Pitching Fast for Fluency
Growing Independence and Fluency
By: Ally Harper
Fluency is characterized by effortless word recognition, which influences speed. While it is important for children to learn how to read through decoding, it is a slow process. Slow reading also hinders reading comprehension. Reading quickly will allow the student to remember what they read in order to make connections and not forget what they have read. Fluent reading is essential in comprehending. The process can be sped up with fluency instruction. Fluency instruction helps turn newly encountered words into automatically recognized words, sight words. The method of repeated readings helps a student move forward from slowly decoding to automatic, effortless reading. This lesson directs children to use strategies that build sight words through crosschecking for meaning, repeated reading of the text, and charting progress in paired partner reading to sustain motivation to reread.
-Stopwatches for each pair of students
-Fluency graphs for each child
-Class set of Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia books
-Reader Response Form
Directions: On a separate sheet of paper, answer each question with at least one complete sentence.
1. What does “gloomy faces” mean? Why does the players have gloomy faces?
2. Why do you think Amelia Bedelia put on the uniform?
3. What did Amelia Bedelia do that made the Tornadoes angry?
4. Why did Amelia Bedelia pick up 2nd base?
5. What did Amelia Bedelia do with home plate and why?
6. Write down a time you played baseball, softball, or you watched a game.
2.) Model Fluent and Nonfluent reading: Say: 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. 1.) I ne-ver saw such glo-o-o-oomy faces, said Amelia Bedelia. Did something /t-e-rible/ happen? We played the /Tornaydows/ today, said Jimmy. (Tornadoes make more sense than tornaydows. I am having trouble with some of these new words so I have to finish the sentences to see if I can figure them out.) One of our p-l-ayers is out. There is no one to take his /p-l-ace/ /pla-ce/ oh, place, said Tom. 2.) Let me try this passage again. I never saw such gloomy faces, said Amelia Bedelia. Did something terrible happen? We played the Tornadoes today, said Jimmy. One of our players is out. There is no one to take his place said Tom.
(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? That’s right, I didn’t have to stop to figure out any of the words.
3.). Review a Strategy: Say: Did you notice that I used a strategy of crosschecking when I couldn’t get a word? What I did was finish the sentence to see if I could figure out the pronunciation of some tough new words that had silent letters, like the e in tornadoes. At first I pronounced them but they didn’t sound like read words I’ve heard of. Then when I finished the sentence, I could tell what the words were, like tornadoes instead of tornaydows.
4.) Practice Together: Say: Let’s try reading the next line on the page together as a class. (Choral read:) “What about me?” Said Amelia Bedelia. “You?” Said the boys. “Great!” “I don’t know much about the game,” said Amelia Bedelia. I heard some of you have trouble with Bedelia but when the class said it I heard you pick it up the second time and figure it out.
1. Pair up with your reading buddy; one buddy can come and get two Partner Reading Progress checklists and two 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 this chapter and put that number at the top of your checklist forms.
2. Take 3 turns reading the chapter to each other. While one reads, the other will do the stopwatch to time your partner’s readings. Remember not to skip any words! Start the timer as soon as the reader begins reading, press stop when the reader is finished.
3. Also pay close attention to how many mistakes your partner makes each time. Make tallies like this (show line tally method on the board III) for each mistake.
4. Then do a subtraction problem the total number of words minus the number of tallies for each reading. That number goes on this line: __________ Words in ____________seconds.
5. After getting some progress measures figured out, answer the two questions on the progress form about which turn was the smoothest and which had the fewest errors.
6. When you are finished timing each other, you can discuss the answers to the reader response questions.
7. Then each of you will write your answers on a separate sheet of paper back at your desks.
8. You will turn in your papers and checklists to me when you come read to me.
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