Zoom! Zoom! I'm a Fluent Reader!

 Growing Independence and Fluency:

Madison Boyd


Rationale: Reading fluency is being able to read using automatic word recognition. When readers become fluent, they will be able to read text quick, smooth, and with expression. The strongest research evidence supports the method of repeated readings to gain fluency. The goal of this lesson is to improve student's fluency through repeated readings and timed reading.



Student copies of Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel

Stopwatch or timer for teacher and each student

Fluency checklist for each student (see bottom)

Reading record time sheet for each student (see bottom)

Cover up critter for each student (popsicle stick with two googly eyes)

Sentence strip that reads: "I like to play outside with friends"

Pencils and paper for each student




1. The teacher should introduce the lesson by saying, "We are going to be learning how to become better fluent readers". The teacher should explain to the students what fluent reading means by saying, "Fluent reading is when you can read with expression to make the story more interesting. Fluent readers also have the ability to read smooth and fast".


2. The teacher should display the sentence strip on the board that reads: I like to play outside with friends. The teacher should read the sentence without fluency: I-I l-l-i-i-k-k-e t-o p-p-pl-play o-u-out-s-s-i-d-d-e- w-w-i-t-t-h –f-r-r-i-ie-n-n-ds. Next, the teacher should read it smoothly and with expression. The teacher should ask the class if they can tell a difference between the first and second time they read it. (Wait for students to respond). Which one was harder for you to understand?  (Wait for student's response). I could hardly understand what I was saying the first time I read it. It made much more sense when I read it fluently the second time. I want you to be able to read the way I did the second time. Today we are going to focus on reading with expression, quickly, and smoothly.


3. The teacher should say, when you are reading and you come across a word that you do not know you can use you a cover up critter to help sound out the word. I will show you an example". Write the word stamp on the board. " I am going to pretend that I do no know this word. First, I am going to find the vowel and cover up all the other letters. The vowel is a, I know that short a makes the /a/ sound. Then I will uncover all the letters before the vowel, which in this case is s-t I will pronounce that /s/t/a/ then I will uncover the rest of the word and sound it out. /m/p/. Oh the word is stamp! If the cover up critter does not work, suggest the student find a partner at their table to help them.


4. Engage Students in a book talk about the story Mouse Tales. Book talk: "Mouse Tales is about seven little mouse boys that can't fall asleep one night. They decide to ask Papa Mouse to tell them stories. He doesn't just tell them one story, he tells them seven! Each boy gets his own story. Let's read to find out the story that goes with every mouse!"


5. The teacher should now tell the students they are going to participate in a repeated reading. Tell the students a repeated reading helps to build fluency by allowing the students to see the same words multiple times. Rereading helps makes text easier to read and will allow them to better understand the story.


6. The teacher should divide the students into pairs however best works best in their classroom. Each pair should be sent to a different area of the room in order to minimize distractions. The teacher should give each pair a copy of Mouse Tales, a timer, a fluency literacy rubric, and a reading time sheet.


7. The teacher needs to take time to explain that "one student will be the reader and the other student will be the recorder. Once you have finished reading, you will switch jobs and listen to your partner read. When you are listening, you are the one with the timer. The first person to read will open the book and wait for their partner to tell them when to start reading. The person recording will start the timer and let it run until their partner has finished the whole book. Be sure to stop the timer when you partner is done. Then, record that time on your timer Record Sheet. Then you will go through the fluency checklist after each time you partner reads. 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! They should do this three times each".


8. Have a volunteer come up and help the teacher model the steps quickly in order to ensure a good understanding from each student.


9. While the students do their repeated readings, the teacher should move around the room to see that each student is using their record sheet and fluency checklist.


10. The students will assess one another by looking over the fluency checklist and time sheet. The teacher can use a more sophisticated formula to assess each student's fluency: words x 60 divided by total time in seconds. Each student's time will be provided on the time record sheet completed by their partner. Students should also write a small paragraph (3-4 sentences) as a summary of Mouse Tales. These paragraphs will allow the teacher to see which students are developing good comprehension and fluency.



Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie "Developing Reading Fluency"


 Mouse Tales. Arnold Lobel. Harper Collins 1972.

Campbell, Magen. "Fluent Readers are Fabulous!"



Time Record Sheet:


Name: ______________________



1st Reading: ____________________

2ndReading: ____________________

3rd Reading: ____________________



Fluency Literacy Rubric:


Name of Reader: ____________________

Name of Timer: _____________________

Date: _______________________________


I noticed that my partner…. Check the space

After 2nd Reading……


___ Remembered more words

___ Read Faster

___ Read Smoother

___ Read with expression

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