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Fluency is TOADLY Awesome!

Fluency is TOADLY Awesome!

Design for Growing Independency and Fluency
Rationale: Fluent reading is characterized by effortless word recognition which affects reading spend. Fluent reading is required in order to comprehend so that it free up “space” to allow you think about what is happening in the story rather than decoding words. Students are then able to reflect on their reading rather than having to decode words. Reading fluently and in turn quickly enable students to focus on comprehension to remember what they read and to make connections between earlier readings and their own lives. This lesson was designed to help readers become more fluent by through repeated readings and timed readings to assess the number of words they are reading per minute.  Students will be able to read texts smoothly, quickly and with expression, thus improving fluency and in turn comprehension. 
  • Class set of Toad and Frog are Friends
  • Stopwatch for each student
  • Fluency checklist (one for each student)
  • Pencils and paper
  • cover up critter (decorated Popsicle stick with google eyes on the end for each student)
  • Fluency chart (one for each student)
  • Sticky notes
  • copy of sentence “Let’s take a hike or ride our bikes.” And “My dog Spot is wild!’’ 

1. Explain:  “In order to become expert readers, we need to be able to read fluently. Does anyone know what the word fluent means? (Wait for response). When we are fluent readers, we are able to recognize words automatically. We don’t have to stop and decode our words. We are better able to recognize our words and store them as sight words for later recognition when we see them again. To be a fluent reader means we begin to read quickly, smoothly and with expression. In order to do this and become expert fluent readers, we need to practice reading a book more than once. This is called repeated reading. This will make reading more enjoyable for everyone!”
2. Model: Say: “Let review how to cross check when we are reading. Now let's look at the sentence written on the board: Let's take a hike or ride our bikes. Listen as I read aloud the sentence and tell me if I sound like a fluent reader. Let's t-t-taac-ccc, oh wait I see an e on the end, take, a hiiii-cc,. Wait, silent E so ….Hike…. or ride, our bbiikkss. Let's take a hike or ride our biks. Hmmm that last word doesn't really make sense in our sentence. Lets use our cover-up critter to sound it out. /b//i//k/s/, bikes. We see the silent E on the end to signal us to make that a long I. Now let me reread the sentence to check and make sure that's right. Let's take a hike or ride our bikes. Great job using our cover-up critter. 
3. Say: Now, did I sound like a fluent reader? You all are correct. That was not fluent reading! Here is how we would read that sentence fluently. Let's take a hike or ride our bikes. Notice how I didn't have to sound out any words. I spoke it smoothly and it was much easier to understand! Now turn to a partner and practice reading the second sentence on the board: My dog Spot is wild! Read it aloud to one another until you can each read it fluently.
4. Did you notice that when I read the sentence I got stuck on the very last word? In order to figure out how to read it, I had to reread the sentence from the beginning and try my pronunciation. When I read bicks I knew it didn't sound right. Then I went back and re-read the sentence, I realized that it actually said bikes. This strategy I used to check my pronunciation is called crosschecking. You go back over the sentence to be sure it sound correct and makes sense. 
5. Give each student a copy of Toad and Frog are Friends. Give a book talk about Toad and Frog Are Friends. “We are reading Toad and Frog are Friends. Book talk: "This story is about Frog and Toad and the friendship they have. Frog has to find a way to get Toad up after his long winter nap so they can go on lots of adventures together... We'll have to read to find out what happens! What type of adventures do you think Frog and Toad will go on? Let's read to find out what they do together.
6.Instruct the students to read the first two pages to silently. Once every group has read the story twice, pass out a stopwatch and the chart to each group. "We are going to play the Fluency Game! Listen closely so you will know what to do. One person will be the timer and one will be the reader, then you will swap. I want partner one to start as the timer and partner two to start as the reader. Partner 1 will read aloud while Partner 2 times him/her. Then you all will switch. Remember, after reading talk to your partner about what is happening in the story (evaluating comprehension.) Sample questions: Why didn't Toad want it wake up? Name one thing that happened while frog and Toad were sledding?
7. "Then, you will graph it on the chart I have passed out. After you have graphed the reader's number, I want you to swap jobs." Make sure students have a copy of the basketball fluency chart. 
8. As you are explaining the graph, model an example so students know what to do. Use an extra graph to model the oral instructions. "Do this three times. Use the different sticky notes to mark each timed read, so each partner should have three sticky notes on the chart marking their number for each read". Also, after your partner has read the 2nd time and then again on the 3RD time, use your checklist to let them know how they are doing on their reading. Are they becoming expert readers!!
9.     The teacher will have students come up individually to my desk and read from the book to be assessed individually. This way the teacher can have an accurate idea of how the reader is progressing. The assessment chart will be used below to record fluency rate in order to keep track of their progress.
10. The teacher will go over their answers after to fully assess and see who needs extra help. The teacher will use the formula: Words X 60 divided by amount of time in seconds spent reading. This will be part of the assessment for each student. If students improved over the course of the three readings, they will be allowed to put a star on their fluency folder.


Lobel, Arnold. Toad and Frog are Friends. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.

Lesson Reference:
Mary Hope McGehee, Reading is Our Expertise! 
Haley Barnes, Crosschecking Crocodiles
Murray, Dr. Bruce, Developing Reading Fluency. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html
Images for graph:
Student Checklist:
 Teacher Assessment:
Time Record Sheet:
1st Time:______________________
2nd Time:_____________________
3rd Time:______________________

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