CTRD 3710: “Read Till We’re Fluent!” - Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson Design

“Read Till We’re Fluent!”

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson Design

Anna Kochenour

Rationale: For students to be fluent readers, they must read quickly, automatically, and expressively. Not only should fluent 2nd grade students be able to read with speed, ease, and expression, but they should also be able to comprehend what they are reading.  One way to increase fluency is through repeated readings.  Repeated readings, or reading a passage of text several times, allows students to become more fluent by making all words of a text sight words.  In this lesson, students will gain fluency through silent reading and repeated readings with a partner.


  • The book: The Cat in the Hat
  • Assessment worksheet: attached at the end
  • Stop watch/timer
  • Chart to record student's WPM
  • Copy of passage to model fluent reading (preferably a large poster):
  • "The dog jumps from the bed to the ground. He wags his tails and barks very loud."
  • Copies of One Last Thing (one for the students to read and one for each student for the teacher to record on)
  • Comprehension questions for assessment:
    • What the passage about?
    • Why couldn't mom pack all of her treasures?


Explain to students what being a fluent reader means.  "It is very important that we all become fluent readers. A fluent reader is able to read at a good rate, automatically read words, and read with expression. If you are able to read automatically and at a good rate, you will be more likely to comprehend what you are reading, which leads to enjoying reading. Fluent reading also allows people to enjoy listening to us read. Just like other things you have become good at, fluent reading takes practice, practice, and more practice!"

"There are some special tools you need to become fluent reading. First you need to be able to decode words. We can decode by using our cover up critters to separate words into segments that are easier to read. When you come to a word you do not know and that is hard to decode, it is very helpful to finish the sentence and use clues from the sentence to help you decide what that word is. This is called cross-checking, one of the special tools you need. Another tool you need is to be able to mark irregular words in your head, such as island says I-land. When you mark these irregular spellings in your head, this is called mental marking. One other tool you need is to always reread sentences that slow you down. Once you crosscheck, discover the word, and mentally mark the irregular word, you always should reread the entire sentence. This is a crucial tool for you to become a fluent reader!"

Model fluency: I am going to model how to read fluently. I will start by reading this passage:

'The dog jumps f-rrr-ooo-mm the bed, oh from the bed, to the grind, I mean ground. He w-aaa-gs his tail, oh wags his tail, and b-a-r-ks very l-ooo-d. Load? Oh, that's loud.'"

"That was pretty hard for me! I'm going to read it again now that I have used crosschecking and mental marking.” (I will read it fast without expression)

'The dog jumps from the bed to the ground. He wags his tail and barks very loud.'

"That was a lot easier for me to read since I knew all the words! Now I'm going to read it again and add expression to my reading. (Then I will read the passage with expression). Do you see how after I have read a word a few times, using decoding, crosschecking, and mental marking, I was able to recognize it immediately and enjoy my reading more! Wasn't it more enjoyable listening to me read the passage the last time than the first time I read it? We want to be fluent readers so we can enjoy reading and so that others will enjoy listening to us read!"

"Now it is your turn to practice to become a fluent reader! Today we are going to be reading The Cat in the Hat. It is about a friendly cat that shows up at a home where two kids are home alone while their mom is at work. The cat performs many antics while trying to entire the children, and successfully destroys the children’s home while entertaining! The mom is not going to be happy. Let's read to find out if the cat and the kids are able to get the house in order before the mom gets home! I want everyone to read this book silently. Remember, silently means you are not whispering--you are silent!"

“Now I want everyone to get into pairs and read the book with your partner. I want you and your partner to take turns being the reader while the other partner is the recorder. The reader is to read to page 20 of The Cat in the Hat three times and the recorder will fill out a sheet, marking 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. I will record how long it takes the students to read the 176-word passage, "One Last Thing". 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).  Then I will ask the students 2 comprehension questions about the passage:           

“What the passage about?”                                                                        

“Why couldn't mom pack all of her treasures?”

 Chart Example:


Words Per Minute


55 x 60 /80 = 41 WPM






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