Ready, Set, Read!



Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Savanna Smith


Rationale: Fluent readers read smoothly, quickly, and expressively. Reading fluently requires automatic and accurate word recognition. Fluent readers are able to read silently to themselves. The fluency formula is to read and reread decodable words in connected text. This lesson will use that formula by reading a decodable text, and then rereading it to aid in the development of fluency. Students will be working with partners to help them learn different decoding strategies from their peers and to get more time to read.  This lesson helps students become fluent through reading and then rereading.



·        Speed Reading Record for each student

·        Cover up critter (a manipulative used to help with decoding)

·        Partner check sheet for each student

·        Stop Watches - one for each pair of students

·        Pencils for students

·        Kite Day at Pine Lake 

·        Whiteboard

·        Dry Erase Marker 

·        Speed Reading Record:



Name:_________________________            Date:___________


              - After 1st read            _______

              - After 2nd read           _______

              - After 3rd read            _______

·        Partner Check Sheet for students to assess their partner's fluency:


I noticed that my partner

After 2nd             After 3rd reading

_______                _______        Remembered more words

_______                _______        Read faster


_______                _______        Read smoother


_______                _______        Read with expression



1. The teacher will begin the lesson by explaining fluency to the students. Say: "Sometimes we have to practice things to become better at them. Can anybody tell me a skill they practice to become better at? (Ex. Drawing, math, singing). Those are all things that we must practice to become better at. We also need to practice our reading to become more fluent readers. Fluency is when you read fast, smoothly--so you don't sound out each word--and when you read with expressions in your voice." The teacher will explain that skilled readers are also fluent readers. "We can all become fluent readers by reading a text several times. Today, we are going to work on improving our fluency by reading and rereading a text."


2. Remind the students about the using their cover-ups so that the students can use this strategy while reading.  Say "Remember whenever you come across difficult words while reading, you can use your cover-up critter to help you figure out what the word is." I will write the word stitch on the board, and model how to use the cover-up by decoding this word just to give them an example.  Say "As you come across a difficult word, use your cover-up critter to help you sound the word out. I will cover up all the letters except the i and pronounce the sound of the short i=/i/.  Then I am going to uncover the letters one at a time leading up to the vowel, s=/s/, t=/t/, and tch=/ch/. Notice that when the letters c and h are together, the work as one sound. Then I will start at the beginning and tell them, s-s-s-t-t-t=/st/. Now add the /i/ sound, s-t-i-i, now add in the other /t/ sound, s-t-i-t-t.  Last, put the /ch/ sound on the end. S-t-i-tch! Good! 



3.  Demonstrate a fluent and non-fluent reader.  Next I am going to model fluent reading.  I am going to write the following sentence on the board: I like to look at the pretty painting. Listen closely as I read this sentence to you.  At first I am going to read it slowly without fluency.  "I ... like ... to ... look ... at …the…pretty...painting.  I like ... to look at...  the pretty ... painting. I like to look at... the...pretty painting. In order to get better at reading this sentence, I'll need to read it again and again. Doing this repetitively will help me read quicker so I am able to read with more expression. Now I will show you how to read it faster with fluency: I like to look at the pretty painting.  Does this sound better to you when I talk quicker? Is it easier to understand? It is much easier for everyone to listen when something is read fluently and quickly. It is boring if a teacher stands up and reads slow and messes up her words. That is why we need to practice reading fluently and quickly. When we read to each other, we want it to be easy to listen to so that we can focus on the meaning of the words." 

4.  Explain to students that they are going to be doing repeated readings.  Now I will pass out the book Kite Day at Pine Lake to each student. Say "Has anyone ever flown a kite before?  Yes, me too! This book is a story about a bunch of children that love to fly kites. They have kites of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Bob is upset because he does not have a kite. I wonder what will happen. Do you think the kids will make Bob a kite? What do you think will happen? Let's read and find out!" Students will read the book on their own. Afterwards, we will discuss the story as a class and ask questions to see their comprehension and understanding of the text. They will each have a chance to read it by themselves before reading it aloud with a partner for timed readings. 


5. Explain to the students that they are going to be doing repeated readings. Say "To make you a better reader, and a more fluent reader, we are going to do repeated readings. I am going to put you with a partner and you are going to take turns reading. I am going to give each group a sentence on a piece of paper. I want each of you to read the sentence out loud to your partner. The first time you make be a little slow and the words may not flow smoothly, but that's okay because you are going to read the sentence four more times to your partner. By the end, you will be reading the sentence more fluently because you are familiar with the words in the sentence and the words will make more sense." Pass out the piece of cardstock with the sentence on it to each group. "The hare zoomed along the road to win the race."


6.  Explain to the students that they are going to be doing timed readings.  "While one person is reading, their partner will be timing them. The reader should read as well as they can. If you come to a tricky word, remember to use your cover up critter and do the best you can. We have been over how to use these many times. The reader will read all the way through the story. When the story is finished you will record the amount of time it took to read the story. Now the partner will have a turn, and the other student will do the same thing the last student did. I will be walking around the room. If you need help just raise your hand." When students have finished recording the read alouds, I will have them fill out a Fluency Literacy Sheet about their partner. They will check the boxes on how the student performed on the 2nd and 3rd times reading the book for one minute.


7. After students have completed their three readings, the teacher will collect the charts for assessment. After everyone finishes their timed readings and reaches their goals, the teacher should walk around the room and look at everyone's fluency racing chart to see how the student's fluency progressed. The teacher will then take each student individually and do the same reading with Kite Day at Pine Lake. This will give the teacher a chance to listen to each student's reading and check for speed, ease, and expression. This will allow the teacher to teach the students according to the level they are on and know which students need additional help.


Reference Materials:


Catherine Bonner, "Ready, Set, Read"


Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency 


Laura Lee Hood, "Ready, Set, READ!"


Wendy Counts, "Racing into Fluency"


Christina Statler, "Ready, Set, Go Read!"

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