Fluent reading is fun!

 Growing Fluency

Kailey Landrum

Rationale: Students need to be able to read quickly and develop automatic word recognition. Readers who are able  to effectively decode and have learned many correspondences can mentally mark words and cross check their reading. It's important to develop fluency because they can focus on the meaning of the text rather than decoding. This lesson will help readers improve their reading speed while comprehending the text. The student will work with a partner to chart their reading rates.


Materials: Stopwatch for each pair of students, fluency graphs for each student (a canoe sailing across a lake), class set of A Day at the Lake, fluency checklists for each student, and reader response forms for each student



1.     Today, we are going to work on reading fluency. Fluent readers read quickly, accurately, and automatically. When we read, it’s ok if you mess up a word, just use your crosschecking skills and correct your mistake. Make sure you are understanding the text as you read.

2.     We will be reading A Day at the Lake. It's about a group of kids who go to the lake to play and swim, but when they stop for lunch, they realize all of their lunches have disappeared. They have to go searching for their lunches. Do you think they will find them? What else do you think they might find in the woods? Now I will split you into pairs to read together.

3.     Listen to me read the first page of the book (read choppily, stop to sound out words). Did you hear how my reading was slow? It is hard to understand when I read without fluency. Listen to me read the page again (read fluently with expression). Which passage do you think sounded better? Why do you think this passage sounded better? Right, because I read it quicker and with more expression. It's easier to understand the words when I read them quickly and don't have to stop and sound them out. When I read the first time, I used one of the self-hep strategies that we have learned- crosschecking. If I didn't know a word, I attempted to read it the best I could and then I continued reading to finish the sentence. Then, I went back and used context to figure out the word. I also mentally marked words that looked unusual, like a word with a silent e or a word with an odd pronunciation. When we make mental notes, we can remember how to read the word for next time. Also, we can use the cover-up strategy. Remember our cover-up critters? If you get stuck on a word, your critter can help you figure out the word. For example, if I didn't know the word stop, I could use the critter and sound out s-t-o-p (demonstrate example). 

4.     Now, we're going to practice reading with fluency like I just did. I'm going to give each pair a copy of A Day at the Lake, a fluency chart, and a stop watch. Each partner should read the first chapter while your partner times you. Record how long it takes you to read. I will Provide you with the number of words in the chapter in order for us to calculate the reading rates. (Explain the reading rate on the board and give example. Some students may need more assistance with this.) Once your partner has finished, switch places and let the other partner read the chapter. The goal is to read 85 words per minute. Try reading the chapter again and see if you can move the canoe on your chart across the lake to 85 wpm. As students you finish reading with their partner, I will have you come  individually read with me. After, you read, I will ask you to retell what you just read in your own words. Once you are back at your seat, you can read silently and independently to yourself and finish the book.




Loyd, Emily, Reading is Fun!!!


Patrick, Kate, Fancy Fluent


Sims, Matt, A Day at the Lake (2002)

Fluency Chart

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