Growing Independence and Fluency

The Race for Reading

Kaleigh Nattrass

Rationale: For a reader to be successful he/she must consistently read fluently, accurately, and with expression. To become fluent one must practice by rereading text over and over again. By participating in repeated readings, students will become a fluent reader by decoding words, which will lead to automatic word recognition. This lesson will help students become fluent by testing their reading speed. The fluency formula used to test their reading speed is "words x 60/ seconds".  The teacher will chart the students' reading time to watch, as they are able to read the text faster. The more fluent students become the better they can comprehend the message of the text they are reading, leading them to become successful readers. 


·      Pencil (one for each student)

·      Sentence strip "The dog likes to chase his tail," (one for class)

·      Repeated Reading Checklist (one for each student; to be used with a partner)

·      Stopwatch (one per partner group)

·      A copy of “Nate the Great (one for each student)

·      Reading Chart (one for each student)


Reading Checklist (1 per student to use on a partner)


Name: _________________________________________________


Partner's Name: ______________________________________



After 1st read: ___________

                After 2nd read: ___________

                After 3rd read: ___________

      After 2nd               After 3rd


1.     Remembered more words:                                          ________                _______

2.     Read faster:                                                                 ________                _______

_________ Reading Rate Chart













































3.     Read smoother:                                                           ________                _______

4.     Read with expression:                                                 ________                _______




 (Calculate using: words X 60/ seconds)






 1. Teacher says: "To be a good reader you must be able to read fluently. To be fluent reader, that means that you can read words quickly, correctly, and with expression (with FEELING!). If you can read a book fluently it will sound like you are having a normal conversation with a friend. This will help you to understand the story much better and you will be able to recognize what is going on. If I can read the words correctly, and quickly I will be able to focus on the story better! Do you think we can become fluent readers? Yes we can, but only if we PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! Let's get started."

 2. Teacher passes out a copy of “Nate the Great” to each student, and keeps one for herself. Teacher says: "Have you ever been reading a book, and all of a sudden you come to a word on the page you don't recognize? When this happens you have to stop and sound the word out, which might cause you to forget what was happening in the story. If this happens it is best that you go ahead and finish the sentence then go back and try to figure out that word. After you figure out the word you didn't recognize, reread the word several times, so that it gets easier to recognize while reading. Today, we are going to be reading Nate the Great several times, so that you can recognize words and so that they become easier for us to recognize."

 3. Teacher says: "If I read a sentence and it doesn't make sense what self-help strategy am I going to use? Remember we talked about what to do if a sentence does not sound right. Let's all say which strategy we are going to use together. Crosschecking, very good. I am going to crosscheck to see which word makes sense. Let's look at the sentence strip on the board. Listen as I read the sentence. 'The dog likes to chase his tall. That doesn't make sense. I am going to crosscheck, and think what word starts with a t and ends in l that has to do with dogs. The dog has a tall? Hmm. Oh! The dog has a TAIL. So, that means the sentence says 'The dog likes to chase his tail!' That word isn't tall it's tail. As you read today I want you to remember to crosscheck. If you read a sentence and it doesn't make sense, remember to reread the sentence afterwards, so you can regain your comprehension, and store the word in your memory."

 4. Teacher Models:The first time you pick up a book you may not recognize some of the words. I am going to read the first sentence in the book The Cat in the Hat. The s-u-n, sun, did n-o-t, not shin. The sun did not shin? That can't be right. Sh-iii-n, oh shine! I noticed I had to stop a few times while reading this sentence. Let me try it again. The su-n did no-t shiiinne. This time was much better. Let me try again. The sun did not shine. Much better! I remembered the words after decoding them a few times. Now, I am going to read it again, but this time I am going to try and read it with expression! (Read the sentence with expression). Raise your hand if you could understand the story better when I read correctly and used emotion to read. Yes, it does make it easier when it sounds like I am just talking doesn't it? That's why it is important to read with expression. It helps me understand how the characters are feeling. I read the sentence over and over again which lead me to reading it faster, correctly, and with expression. Now I want you guys to try repeated readings to see if you can become a more fluent reader like I did.”

 5. Teacher says: "Everybody open up your book Nate the Great at your desk. Shortly after a breakfast generously supplied with pancakes, Nate the Great got an urgent call from Annie. "I lost a picture," said Annie. "Can you help me find it?" "Of course," said Nate. "I have found lost balloons, books, slippers, chickens, even a lost goldfish. Now I, Nate the Great, will find a lost picture." "Oh, good," Annie said. Nate, with the cool detachment of his detective idol, Sam Spade, immediately plunges into his new and baffling case. Getting all the facts, asking the right questions, narrowing down the suspects. Nate, the boy detective who "likes to work alone," thinks he has found the culprit. However, this is not just any culprit of crime, but we will have to read to find out more!"


6. Teacher says: "I want you to read silently at your desk until our timer goes off. Try and read to page 15. If you finish reading to page 10, start over and read it again. Keep rereading until you hear the timer go off." (Set timer for 10-15 minutes depending on the students reading abilities).

 7. Teacher says: "Now, I want you to get with a partner and you are going to read the book to your partner. (Pass out timers/stop watches to each student. Remind students how to work them. Also pass out the Reading Checklists to each student). One of you is going to read the book to page 15 while the other partner uses the timer to time the reader. The partner with the stopwatch can follow along with the reader as well. Read the set pages 3 different times to your partner. Remember to record the times that you scored on the reading chart. Use the Reading Checklist to see how well your partner did after they read to you three times. Hopefully, each time you do better! You will mark if they remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, and read with expression after each new reading.

 8. Assessment: Teacher says: "While you are reading to your partner I will be calling you up to my desk one at a time for you to read about 10 pages to me. Try and do your best with the reading, and I will time your score to see how fluent you are. (Use the fluency formula to determine the words read per minute). Also, I will ask comprehension questions: "What were the first two clues Nate found?" "How did Nate begin his investigation?" "How did Nate’s friend find out that the picture was missing?" This will show me how many words you can read per minute. Each week the teacher will chart the students' scores to see improvement.”


  •   The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency

  •   Good Reads: Nate the Great Summary