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Excellent Expert Readers

Excellent Expert Readers

A GF Lesson Design

Allie Mosher


Rationale: Fluent reading is essential in comprehending. Fluency means recognizing words effortlessly at a timely pace. Effortless word recognition allows students to focus on the meaning of the text that they are reading rather than the tedious process of decoding each word. By using strategies such as decoding, crosschecking, mental marking, and rereading, students will be able to become fluent readers. The reader’s improvement will be assessed by the fluency rate formula (words read x 60 / seconds), which will tell us the child’s words that were read per minute (wpm). Fluency rates are sure to improve through repeated readings and teacher modeling and scaffolding.


Materials: Stopwatches for the class, personalized graph to chart reading time for each student, cover up critter supplies, class set of Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl.



1.     Explain: “In order to become expert readers, we need to be fluent. This means we can read words quickly and automatically. Fluency means we have built up our sight vocabulary and can recognize words better. When becoming fluent, it helps to read a book more than once so we can become familiar with. This is called repeated reading. When we read something a few times, we automatically know the word when we see it and can easily understand what the text is saying. Repeated reading will help us become expert readers!”

2.     Model: “Let’s review how we use crosschecking to figure out how to say unknown words. Remember, if I came to the sentence ‘The monkey lives in the jungle,’ and I didn’t know the word jungle, then I would use my cover up critter and start by finishing the sentence to see if it made sense. The monkey lives in the /j/ /u/ /ng/ /l/. Hmm… /j/u/ng/l/. Jungle! Like the forest where all of the wild animals live! That sentence says: The monkey lives in the jungle. Now I get it! I had to go back and reread the sentence so that I could automatically get the word the next time I saw it.”

3.     Now I will show you the difference between a fluent reader and a non-fluent reader. This way, we can hear the difference between the two and make sure that we sound like expert readers. Let’s look at this sentence up on the board. The cat sat on the mat. If I could not read fluently, I would sound like this: the ccaaaaaaatt sssaaaaaaaatt onn the mmaaaattt. I read that so slowly and so spaced out that I couldn’t even comprehend what I was reading! The message was much harder to understand because of how spaced out it was. Now listen to the difference when I read it fluently. The cat sat on the mat. My words flowed together nicely, which made the sentence easy to understand. Now I want you to try. Read this sentence with fluency: The cat sat on the mat.”

4.     “We are reading Junie B. Jones is a graduation girl, but today we are going to begin by only reading the first chapter.” Book talk: “Junie B. Jones is finally graduating kindergarten. With a brand new, white as snow graduation robe that she will wear as she walks across the stage, Junie B. just can’t wait to try it on for all of her furry friends! After disaster strikes and she makes a mistake, will Junie B. Jones still be able to graduate? Will she make things right in time to walk across the stage with her classmates? We will have to read the book to find out!”

5.     Distribute a copy of the text to each student along with the cover up critter that they made. “Now I want you to start on the first page and read to yourself. Use your cover up critter to decode words that are hard for you to read. If you finish the first chapter, do not go on to the next one, but reread chapter 1.” Give the students 10-12 minutes to complete the task. I will walk around in order to assess how each student is doing in his or her independent reading. After time is up, students will discuss what was read in the previous chapter. I will assess comprehension by student responses.

6.     I will explain to the students the importance of respecting each other and our class materials before the next part of the lesson. “I will number each of you off into partners 1 and 2. Partner 1 will read the same chapter aloud while partner 2 uses the stopwatch to time his or her partner. Then, the partners will switch. After you read the chapter, you will talk to your partner about what was just read in the chapter. This will be a good way to evaluate the comprehension. Then, partner 1 will read aloud again while this time partner 2 completes the reading fluency checklist for his or her partner (read faster, read smoother, remembered more words, read with expression). The partners will then switch roles and repeat the steps once more. There should be two timed readings and 2 completed checklists per child.

7.     Assessment: First I will assess each partner pair by walking around while each group takes turns reading aloud. Then have students turn in their score sheets after the repeated readings are finished. Pull each student aside at the end one-by-one and have them reread the chapter once more, timing them for recorded speed. Then go over the other aspects of fluency, whether they were reading smooth, quick, remembering more words and reading with expression as time goes on. If students are still doing poorly, I will then go into a more intensive one-on-one approach. Ask: What happened to Junie B. Jones? What does Junie B. Jones think the consequence will be? (2 comprehension questions).

Partner Evaluation:


Fluency Chart:



Teacher Fluency Checklist:

Name of Student:

Reading # 1


Total Number of words:                        



Reading # 2



Did The Student:

Read smoother?



Read with more expression?




***WPM is determined using the formula; words read x 60/seconds


McGehee, Mary Hope. “Reading is Our Expertise!” https://sites.google.com/site/ctrdmaryhope/home/gf-design

Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones is a GraduationGirl. Random House Books for young Readers. 2001. 80 pages.

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