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Reading is Our Expertise! 

GF Design

By: Mary Hope McGehee 



Fluent reading is essential in comprehending.  Fluency is characterized by effortless word recognition, which influences speed.  Effortless word recognition allows students to no longer focus on decoding word by word; instead they are able to reflect on what they are reading.  Reading quickly also allows the reader to remember what they have read in order to make connections and not forget what they have previously read.  Through reading, decoding, crosschecking, mental marking, and rereading, students will be able to confidently improve fluency and grow into improved readers.  Children will be assessed in improvement by the formula (words read x 60/seconds) to determine the child's words read per minute (wpm).  Repeated reading with teacher modeling and scaffolding is exactly how fluency rates will improve



- Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying by Barbara Park (class set)

- Stopwatches (class set)

- Personalized graph to chart reading time (for each student)

- Cover up critter (decorated Popsicle stick with googley eyes on the end for each student)

- Sentence written on the board "The pants are on the ground." and "The man can flip the pan." (Keep covered until needed)



1. Explain:  "In order to become expert readers, we need to be able to read fluently. This means we read can read words quickly, automatically, and with ease. Becoming fluent can help build our sight vocabulary and help us recognize words better. In order to become fluent, we need to read a book more than once so we can become familiar with it. This is called repeated reading. When you read something a few times, you know the word when you see it again, and it’s easier to understand the sentence. We can become expert readers with repeated reading!”


2. Model: "Let's review how we would figure out a word we don't know by using crosschecking.  Remember, if I came to the sentence 'The pants are on the ground.' and didn't know the word ground, then I would use my cover up critter and start by finishing the sentence to see if it made sense.  The pants are on the /g//r//ou//n//d/.  Hmm... /g/r/o/u/n/d/.  Ground! Like the floor in my room!  That sentence says: The pants are on the ground. It makes sense now! I had to reread the sentence so that I could get the word automatically the next time I saw it."


3. "Now I'm going to show you how a fluent reader sounds compared to a non-fluent reader so that we can hear the difference and make ourselves expert readers. Let's look at this sentence (written on the board). The man can flip the pan.  If I were not a fluent reader, I would read like this: the mmmaaannn ccaaannnn fflliiippp the paannn.  I read that so slow and spaced out that I'm not even sure what I read!  The message was harder to understand because it was so spaced out.  Now listen to the difference when I read it fluently.  The man can flip the pan.  I understood what I was reading and got the message because my words flowed together.  Now I want you to try.  Read this sentence fluently:  The man can flip the pan."    


4. "We are reading Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying, but we are only going to read the first chapter today."  Book talk:  “Junie B. Jones is great at spying on people.  She's great at spying because she has sneaky spy feet and her nose doesn't whistle when she breathes.  Sometimes being a super sneaky spy person can get you into trouble if you spy on the wrong person!  You will have to read the book to find out what happens to Junie B. Jones!”


5. Give a copy of the text and a cover up critter to each child.  "Now I want you to start on page 1 and begin reading to yourself using your cover up critter.  If you finish the first chapter do not go on to chapter 2.  Begin to reread chapter 1."  Give the students 5-10 minutes to complete the task. I will walk around to assess if students are moving along in their independent reading of the book.  After the students are finished reading, have a discussion about what was read.  I will assess comprehension by listening to student responses.


6. Before handing the students checklists and stopwatches, explain to them about what they will be doing in this next portion. “I will assign half the class as Partner 1 and the other half as Partner 2.  Partner 1 will read chapter 1 aloud, while Partner 2 times him/her.  Then, partners switch roles.  After reading, you will talk to your partner about what you read (evaluating comprehension).  Then, Partner 1 will read chapter one aloud, while Partner 2 marks the checklist (read faster, read smoother, remembered more words, read with expression).  Then partners switch roles.  Repeat these steps once more (so that there are 2 timed readings and 2 checklist readings per child). Model this with a student if necessary for your students to understand what they are being asked to do.


7. Assessment:  At the beginning, perform individual assessments while students are completing their partner repeated readings by walking around and listening to students read.  Have the students turn in their score sheets after the repeated readings are finished.  Pull each student aside individually at the end, have him or her read after they've been practicing, and graph their speed so they can see their improvement as time goes on.  Also use this time to go over whether or not they were reading smooth, fast, with expression, and if they remembered more words.  If a student did poorly, have them try again with the teacher.  Ask: What happened to Junie B?  Who was Junie B. spying on? (Two 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 computed using the formula; words read x 60/seconds



Arps, Brianne. “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again!”



Lawyer, Nicole. "Ready, Set, Read!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/lawyerngf.htm


Murray, Dr. Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html


Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying. Random House Books for Young Readers. May 1994. 80 pages.


Perfect Practice Image. http://www.perfectpracticellc.com/wp-content/themes/perfectpractice/images/contact-logo.jpg


Shepherd, Kasey. "Read, Read, Repeat!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/shepherdkgf.htm


Stephenson, Megan. Reading as Fast as Lightening.  http://www.auburn.edu/%7Emns0009/stephensongrowingflu.html

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