Growing Independence and Fluency

Fluency is


Growing Independence and Fluency Design


This lesson will help student practice reading and rereading texts in order for them to become more fluent readers. Blending plays an important role in fluency;  fluent readers read quickly, automatically and with expression. This lesson will help students gain the ability to read fluently through silent reading and rereading the text with a partner.



-The book: Grandmas Trick-or-Treat by Emily Arnold McCully (one for each student pair and one for the teacher)

-Stop watch/timer for each pair of students

-Chart to record student's words per minute

-Copy of passage on the smart board to model fluent reading

-Copies of passage (one for the students to read and one for each student for the teacher to record on)

-Fluency checklist (to pass out to students)

-A truck with Velcro that moves along a street in relation to the students WPM (1 for each student)




Fluency Checklist:

Title of Book: __________________________________


Student’s Name: ____________   Date___________


Partner's Name: ______________________________

After 2nd Reading       After 3rd Reading

                         _________                    _________                   Remembered more words

_________                    _________                   Read faster

       _________                    _________                   Read smoother

                  _________                    _________                   Read with expression



1. Explain to students what being a fluent reader means. “We all want to become fluent readers. A fluent reader is able to read the words in a book at a good pace. They also read automatically and recognize words as well as read aloud with expression. Being able to recognize words automatically as sight words and read at a proper pace leads to better reading comprehension, which leads to reading being more fun and less difficult. All it takes is practice.”

2. Next explain to students: “There are some things you need to learn to do to become a fluent reader. First, you need to know how to decode words. We can use our cover-up critters to break up words that we don't know into smaller parts that make it easier to read. If we still do not know what the word is after decoding the word, then we will finish the sentence to see if we can figure out the word using the context clues. This is called cross-checking. It is also important to be able to mentally mark irregular words once you have figured out what the word is. For example, through says th-r-ew. When you make notes about these irregular words in your head, this is called mental marking. One other important step you need to do is reread the sentence that gives you trouble. Once you crosscheck, discover the word, and mentally mark the irregular word, you reread the entire sentence for comprehension.”

3. Now I am going to read out loud, listen as I read:

"At the next house, the grandmas went to the door t-o-g-e-th-er, together and p-r-e-ss-ed, pressed the bell."

4. That sentence was pretty tough for me. I am now going to go back and read it again since I have now crosschecked and mentally marked the passage.

"’At the next house, the grandmas went to the door together and pressed the bell.’ That was much better. I was able to read the sentence much faster."

5. Now read the sentence once more and add expression.

6. After reading, question the students about what differences they noticed in your reading style. Say, “What did you notice that might have sounded differently from the first time I read it to the last time I read it? Wasn't it more enjoyable listening to me read the passage the last time than the first time I read it?"



“Now I am going to have you all practice reading fluently! Today we are going to be reading Grandmas Trick-or-Treat. This book is about Pip and his two grandmas, Nan and Sal. One grandma is very boring and one is very exciting. It is time to go trick-or-treating, but the two grandmas have a fight. Pip and her friend Ski then decide to trick-or-treat by themselves, but something scary happens. Let’s read to find out what happens to Grandma Nan, Grandma Sal, Pip, and Ski! I want you to read the book silently in your head.”

“Next, we are going to break into pairs. You and your partner will take turns being the reader and the recorder. The reader will read the first 15 pages of Grandmas Trick-or-Treat three times and the recorder will fill out a sheet, noting how the reader is improving. The recorder will mark if the student remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, and read with expression the 2nd and 3rd time they read the book. Then you will switch places and repeat. Remember to use your decoding, crosschecking, mental marking, and rereading skills.”


To assess the students, I will call students to my desk one by one to individually read a passage of text to me that they have already been reading with their partner. I will also ask comprehension questions like: Why did Grandma Nan not like Grandma Sal? Why did the Grandmas fight? What happened to Pip and Sal?  I will record how long it takes the students to read the 121 word passage provided below. I will record the student's words per minute on a chart (word per minute is calculated by words read multiplied by 60, divided by however long it took the students to read. Words x 60 / seconds). When the student receives his or her words per minute, they will then move their witch on a broomstick to the correct WPM. The goal is to get the witch to the land of fluency as quickly as possible! My goal would be to assess all of my students within a weeks’ time.


Green is a beautiful color! In nature, the grass that you walk on is green and the leaves that you see on trees are usually green. Most of the plants that you see are green too! Frogs are green and many grasshoppers are green too. Turtles are different shades of green.

Did you know that you can make green paint by mixing blue and yellow? Because you can make green my mixing two primary colors, it is called a secondary color. Green is also the name used to describe the movement to make products that do not harm the Earth. Green products are often those made from recycled materials or those that are safe to throw out in the trash.



McCully, Emily Arnold. Grandmas Trick-or-Treat. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.


Website for Green

Racing Readers by: Catherine Gardner

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