Blast into Reading Fluency!

Rainer Rawlinson

 

Rationale:
In order for children to become successful, independent readers, they must develop fluency. Reading fluently allows for automatic word recognition, in which reading becomes faster, more connected, and more expressive. For fluency to be developed, students must read and re-read words in decodable texts. It is through these repeated readings that students gain confidence in their reading abilities, as well as develop other components of reading, such as adding expression and building comprehension/understanding of a text. In this lesson, students will read, reread, and do partner readings to improve fluency.

Materials:
- Individual copies of the book, Bud the Sub (one per student)
- Dry erase board and dry erase markers (for teacher use)
- Timer for one minute reads (for teacher use)
- Individual copies of the fluency checklist (one per student)

Procedures:
1. I will begin this lesson by explaining to my students the importance of becoming a fluent reader: "Today, we are going to be working on something that is a very important part of our reading: fluency. When you read fluently, you don't have to stop to sound out each word, because you can recognize them without any trouble! To become fast, fluent readers, we have to read and reread our books."

2. Write the following sentence on the board so that it is visible to all students, "I want to blast off into space" I will use this sentence to review decoding strategies with my students. "I am going to read this sentence, but I may need your help." Begin to read sentence. "I wwwwaa... Ok guys, I need your help. What could I do to help me figure out this word? (Allow students to respond.) That's right I could use my cover up critter." Use cover up critter to continue to read the rest of the sentence, modeling appropriate decoding strategies on the words 'want,' 'blast,' and 'space.'

3. Have the students read this sentence again. "Since we have read this sentence once, and now we can recognize all the words, let
s read it again, because every time we reread words, we become more fluent readers. Let's try it together" (Read sentence again with students modeling fluent reading.) "I want to blast off into space."

4. "Now, I am going to read another sentence to you, and I want you to tell me which time I read the sentence with fluency." Write the sentence "Frick and Frack are two fat, black cats" on the board. "Ok, are you ready to listen? Great F-f-f-rrrrr-ick and F-f-r-a-a-ack are two f-a-t, bl-bl-black cats." That was the first try. Now listen to this one "Frick and Frack are two fat, black cats" (I will really add expression to the second try.) "Which one of these do you think I read with fluency? Right, the second one! What are some things that I did that made my reading sound fluent?" (Allow students to respond with such answers as read with expression or did not have to sound out words.)

5. "Because you have done such a great job helping me read fluently, I think you are ready to get some practice of your own." (Divide the class into pairs. Give each student a copy of the book, Bud the Sub and a copy of the fluency checklist.) "Today you are going to be reading Bud the Sub. Bud is a small submarine, and his friend, Gus is his boss. They are very good friends, and each morning, Gus goes and gets Bud set up for the day's adventures. Bud loves to hum around and swim in the ocean, but one day Gus and Bud come across another boat that is having problems. I wonder if they will be able to save him? I guess you will just have to read to find out!"

6. "You and your partner are going to be reading to one another to practice reading with fluency. Remember, this means reading quickly and with expression. The first time you read the book, I want you to read it individually to yourself. Then, after each of you has read the book once silently, you will read it to your partner out loud. One of you will be the reader, and the other will be the recorder. You should take turns doing this. The recorder should fill in the fluency checklist after their partner's second and third reading. So, in all, you should read your book three times! Are there any questions?" (Allow students to ask questions, and then complete the activity.)

Assessment:

 I will have them read Bud the Sub to me during reading centers. At this time, I will use the formula words x 60/seconds to further assess their fluency. In addition, I will review the fluency check lists that the students completed to get a better idea of their progress.

References:
Murray, Dr. Bruce. How to develop reading fluency.
http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html

Bud the Sub, Educational Insights, Carson, CA. 1990

1-2-3 Go by Amy White
http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/whitegf.html

Go, Go Speed Reader by Jennifer Falls
http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/fallsgf.html

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