The Fluency Express!

Stephanie Howard

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rationale: It is important for students to become independent and fluent readers. This lesson will teach how to read a text faster and smoother in order to help students become more fluent with their reading. Increased fluency helps students read silently and twice as fast. In this lesson, we will work on gaining fluency through repeated readings, timed reading, using the formula(correct words times sixty over number of seconds). All of these activities provide practice to help increase fluency.


Sentence strip with "The train trip was fun."

Class set of The Train Trip by Geri Murray


Class set of Speedy Reading Sheets

Laminated copy of train with numbers and Velcro at each number for each pair of students

Laminated train with Velcro on the back, one for each student


Today we are going to discuss fluency. Can anyone tell me what being a fluent reader means? Awesome! It means reading quickly, accurately, and with expression! Being a fluent reader helps us understand the meaning of the text. To become a fluent reader, though, you have to practice.”

Let's look at the difference between a fluent reader and a non-fluent reader. I am going to read this sentence on the board, first without fluency. Th-e t-r-ai-n t-r-i-p w-a-s f-u-n. How did that sound? Was that hard to understand? That's because I did not read it fast and smooth.”

“Let me try that again. This time I will read it with fluency! The train trip was fun. Was that better? Reading is easier to understand when it is fast and smooth.”

 “Practice can help us learn to read fluently. Cross checking can be used to figure out words that you do not know. Cover up critters can also be used to figure out tough words.”

“Okay, let's try this again but this time I want the whole class to say it with me. First, we are going to read like a non-fluent reader and then as a fluent reader. Th-e t-r-ai-n t-r-i-p w-a-s f-u-n. Was that easy to say? No? Why not?”

“Ok, now let's read it like a fluent reader. The train trip was fun. Was that better? Why? Awesome! Y'all are doing great!”

Book talk: “Let’s look at the book, The Train Trip by Geri Murray. Nate is going on a train trip to see his friend Tim. During the train ride, Nate becomes very tired and falls asleep. Nate is surprised and scared when he wakes up in an unfamiliar place. In order to find out what happens to Nate, you will have to read the story.”

I am going to pass out the book to each of you. Read the book independently for a few times. In a few minutes, we are going to pair up with a friend for timed readings.”

 “Students, I need each of you to find a partner. The two of you are going to practice reading together. Each of you will take turns being the “reader” and the the “recorder”. The recorder will be the timer and will stop the reader when time is up. When time has run out, the reader will put their finger on the last word they read. The recorder will count how many words the reader read. The recorder will then write it on the "Speedy Reading Sheet." The recorder will also move the train up the tracks as the number the reader reads in one minute increases. Then they will switch roles.”

“In order to get an average of results, you and your partner should repeat this process three times.”

“Now that everyone has finished the one minute read the book, The Train Trip. Be sure to listen to the ending of the story. Also, listen to how I read the story. Try to determine if I am reading fluently.”

“Did the story end the way you thought it would? What was something in the story that surprised you? Did I read the book fluently? Did listening to me read fluently make the story more enjoyable to listen to and easier to understand?”

Assessment: I will average the students' one-minute reads.


Chamberlin, Allison Gray. Get on the Train to Fluency,ag.html

Murray, Geri. The Train Trip.

Example of Fluency Time Sheet

Name: ________________     Date: ____________

Partner's Name: _____________________    Book Title: _________________

1st timed reading: ______________________

2nd timed reading: _________________

3rd timed reading: ___________________

Final reading:______________


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