Reading Champs!

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

By: Sterling Wine


I.                  Rationale: While decoding and learning to read is very important to reading it can sometimes cause children to struggle with comprehension. Fluency instruction can help children who are struggling with fluency. Fluency instruction can help turn newly discovered words into automatically recognized sight words and lead to better reading comprehension. When children don’t have to focus on how the word sounds they can focus more on comprehending the word. One practice that really helps this is repeated readings, when a child can automatically recognize a word it is easier for them to comprehend. This helps them shift from slowly decoding to effortlessly reading. This lesson helps students in their fluency by repeated readings of texts, crosschecking words for meaning, and charted progress with a partner. The goal of this lesson is to improve reading fluency in children.

II.               Materials

a.     Stopwatches for each pair

b.    Class set of Champs

c.     Fluency graphs

d.    Stickers

e.     Checklist for fluency

f.      Reader response form

Partner Progress on Reading



Number of words in chapter ________

Trial 1 ______ words in ______ seconds

Trial 2 ______ words in ______ seconds

Trial 3 ______ words in ______ seconds

Which trial sounded smoothest? ____

Which trial had the least amount of mistakes?_____


Reader Response


Directions: Answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper.

1.      What game have the Jets made it to?

2.      Who is the best of the best on the Jets Team?

            3.      Why is ______ the best of the best? What all can he do?

4.      What happened to Fred three days before the game?

5.      What do you think they are going to do?


III. Procedures:


a.     Explain the Activity

                                                             i.      Today we are going to be working on the speed of your reading. Not only do we want to read quickly so the words are smooth but I want you to try and be correct. When you can read smoothly and without having to stop and figure out the words you can fully understand what you are reading.

b.    Model Fluent and Non-Fluent Reading

                                                             i.      Say: I am going to read you the same passage twice, I want you to tell me which one sounds smoother to you. 1: I p-pl-play, oh I play for the J-je-jet, Jets. We had one of the best t-tea-teams, oh teams this year. We /m-a-d/ the play offs (hm that doesn’t seem right) Oh, We made the play offs. 2:  I play for the Jets. We had one of the best teams this year. We made the play offs.

                                                          ii.      Have the children vote on which reading sounded better. Why did ½ sound better or worse to you? Which story was easier for you to understand?

c.     Review a Strategy

                                                             i.      Did you notice how I used crosschecking to figure out what the last sentence was. After I read it, We mad the play offs, I was able to realize that I mad the play offs did not make sense so I tried the short a as a long a so that mad was made with a silent e on the end. We made the play offs.  

d.    Practice Together

                                                             i.      Lets try and read the next line in this book together. We had a lot of champs on the team. I heard a few of you struggling with the word champs since it is an unfamiliar word. Although you may have struggled here you were able to read the other words in the sentence to figure out what it was saying.

e.     Motivate to Read

                          i      Let me tell you about the Jets! The Jets are an awesome baseball team. They have had a great season with a lot of help from their best player Fred. Fred has a bike accident and can’t play in the play offs game!! What are the Jets going to do without Fred?? Guess we will have to read and find out just what they are going to do.

f.      Explain Procedure for Paired Practice

                                                             i.      I am going to explain the directions and also write them step by step on the board. 

                                                          ii.      Say: Here is what we are going to do.


1.    Pair up with your reading buddy. I need one of you to come to my desk and get two of the sheets that say Partner Progress on Reading on the top and two sheets that say Reading Response on the top.

2.    While partner one is getting the worksheets I need partner 2 to count all the words in the chapter titled; The Jets, and you are going to write this number on the top of the partner progress on reading sheet.  

3.    You are each going to read the chapter 3 times. I want you to take turns after each person reads the whole chapter. While partner 1 is reading partner 2 is keeping time on the stopwatch.

4.    I want the person with the stopwatch to pay close attention to the mistakes your partner makes. Make a tally mark (model how to make a tally) for each word read incorrectly.

5.    After you are finished reading record your time on your sheet.

6.    Now we have to do some subtraction, I want you to subtract however many tally marks you have from the total number of words. For example if you have 50 words in the chapter and Johnny misses 8, so we has 8 tally marks you are going to subtract 8 from 50, 50-8=42. If Johnny read the chapter in 55 seconds I want you to write 42 words in 52 seconds on your sheet.

7.    After each of you have read 3 times and answered the words/seconds charts I want you to answer the two questions at the bottom of the page about smoothness.

8.    Now I want you to do the reader response questions.

9.    Answer your questions on a separate piece of paper

10.                       Once you turn in your papers and you checklist I will give you a chart with 3 stickers on it. I will place a sticker on your reading rate for each round.

11.                        I will give you each a piece of tape and you will stick your fluency chart on the class chart at the front of the classroom.





IV.           Assessment


Followed directions for forms


Improved Speed


Improved Accuracy


Answered questions in complete sentences (all)


Answers were correct





          b.  Reading Rate ______________









































Sims, Matt. (2001). The Champs. Novato, CA: High Noon Books


Photo Image from :


Lesson Design Resource :

Geri Murray. Reading is a Breeze



Return to Rendezvous