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Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Reading

                                                                                   Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Reading

                                                                                                               Fluency Lesson Design

                                                                                                                     By: Lydia Moore





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 "Lad is a bad dog." and "Ted is a good boy." (Keep covered until needed)


1. Explain:  "Fluency is when we read words quickly, automatically, and effortlessly.  In order to become expert readers, we need to be able to read fluently.  The main goal of fluency is to develop our word recognition skills and expand our sight vocabulary.  We can practice fluency by reading a book more than once so we become familiar with it.  We will call this a 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.  Perfect Practice makes PERFECT reading!"


2. Model: "Let's practice how we would figure out a word we don't know by using crosschecking.  If I came to the sentence 'The dog is sitting on a bench.' and didn't know the word bench, then I would use my cover up critter and start by finishing the sentence to see if it made sense.  My cat is on the /b//e//n//ch/.  Hmm. . . /b/e/n/ch/.  Oh! Bench! Like where a dog can be sitting!  That sentence says: The dog is sitting on a bench.  Then I am going to reread the sentence so that I will get the word instantly the next time I see it."

 3. "Now I'm going to show you how a fluent reader sounds compared to a non-fluent reader. Let's look at this sentence (written on the board) Lad is a bad dog.  If I was not a fluent reader, I would read like this: Llllaaadddd iss a baaaddd  doooggg.  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 spread out.  Now listen to the difference when I read it fluently.  Lad is a bad dog.  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:  Ted is a good boy."    

 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.  After the students are finished reading, have a discussion about what was read.  I will assess comprehension by listening to student responses.

 6. Have students partner up and give out checklists and stopwatches to students.  Assign half the class as Partner A and the other half as Partner B.  Have Partner A read chapter 1 aloud, while Partner B times him/her.  Then have the partners switch roles.  After reading, have the students talk to each other about what they read (evaluating comprehension).  Then have Partner A read chapter one aloud, while Partner B marks the checklist (read faster, read smoother, remembered more words, read with expression).  Then have the partners switch roles.  Repeat these steps once more (so that there are 2 timed readings and 2 checklist readings per child).

 7. Assessment:  At the beginning, perform individual assessments while students are completing their partner repeated readings.  Have the students turn in their score sheets after the repeated readings are finished.  Pull each student aside individually at the end, have them 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 is the problem?  Who was Junie B. spying on? (Two comprehension questions).


Partner Evaluation:


Fluency Chart:






Teacher Fluency Checklist

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




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

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

 Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky SpyingRandom 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

 http://www.auburn.edu/~sjb0010/beasleygf.htm- Sara Beasley

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