Flying Fluently into Space

Flying Fluently Into Space!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Carly Woods


Partnership Link (link to other lesson designs)


In order for students to understand and master learn how to be a fluent reader, they must practice expression, pace, and comprehension. Fluency is an important step in a reader's transition from decoding to gaining automatic word recognition. Repeated reading is an efficient, effective way for students to move from slow, sometimes frustrating decoding, into faster, efficient, expressive, and enjoyable reading. Students will use the strategy of crosschecking after readings of a decodable text and repeated readings to gain fluency and independence in reading.



·      Pencils

·      Paper

·      Class set of There’s No Place like Space book

·      Sample sentences on white board for teacher to model

·      Comprehension questions

·      Fluency checklists

·      Reading Rate forms for teacher

·      Optional progress tracker for teacher



1.Say: In order to be the very best readers we can be, we must be able to read fluently. Reading fluently means reading easily and smoothly, without having to sound out each and every part of one single word. A fluent reader is able to enjoy a book much better because we can focus on what is happening in the story instead of focusing on how to read and sound out words! We want to be able to read as smooth as it would be to pour melted butter into a pan.


2. Say: Now let's look at a sentence written on the board: Jay sat sadly on a rock.  Everyone turn your ears on to listen as I read this sentence aloud. Let me know if it sounds like I am reading fluently or not. J-j-j, /a/-/a/-/a/, y-y-y, jay, sat s-s-s-a-a-d-d-l-y-, s-ad-ly, oh sadly. Jay sat sadly on a  r-/O/-k-e, Jay sat sadly on a roke. Oh, that doesn't make sense. It must be rock. Jay sat sadly on a rock. Did you notice that when I read the sentence, I got stuck on the last word? To figure out what that word was, I reread the sentence from the beginning and tried what I thought the word rock said, roke. That did not make sense, though, so when I read the rest of the sentence I realized that it was not rake, it was race! This strategy is called crosschecking, and it is super important to use when we are learning to become fluent readers! Now, as I was reading that sentence,

did I read like a fluent reader? Exactly right, no I didn't because I had to decode the words in the sentence. Here's how to read that sentence fluently: Jay sat sadly on a rock. See how I did not have to sound out any of the words this time? I spoke smoothly, just like I was pouring melted butter into a pan. It was easier to understand. Now turn to a partner and practice reading the second sentence on the board. Jake plays in the grass, and he runs like an ant! Read it aloud to your partner repeatedly until you ran read it fluently.



4. Say: Now we are going to practice fluent reading by reading There’s No Place like Space. "The Cat and the Hat wants YOU to join him on his journey to space. Will it be cold? Will it be hot? Will there be any special surprises? Let's read to find out. I want everyone to read the this book silently, which means you are not whispering or moving your lips.


5. Pair students up to practice fluency. Explain that while they are working in partners, they cannot make fun of one another or "help them out." Give each group four check sheets and There’s No Place Like Space. Each partner will read the book three times. After the second and third reading, the other partner will mark off the reader's progress on the check sheet. After that, they will trade roles and repeat the process. As the groups are working, it is the teacher's job to walk around and listen to the students read. Between readings, he/she should help with words that were misread and ask questions.

    *Fluency and Expression should be modeled by teacher during this lesson.

    * Teacher may randomly select partners to evaluate and use partner tracking form.


References: Improving Fluency, Haley Wilson, Auburn University YouTube There’s No Place like Space : Improving Fluency, Faith Karl, Auburn University


Reading Rate_________







Less than 50                           

Wpm              1     2    3


Reading Progress (For Teacher records)

Reader's Name: _________________

  Total words in 4 pages______


1st Reading    Tally Marks:

#  ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

#  _____ words in ____seconds.


2nd Reading       Tally Marks:

#  ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

#  _____ words in  ____seconds


3rd Reading      Tally Marks:

#  ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

# _____ words in  ____seconds


Which reading turn had the fewest tally marks (errors)? ________

Which reading turn was read the fastest? _______


Comprehension Questions:

1. What is the weather like on Venus?

2. When does Earth stop turning?

3. Where will you visit if you travel to space with the Cat in the Hat?

Assessment Rubric

 Student Name:


Evidence shown for reading three times  ___/3

Responded to comprehension questions  ___/3

Improved fluency  ___/1

Improved accuracy  ___/1

Completed Partner Progress form  ___/2

Total  ___/10