Growing Fluency Lesson Plan

Catching on to Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency Design

Claire Whitley 

Rationale: 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.

Materials: White board/markers, fluency checklist, Purple Climbing Days (1 copy per person), fluency graphs for each child, stickers, stopwatches (1 per pair of students), reader response form, cover up critter

Procedures: 1. Say (explain): In order to be the very best readers we can be, we must be able to read fluently. To read fluently is to read with smoothly with ease, without having to sound out each word. By being fluent readers, we are able to enjoy the book much more because we can focus on the story rather than each word.

2. Say (model): "I am going to let you listen to me read a short passage two times. When I'm done, I'll take a vote on which time I sounded better. (Read choppily) My dd-aa-dd, d-ad, dad, l-i-cccks, oh likes!, to taaa-kk-eee,, take, me ffff-iii-shh-ing. I, caaau-gg-t, caught a b-ii-g , big f-iiii-shhh, fish too-dddd-aaay, today! (Read smoothly) Let me try this passage again. My dad likes to take me fishing. I caught a big fish today!

(Ask for a show of hands) Who liked listening to my first reading? How about the second? Why did the second time sound better to you? Right! The second time sounded a lot better to listen to because I didn't have to stop to figure out any of the words.

3. Say (review): Did you notice that I used a strategy of crosschecking when I couldn't get a word? I finished the sentence with the word I couldn't figure out to see if I could figure out the pronunciation of these tough new words that had silent letters, like the at the end of likes and take and the gh in caught.  The first time I read them, I pronounced how they looked like they should sound, but they didn't sound like real words I've ever heard of. When I finished the sentence, I could tell what the words were, like caught instead of caugt.

4. Say (practice): Let's try reading the two sentences that I have written on the board together. I see a couple of tough new words in the sentence.

(Choral read): "I thought I caught a big fish. I tried to reel it in, but it took my bait and swam away.

"I heard some of you having trouble with thought and tried, but you used the rest of the sentence to figure them out. The word "thought" is like the word "bought" that we practiced a few minutes ago. That "ough" sound makes an "aww" sound, like if you think something is cute. In the word "tried", the "ie" simply says i's name. Let's all read these two sentences together again now, thinking about these special spellings as we read the words thought and tried.

5. Say (motivate to read): Today we are going to read about Richard Best’s least favorite day in school, purple climbing days. Richard, or Beast as his friends call him, is terrified to climb the rope in PE class. When the mean substitute teacher Mrs. Miller finds out Beast’s secret, she tells him to meet in the gym after school. Will Beast be able to face his fears and climb the rope?

6. Say (explain the new procedures): (While explaining, I write directions as steps on the board for students to refer to.)Here's what you are going to do next.

- Pair up with your reading buddy; one buddy can come and get 2 Partner Reading Progress checklists and 2 reader response forms from my desk, then return to your reading places. While one buddy is doing this, the other one will count all the words in these first 2 pages of the book and put that number at the top of your checklist forms.

- Take 3 turns reading the 2 pages to each other. While one reads, the other will use the stopwatch to time your partner's readings.

- I want you to pay close attention to how many mistakes your partner makes each time.  Make tallies like this (show line tally method on the board – remind students “one, two, three, four, number five shuts the door”) for each mistake.

- Then do a subtraction problem: Take the total number of words and subtract the number of tallies for each reading. 

That number goes on this line: ________Words in   __________  seconds

- After getting some progress measures figured out, answer the 2 questions on the progress form about which turn was the smoothest and which had the fewest errors.

- When you are done timing each other, you can discuss the answers to the reader response questions.

- Then, each of you will write your answers on a separate sheet of paper back at your desks.

- When you turn in your papers and checklists, I will give you a graph and 3 stickers. I will figure out your 3 rates and, after putting your name at the top, your stickers will go in the time spaces to show your reading rates. 

- You'll put your completed star chart on the front bulletin board on the fluency poster." 

Grades are computed using point system as follows:

Followed direction for completing forms: +1

Improved in speed: +2

Improved in accuracy: +2

Answered 4 questions with complete sentences: +3

Answers accurate/appropriate: +2




Piper, Casey. Fluency Fun with Junie B. Jones.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Purple Climbing Days. Old Greenwich, Conn.: Listening Library, 1985

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