The Fantastic Fluency Party

Valerie Bierley

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rationale: This lesson is important for improving reading, especially improving fluency. For student's fluency is about being able to decode words automatically with ease and if this is achieved students will be much better readers. They will read more quickly, the words they read will have meaning, and they will read smoothly. The main objective of this lesson is to help students become more fluent and this will be achieved by reading and rereading decodable words in connected texts. During this lesson the students will perform repeated readings to practice reading fluency.


White Board

Dry Erase Markers

Class set of Cover-Up Critters (A cover up critter is a Popsicle stick with eyes glued at the end so when it is turned sideways it covers up portions of words.)

Class set of Dad's Lost Hat by Bridgett Wilson


Party Hat Stickers


Fluency Literacy Sheet

One Minute Reads Sheet

Literacy Fluency Sheet

I noticed that my partner . . .

After second reading After third reading

_______________ _______________ Remembered more words

_______________ _______________ Read Faster

_______________ _______________ Read Smoother

_______________ _______________ Read with expression

One Minute Reading Sheet

Name:___________________ Date: _________________

1st Time: _________________________________

2nd Time _________________________________

3rd Time _________________________________

1. "Good Morning class, today we are going to be working on fluency!" I will explain to all of the children what a fluent reader is and how they can become fluent by rereading decodable words in connected text several times. I will also explain why it is important to become a fluent reader and give reasons such as:"Being a fluent reader allows you to read more quickly, smoothly, and with expression. It will also allow you to find meaning within the text." After answering any questions that they have we will move forward.

2. I am going to show the children how to use cover-up critters to decode words that they are unsure about. I will demonstrate how to use this technique with my own cover-up critter. "Ok everyone, here is my cover up critter and he is going to help me decode the word crash. Does anyone have an idea about where we should start? We should start at the vowel because we all know that a = /a/. Then I would look at what comes before the a. C says /k/. Next is r, r=/r/. When I blend them together I get the /cr/ sound. Now I know the first three letters say /cra/. Finally, I uncover the rest of the word. I know when I see s and h together they make a 'shhhhhh' sound. When I blend the whole word together, I get crash. We can use this strategy whenever we see an unfamiliar word. You will each have your own cover-up critter to use when you come across a word that you need to decode."

3. "Now I am going to model the difference between reading with and without fluency. Does anyone remember why fluency is important? Great answer, it does help us read more quickly! How about anyone else? Yes, it does make us read with expression. I have a sentence written on the board and I am going to model how I would read it if I were just learning and had little fluency or if I were a non-fluent reader. The sentence is: Gavin had a bad crash, and now he has a bad rash. G-g-g-g-g-a-a-a-a-v-v-v-i-i-i-n-n-n h-h-h-a-a-a-a-d-d-d-d a b-b-b-a-a-a-d-d-d-d c-c-c-c-r-r-r-r-a-a-a-a-s-s-s-s-h-h-h-h-h and n-n-n-o-o-o-w-w-w he h-h-h-a-a-a-s-s-s a b-b-b-a-a-a-d-d-d-d r-r-r-r-a-a-a-a-s-s-s-s-h-h-h-h-h. Did everyone enjoy that? I did not think so. I read with very little expression and slowly because I was struggling with the words that made up the sentence. Now I will try it again: Gav-in h-ad a b-ad cr-a-sh and n-ow he h-as a b-ad ra-sh. I improved when I read that time because I was more familiar with the difficult words and I had previously decoded them. I am gaining ground on becoming fluent. Finally, I am going to read the sentence again as a fluent reader: Gavin had a bad crash, and now he has a bad rash.. Was that better than the last time? I thought so too! I am going to tell you a secret. If you read something more than once or twice you will get better at it each time! So I improved when I read the sentence because I was reading it again. Does everyone want to become fluent readers? Excellent let's get started!"

4."Today, we are going to read an entire book together. The book is called, 'Dad's Lost Hat' by Bridgett Wilson. In this story, a little girl is outside playing with her dad's hat. The wind comes by and carries it into the air. Her dog thinks it would be very funny to jump into the air to grab the hat then take it down a long path. Will she ever get her dad's hat back or will her dad be very angry? You'll have to read to find out!"


5. Ok class I am going to place you with a partner and we are going to have some fluency fun. I have two sheets here that each pair is going to get: one is about how many words you can read and the other is about improvements. I will give each pair two sets of the needed sheets, two copies of Dad's Lost Hat, one for each person, and a stopwatch. I will explain that one student will be the reader and that one will be the timer and that they will be switching roles. When you are the reader you will see how many words you can read in one minute without skipping any and when the one minute is up you will put a party hat sticker at the word where you stopped and continue on until the book is finished. You will complete this process three times and then you will switch and your partner will do the same. You all may begin reading!

6. As soon as both students have finished their one minute reads they will fill out the fluency literacy sheet about their partner's performance. They can check that their partner read more smoothly, more quickly, with expression, or without forgetting as many words (see above attachment). While all of the reading and writing is going on the teacher will be walking around and providing any assistance if needed.

7. Assessment: Teacher says: "While you are reading to your partner I will be calling you up to my desk one at a time for you to read to me. Try and do your best with the reading, and I will time your score to see how fluent you are. (Use the fluency formula to determine the words read per minute). This will show me how many words you can read per minute. Each week the teacher will chart the students' scores to see improvement. Fluency Formula: # of words x 60/ # of seconds



Kerry Adkins, A Fabulous Fluency Party:

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