Soar Into Reading



Growing Independence and Fluency

Shannon McDevitt


Rationale: One crucial component to reading is the ability to decode. Although it is of high importance, it is a very slow and mundane process. This monotonous process creates slow and choppy reading, which directly correlates with a lack of reading comprehension. Fluency instruction is one way to speed up this tedious process. The goal of fluency instruction is to turn newly encountered words into automatically recognized words, or sight words. Through repeated readings, children can move from slowly decoding text to effortless, enjoyable reading. This lesson is designed to help children develop automaticity and build their sight word knowledge by using crosschecking, repeated readings and charted progress.



v Stopwatches for each pair of students

v Fluency graphs for each child

v Star stickers

v Class set of Bonk’s New Bike

v Fluency checklist

v Reader response form



Partner Reading Progress

Total words in chapter

Reader: ____________________

Checker: ____________________

1.     _______ words in _______ seconds

2.     _______ words in _______ seconds

3.     _______ words in _______ seconds

Turn number that sounded smoothest: _______

Turn number that had the fewest mistakes: _______




Reader Response                                    Name: ________________________

Directions: On a separate sheet of paper, answer each question with at least one complete sentence.


1.     Why do you think Bonk said “no” when his friends asked to help him the first time?

2.     If you were one of Bonk’s friends, would you have helped him reach his goal? Why or why not?

3.     What other activities could Bonk have done to earn money for his bike?

4.     If you could save money to buy something, what would you buy and why?




1.     Explain the activity

SAY: Today you are going to learn how to reader faster so you can begin to read as smoothly and easily as you talk. Once we begin to read faster, we begin to form an interest in what we are reading.


2.     Model fluent and nonfluent reading

SAY: I am going to let you listen to me read a short passage two times. When I am finished, I want you to tell me which time I sounded better.  (1) Bonk has/ dr-ee--ms/ about the bike he wants. It is red with cool /h-h-an-hand-lay/ bars and /sp-oo-ks/. Oh, handlebars. (2) Bonk has dreams about the bike he wants. It is red with cool handlebars and spokes.


(Ask for a show of hands) Who liked listening to my first reading? How about my second? Why did you like the second better? That’s right! Since I did not have to stop for any words, I could read much faster and the passage was more interesting!


3.     Review a strategy

SAY: Did you notice that while I was reading, I used the crosschecking strategy when I came to a word I was unsure about? When I didn’t know a word, I moved on to finish the sentence and then went back to see what would make sense. The word handlebars gave me some trouble, so I finished the sentence and used my knowledge of what a bike has and figured out that that word was handlebars.


4.     Practice together

SAY: Let’s try reading the next two lines on that same page together. (Choral reading) “Bonk sees the bike on TV. He sees it in the newspaper, too.” I heard some of you struggle with the word newspaper, but you were able to figure it out by what made sense. Also, don’t be afraid to look to the pictures for help.


5.     Motivate to read

SAY: Before we begin, let me tell you a little bit about Bonk. Bonk wants this new bike so badly, but in order to get the bike he has to come up with the money to buy it on his own. Bonk finally decides on starting a dog-walking business and doesn’t let any of his friends help him. Soon enough, Bonk has to take many dogs on a walk that he just can’t take it anymore! How will Bonk ever get the money to pay for his awesome bike?


6.     Explain the new procedure for paired practice

(While explaining, write directions as steps on the board for the students to refer to)

SAY: Here’s what you are going to do next.

1. Pair up with your reading buddy; one buddy can come and get two Partner Reading Progress checklists and two reader response forms from my desk, then return to your reading places. While one buddy is doing this, the other one will count all the words in this chapter and put that number at the top of your checklist forms.

2. Take 3 turns reading the chapter to each other. While one reads, the other will use the stopwatch to time your partner's readings.

3. Also pay close attention to how many mistakes your partner makes each time.  Make tallies like this (show line tally method on the board lll) for each mistake.

4. Then do a subtraction problem the total number of words minus the number of tallies for each reading.  That number goes on this line: _______words in_______seconds

5. After getting some progress measures figured out, answer the two questions on the progress form about which turn was the smoothest and which had the fewest errors.

6. When you are done timing each other, you can discuss the answers to the reader response questions.

7. Then each of you will write your answers on a separate sheet of paper back at your desks.

8. When you turn in your papers and checklists, I will give you a graph and three stars. I will figure out your three rates and after putting your name at the top your stars will go in the time spaces to show your reading rates. 

9. You'll put your completed star chart on the front bulletin board on the fluency poster.


Assessment: Grades are computed using point system as follows:


Followed direction for completing forms


Improved in speed


Improved in accuracy


Answered 4 questions with complete sentences


Answers accurate/appropriate







Reading Rate





































Learning A-Z : Bonk’s New Bike


Geralynn Murray, Reading is a Breeze,



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