F is for Fluency


Growing Fluency Design


Rachel Carter



Rationale: A successful reader is a fluent reader. Being a fluent reader means that you are willing to improve your reading through speed, emotion, and comprehension. Voice inflection is an important aspect of becoming a fluent reader because it allows the reader to enjoy the experience, as well as being able to read the text and comprehend it’s meaning. Students will gain fluency by reading a passage over and over and becoming more familiar with the words.



            Post-it notes (3 for each student)

            Stopwatches (one for every pair of students)

            K is for Kissing a Cool Kangaroo by Giles Andreae book (one for each student)

            Pencil (for each student)

            Text for teacher to model off of: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

            Charts with Kangaroos on them (one for each student)




1.Ask students what it means to be a fluent reader. Tell students a fluent reader is someone who can read the text at a faster pace and understand it. Ask why is being a fluent reader important. Tell students being a fluent reader is important because it allows you to read the text faster, comprehend it, and inflect your voice to provide more meaning to the story/motivate and make reading more fun. Tell students this does not happen quickly – becoming a fluent reader takes a lot of practice and work. It means you have to reread stories and become more familiar with them so that you can read them faster.

2.Model a first reading of a text from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Start by saying, "This book is about a caterpillar so is very hungry! He eats so much during one week that something happens to him! Let's read to find out!" Read a couple of sentences (take your time on some words that seem harder). Say to the students, “See how I knew some words and others gave me more trouble? Sometimes when we first read a text we don’t know some words and have to try and figure them out. That’s perfectly fine, but that’s not what fluent reading sounds like. The more I read this book, the more fluent I will become.”

3.Model a second reading of the same sentences from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, but this time only stop on one or two words. Ask students, “Did you hear a difference in this reading from the first one? What was different about those two readings? Which one was faster? Which one sounded better?” Tell the students “When I read the passage the second time I was able to read more words and I understood it better than I did the first time. I am on my way to a fluent reading of this book!”

4.”Now it is your turn to practice reading and rereading K is for Kissing a Cool Kangaroo by Giles Andreae. I want everyone to read the book silently. What does it mean to read silently? It means to read in your head, where no one else can hear you.

5.”Wonderful job reading to yourselves! Now we are going to work in pairs on our reading fluency and check how each other is doing. Here is a checklist that you will mark once your partner is done reading. Listen to see if your partner remembers more words, reads faster, reads smoother, or reads with expression. If you do not read smoother the second time will you check the reads smoother box? No, because you did not read smoother.

6.”Here are the Kangaroo charts and stopwatches. I want each of you to read once and each of you to be the timekeeper once. Don’t forget to take turns! When one person is the timekeeper, they will set their watch to one minute and the reader will read until the watch beeps. When the watch beeps, put your post-it note on the last word you read. Then, take turns and have your partner do the same thing. Once you are done, count the number of words up to your post-it note and put your kangaroo on that number on the graph.”

7.”When you and your partner are done reading, you can go to the library and check out a book or read the books available in our reading center.”

8.Assessment: Listen to each student read a loud. Record the findings on a checklist. Calculate # of words x 60/# of seconds for words per minute.




            Tigers run fast, I read fast! By Lizzie Fain (http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/faingf.html)


            Sailing Away with Reading by Nicole Stewart (http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/stewartgf.html)

            The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

            K is for Kissing a Cool Kangaroo by Giles Andreae



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