it correctly and used emotion to read it. It does make it easier when it sounds like I am talking doesn't it? I read the sentence a lot of times, which helped me read the sentence faster, correctly, and with expression. Now I want you all to try repeated reading in partners to see if you can become fluent readers like I did.


5.      Give each student a copy of the book Junie B. Jones and The Stupid Smelly Bus and give an exciting book talk such as this. "Junie B. is a kindergartener that is going to school for the first time, but she has to ride the school bus. She is so nervous for the first day although she is much more scared about riding the bus. She thinks there are mean kids that ride it. Do you think she will decide to ride the bus or not? Let's read to find out."


6.      Have students read silently, using a timer to keep students on task. Tell students, "I want you to read silently until my timer goes off. Once you get to page 15, reread those pages to yourself." (Set timer for 12-15 minutes.)


7.       Have students partner read the same pages that were read silently. "Now that you have read to yourself, I want you to get with your partner and read to page 15." (Pass out timers to each student. Remind students how to work them. Also pass out the Reading Checklists to each student.) "In your pairs, one will read while the other uses the timer to time the reader. The partner with the timer must follow along with the reader. I want each of you to read the pages 3 times to your partner. Make sure to record the times that you scored on the reading chart. This will help me see how well you are reading. It will also help me see if you remember more words, read faster, read smoother, and read with expression after each reading.



While students are reading, call students up one at a time to read about 10 pages aloud. Time students as they read and score fluency, since this is a repeated reading of the text. (Use the fluency formula to determine the words read per minute.) Chart the students' scores each week to see improvement.


Reading Checklist (1 per student to use on a partner)


Partner's Name:



After 1st Read






After 2nd Read






After 3rd Read






After 2nd

After 3rd



Remembered More Words







Read Faster







Read Smoother







Read with Expression









Reading Chart (For teacher – 1 per student)

Student Name:


1st Reading Time




# of words per minute:


2nd Reading Time





3rd Reading Time








The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency



Meredith Kizer – Read, Read, Read and Repeat



 Return to the Rendezvous index.