Growing Fluency: Fun With Fluency

Fun with Fluency

Growing Fluency Literacy Design

Jordan Greenberg

Rationale: Students will be able to read fluently, accurately, and effortlessly, making reading more enjoyable for students. When students are able to read with fluency, they can add expression and emphasis to more fully understand the book they are reading. By completing repeated readings and one minute timed readings, students will be able to improve their fluency and reading rates.


        ·      Book: Minnie and Moo: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut

        ·      White board

        ·      Dry erase markers

        ·      Monkey climbing up the tree to get bananas reading rate chart

        ·      Timers


1.     Say: “Today we are going to see different ways we can develop our fluency. Who can tell me what fluency means? [Listen and respond to student responses] That’s right, fluency is being able to read effortlessly and with automaticity. Fluency also means that you read pretty quickly, too. I know those are a lot of big words, but I promise these activities will make fluency easy. I’m going to say a sentence and I want you to tell me if I am reading fluently or not. The d-o…do-g dog bar…bark-ed barked at the d-ooooor…doorbeee…doooorbeeeell, doorbell. Did I read that fluently? You’re right, I read that very slowly and without much fluency. I’m going to read it again to see if it is more fluent. The dog barked at the doorbell. I read it with more fluency the second time. Now I am going to add some expression. The dog barked at the doorbell!”

2.     Teacher will review decoding procedure using the cover-up method. “What do I do if I get to a word and do not know what it is? That’s right! I use the cover-up method. Show that you remember how to use the cover-up method by trying it with me now.” Write a word on the board to model. “Let’s try it with the word cat. First we find the vowel. Which one is the vowel? That’s right, it’s a. The letter a makes the /a/ sounds. Then we uncover the letters before the vowel, which is the letter c. C makes the /k/ sound, and we blend those two sounds together to say /ka/. Then we uncover the letters after the vowel, letter t, which makes the /t/ sound. Finally, we blend all the sounds together to say cat. The last step is to reread our sentence to make sure we blended correctly and got a word that makes sense in the sentence.”

3.     Give each student a partner. Pass out a book (Minnie and Moo: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut) to each child. Say: “Today we are going to read Minnie and Moo: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut. In this story, Minnie and Moo discover that their delicious jelly donut is missing! They must work together to solve the mystery of who stole their donut! Follow along in your book while I read the first two pages. I am going to read them three times to practice reading fluently. When I finish you will do the same thing with your partner.” Read the first two pages aloud to the students. The first time you read, read slowly and sound out each word. The second time, improve your reading by reading more smoothly, quicker, and with some emotion. Say: “Now it is your turn. You and your partner will read the whole story out loud together once. Then, you will reread it again, reading more fluently and with more expression. While you read, I would like partner 1 to read the even pages and partner two to read the odd pages; meaning you are going to read every other page.” (Review even and odd numbers depending on the age of the students.)

4.     As students are working, walk around make sure students are working together and staying on task.

5.     Once every group has read the story twice, pass out a stopwatch and the word per minute charts to each group. Say: “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. The timer will set the stopwatch to 1 minute. The reader will read until the timer goes off. The timer will count the number of words the reader read in 1 minute. 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.” As you are explaining the graph, show the students what you mean. Use an extra graph to visually demonstrate the oral instructions. “Do this three times. Use the different ‘trackers’ to mark each one-minute read, so each partner should have three ‘trackers’ on the chart marking their words per minute for each round.” Tell students that the goal of this activity is to reach 85 words per minute by the third round.

6.     After they have completed their three one-minute readers, collect their graphs. Use these graphs for your assessment. This will allow the teacher to teach the students according to the level they are on and know which students need additional help. To assess comprehension, the teacher will ask the following comprehension questions:

            a.     What happened to the jelly donut?

            b.     How did Minnie and Moo solve the mystery?


Lesson Design: Morgan Turner, “Fast as a Cheetah Fluency”.


Cazet, Denys. Minnie and Moo: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut. New York:

HarperCollins, 2005. Print.


Click here to return to the Edifications index.