Growing Fluency

Reading Fluently!

By: Shea Brennaman

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rationale: Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. Being fluent and automatic allows more opportunity for reading comprehension since less time is spent figuring out the word or sentence.  This lesson will help students understand reading with speed and fluency by timing their reading speeds and having fellow students assess their fluency with worksheets.



  • Class set of “Days with Frog and Toad” by Arnold Lobel. One per student.

  • Stopwatches, one for every two children

  • Pencils

  • Dry erase board and marker

  • Speed read charts, one per student

  • Fluency Rubric, one per student



Speed Read Chart:


Name:______________________  Date:____________


Reading time: ______



Fluency Rubric:


Name:______________________  Evaluator:_______________________  Date: ____________


I noticed that my partner: (put an X in the blank)


                                                   After 2nd    After 3rd


Read Faster                                 ______      ______


Read Smoother                           ______      ______


Read with Expression                  ______      ______


Remembered more words            ______      ______





1. Introduce the lesson to your class. “Today we’re going to practice reading fluently and with expression.” Write the sentence “Sit on the red box” on the board. It’s normal to read this as “Siiiiiit oooonnnnnnn theeeeee reddddddddd boxxxxxxxxx”  “As you build fluency you will be able to read this more fluently.” We will practice reading this with expression and adding an exclamation point at the end “Sit on the red box!”


2.   We will review the cover up strategy as a class. “When we read and we come to a word that we don’t know, we will use coverups.” I will write stink on the board and instruct how the students must use the coverups. “Class, I don’t know this word, I will read the sentence it is in and coverup the word and pronounce each word part sssss-tttt-iiiiiii-nnnnn-kkkkkkk, oh this word is stink!” Now that you know what the word “stink” is you can add this word to your sight vocabulary and use it to remember important parts in a story!

3.   Remind students that reading quickly is not the only goal. “Remember that reading fast is not the only thing we need to do. Let’s look back at our sentence on the board. If I read “sit on the red box!” so quickly because I wanted to finish the sentence, I might not understand the sentence. We need to read so that we can understand. We can also crosscheck. (Write “The dog smells bad” on the board) If I read, “The dog smills bad,” I would think, You know, that just doesn’t make sense. The dog smills? Smills is not a word, this must be smells.”


4.   Divide the class in pairs and give all students the two reading rubrics. Give a book talk on “Days with Frog and Toad.” “Today we’re going to read “Days with Frog and Toad. In this book Toad wants to spend time with his friend Frog, but when he goes to Frog’s house he reads a note that says that he only wants to be alone. Toad observes that Frog is sad so he does whatever he can to cheer him up. Will Frog cheer up? We’ll have to read to find out!” Students will take turns reading and recording each other’s progress. The recorder will set a stopwatch and have the reader begin when the clock starts and they will stop when the reader finishes reading. This task will record the speed at which the reader is reading.


5.   After both have been recorded on the chart, have them read to each other again and have the recorder make notes about the reader’s fluency. The reader and recorder will switch jobs again and repeat. Allow the students three readings by having both readers reading to each other again and each partner taking note on their fluency the third time.


6.   I’ll take up all of the time and fluency charts.



 7. For assessment, I will have each student come to the reading corner and read “Days with Frog and Toad” aloud to me. I will time each one individually and make miscue notes on a separate sheet of paper. After the assessment I will ask the student questions that go beyond the basic understanding of the story to determine if the student comprehended and understood the story.

  1. Where did Toad find Frog?

  2. What did Toad do to try and get Frog’s attention?

  3. What did Toad bring for he and Frog to eat?




Cadrette, Mallory. Super Speedy Readers!

Lobel, Arnold. Days With Frog and Toad. 1979.

Lydon, Lili. Lets Rock and Read!

Murray, Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.