Growing Fluency


                              Growing Fluency Lesson Plan

                                     Going with the flow with fluency 

                                        By: Mayce Bishop


Rationale:  Students read slowly when they first begin reading, but increase speed as words become automatic.  Word recognition becomes quicker and more involuntary through decoding.  Fluency allows students to concentrate on comprehension instead of on having a hard time to decode words.  Some signs of fluency are rapid, more expressive, unvoiced, and instinctive reading.  Fluent readers also feel gratification in reading, because they are not having a hard time with each and every word but have a bigger sight vocabulary.  This lesson will help children learn how to read more rapidly and confidently.  They will work on their reading fluency through repetitive readings under time constraints.  The learners will gain fluency through repeated readings.


       - Class set of Father Goes Fishing
 - stopwatch
       - pencils
       - dry erase board and marker

       - fluency rubric for each child

       - progress chart for each child (a baseball player going around the bases; gets to move to the next base when they progress.) 


1. Introduce the lesson by discussing the difference between beginning and fluent readers. I will say,  "Today, we are going to practice reading more fluently.  Can anyone explain to me what fluent reading means?  Fluent readers read smoothly and quickly.  They also read automatically.  (Write the following on the board: “My dog is small.”)  A beginning reader sounds like this when reading the sentence on the board: 'Mmmmyy ddoogggg iiisss sssmmmaaalll.'  Then they might say 'Mmyy- my- ddoogg dog- is- ssmmaall-small,’ stumbling over the words and repeating words that they do not recognize.  A beginning reader who can read the words automatically might say ‘My dog is small’ but sound like a robot, because he or she does not read with expression.  But a fluent reader who recognizes words automatically and reads with expression sounds like this: My dog is small!'  Fluent readers can read this way because they recognize the words when they see them.  The only way to become fluent is to practice.  The more practice that you have with a book, the more fluently you will be able to read it.  When we reread books we have already read, it makes reading unfamiliar books easier.  Let's get practicing, so that we can become fluent readers too!"


2. First, I will model the decoding strategy with my cover up critter.  I will say, “Sometimes when we are reading, we have trouble with certain words and might feel stuck. One thing I do that is helpful is to use my cover up critter. For example, let’s look at the word ‘stamp’ (written on the white board). When I was reading my story, I got stuck on this word. I use my cover up critters to cover all letters except the vowel ‘a’ and a = /a/. I am going to sound that out first (sound out a = /a/). Now let’s look at the letters before the vowel a, ‘st’. Now I will blend the phonemes; ‘st’ and ‘a’. This sounds like /s/t/a/.  Now lets blend the letters at the end of the word, ‘mp’. Finally, we can blend all of the sounds together to make /st/a/m/p/. When you stumble on a word, you can use the cover up critter to help you decode too!"


3. Say, "Even though reading fluently is important, it is also important to make sure we understand what we are reading.” A way that helps us with this is called crosschecking.  We can crosscheck what we read to make sure our sentence makes sense.  For example, if I read this sentence (Write on the board: "The dog barked as "The dig barked" then I could use my crosschecking ability to ask, “The dig barked, does that make sense? What word could I change to make my sentence make sense?” Then, when I realize the appropriate word is dog. I would then reread my sentence correctly as "The dog barked."


4. Say: “Now we are going to read, Father Bear Goes Fishing to practice being a fluent reader. This story is about a family of bears. Father bear goes fishing to find food for Mother Bear, Baby Bear and himself. Father bear runs into a problem when he jumps in the water and cant find any fish! We will have to keep reading to find out what Father Bear does to find food for his family. I will pass out the books to each student and say, “I want everyone to read this book silently to themselves. When we read silently that means that we read to ourselves in our heads without whispering or moving your lips.”


5. I will tell students to take turns reading to their partner.  I will say, “We are all going to take turns reading to our partners and play a fluency game. The first partner is going to read and partner number two is going to be the timer. The reading partner is going to read the story aloud three times. Partner number two, the timing partner will record how long it takes the reader to read the second and third time. I want you to notice about how the reading goes. Does the reader read faster or smoother each time? Do they show expression when they read? I would like for the timer to write down these observations they notice. It is important to always be nice to your partner and treat them how you would want to be treated. After you finish we will switch partners and the reader will become the timer and the time will become the reader. “ I will walk around and listen closely to students and assist them if needed.  


6. After both children have read to their partners and they have both recorded each other’s comments. I will analyze my observations and ask follow up questions. I will ask questions that will assess comprehension. I will say, “Did Father Bear ever find any fish for his family? How did he find it? How many did he catch? Where did he find them? Asking these questions will assist me in understand the level of fluency and comprehension skills.




Randell, Beverley, and Isabel Lowe. Father Bear Goes Fishing. S.l.: Nelson, 1994. Print.


Murray, Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.

Subpages (1): Reading to Learn