Flying Towards Fluency with Baby Hoot!

Fluency Lesson

Heather Sherrell



Reading fluency is being able to read with automatic word recognition. When readers become fluent their ability to read text quick, smooth, and with expression will increase. The strongest research evidence supports the method of repeated to gain fluency. The goal of this lesson is to improve student's fluency through repeated readings and timed reading.

Materials: Student copies of The Car Trip by Matt Sims. (High Noon Books 2001), stopwatch or timer for teacher and each student, fluency Checklist for each student (see Bottom), reading Record time sheet for each student (see Bottom), Cover up Critter for each student (a cover up created is created using a colored Popsicle stick, and two small googly eyes glued to one end!), sentence strip that reads: Lee and his team flee the bee!, pencil for each student


1. The teacher will introduce the lesson by saying "We are going to be learning how to become better fluent readers today!" Teachers should explain to students what fluent reading means by saying "Fluent reading is when students can read with expression to make the story more interesting, and fluent readers have the ability to read smooth and quick! It is very important to improve your fluency if you want to become a good reader. Fluency is being able to read smoothly without stopping between words. In addition, fluent readers can read the words with little or no effort. Once you become a fluent reader, the text you read will make more sense to you because you do not have to keep stopping while you read. Every time you read the text, you become more familiar with it, so you also read much faster!"

2. The teacher should then put the sentence strip on the board that reads: Lee and his team flee the bee. "Now we are going to work on our fluency! I will model fluency. I'm going to read a sentence to you like a beginning reader would. L-l-l-lee a-a-a-and h-h-h-his t-t-t-team f-f-f-flee t-t-t-the b-b-b-bee. Did that sound fluent to you? I did not think so either. Now, I am going to read the sentence fluently. L-l-lee a-a-and h-h-his t-t-team fl-fl-flee th-th-the b-b-bee. Do you think we can read it more fluent? Me too. Let us try it again. Lee and his team flee the bee. That sentence was a lot easier to understand. It was easier to understand because it was fluent and smooth."

3. "When you are reading and you come across a word that you do not know you can use your cover up critter to figure out the word! I will show you an example!" Teacher writes the word strand on the board. "I am going to pretend that I do not know this word! First, I am going to find the vowel and cover up all the other letters. The vowel is a, I know that short a makes the /a/ sound. Then I will uncover all the letters before the vowel, which in this case is s-t-r I will pronounce that /s/t/r/a/ then I will uncover the rest of the word and sound it out. /n/d/. If the cover up critter does not work you may try asking your partner for help!"

4. The teacher will then engage students in a book talk about the story The Car Trip. Book talk: "This story is about Dad and Roy going on a trip to the west coast! They will have to travel very long and far to get there! I wonder what they will do along the way!? We will have to read to find out!

5. The teacher should now pass out a copy of the book to each student. "I am going to read the book to you the first time! I want you to follow along and pay attention to how fluently I am reading!"

6. The teacher should now tell the students about their re-reading activity. The teacher should make sure to explain to the students that "because of repeated readings, reading gets easier, the words start jumping out at you, and it is easier for you to understand the story! When you read fluently, you can focus on the words of the story because you are reading with a lot of expression!"

7. The teacher should now pair up students and assign them different spots in the room. Make sure that each pair of students receives a fluency literacy rubric, a timer, and a copy of The Car Trip, and a reading time sheet.

8. The teacher needs to take time to explain that one student will be the reader and the other student will be the recorder. "Once you have finished reading you will switch jobs and listen to your partner read. The first person to read will open the book a wait for their partner to tell them when to start. The person that is the recorder will start the timer and let it run until their partner has finished the whole book. Be sure to stop the timer when you partner is finished. I want you to record that time on your timer Record Sheet. Then you will go through the fluency checklist after each time you partner reads. Once you have completed the fluency checklist and the Time Record sheet you will then switch jobs. The person that was recording will now be the reader!"

9. "I am going to ask a volunteer to come up and we will model the steps quickly!"

10. The teacher should float around the room making sure students are writing on their time record sheet and fluency checklist after their partner reads each time.

11. The student will assess each student by looking over both the fluency checklist and time sheet. The teacher should use the formula: Words X 60 divided by amount of time-spent reading. The teacher will get this information from the time record sheet complete by each student's partner. The teacher will also have each student write a small paragraph summary of the text after they are done working with their partner. This will allow the teacher to understand if the student is reading fluently as well as comprehending the text.

Time Record Sheet:

Name: ______________________

Date: _______________________

1st Time: ______________________

2nd Time: _____________________

3rd Time: ______________________

Fluency Literacy Rubric:

Name: ___________________________

Evaluator: _______________________

Date: ____________________________

I noticed that my partner…. Check the space

After 2nd Reading……

___ Remembered more words

___ Read Faster

___ Read Smoother

___ Read with expression



Hamann, Abby. Zoom! Let's Go Go Go!

The Car Trip. Matt Sims. High Noon Books 2001.

Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie "Developing Reading Fluency"

Return to Epiphanies index