Ready, Set, Read!

Growing Independency and Fluency

By: Jessica C.R.


Rationale: Fluent reading is a very important goal in teaching reading. When students read fluently, they read fast. A child who reads fluently is able to comprehend text better because they do not get bogged down trying to decode text which ultimately leads to frustration. This lesson is designed to help students read more fluently by gaining automatic word recognition through timed repeated readings. Students will work in pairs and take turns timing each other on repeated readings.



-“cover-up critter” for each student (already pre-made)

-“The Dog that Pitched a No-Hitter” for each student

-Stopwatch (for each pair of students)

-Fluency Literacy check sheets (one for each student)

-Speed reading check sheet (one for each student)



1. Explain to the class why fluent reading is important. Today we are going to talk about what it means to be a fluent reader. Does anyone know that it means to read fluently? (give time for answers) Fluency means that we can read words quickly and correctly! When we read fluently, it frees up our mind to comprehend what we are reading and this makes reading FUN!! One thing we can do to help improve our fluency is by reading a story over and over again. Today, we are going to work on our fluency so get ready to enjoy reading!

2. Next, pass out the pre-made cover-up critters. Model how to use them. Whenever you come to a word you do not know, use your cover-up critter to help you sound it out! I will show you an example.” Write word catch on board. “I cover up the last three letters tch. We know tch=/ch/. Now I will start at the beginning: c=/k/ and a=/a/. Let me put these together: c-a-tch. Oh the word is catch!

3. To work on our fluency, not only do we use our cover-up critters, we also will read the text three different times and time ourselves to see if we are improving in fluency. You will pair up and time each other as your read. Then you will record your time on the worksheets I give you.

4. Next, model how a fluent reader reads. I want to make sure you all understand what it sounds like when a fluent reader reads. Write the sentence: “Tim hit the ball in the air” on the board. First, I will read this sentence to you slowly: ‘Ttt-iii-m Tim hh-i-t the ball iii-nn the air.’ This is not how a fluent reader reads. Next, I will read  it a second time to work on my fluency. ‘Tim h-ii-t the ball iii-n the air.’ Do you see how the more I read it, the more fluent I become? The last time I will read it as a fluent reader: ‘Tim hit the ball in the air!’ Each time you read, your partner will time you and record it on this sheet. Make sure to have an example on the projector  of the sheet to show them. Explain the speed reading record sheet. The reader will read the book for one minute three different times and the recorder will write down the number of words read each time. The recorder is also responsible for starting and stopping the timer after one minute.

5.Next, pass out the books The Dog that Pitched a No-Hitter to all students.  Next, give booktalk on The Dog that Pitched a No-Hitter. This book is about a boy named Mike and his dog Harry. Mike is a pitcher for the baseball team and he is really nervous about his baseball game. His dog, Harry tries to encourage Mike and help him get the outs he needs during the game. Will he gain the confidence he needs to strike out the rest of the batters or will the other team end up winning? You will have to read to find out! Now, I want you read the story and take turns with your partner timing each other. Now I want each of you to find a partner.” Pass out the record sheets and stopwatches to each pair. Decide who will read first and who will record first. For practice, I want you to read page 1 and have your partner record the time on the sheet. Repeat this two more times. Walk around and monitor as the students do this. How did you do? Did you improve?

6.After your partner is finished reading the story three times, the recorder will use the fluency literacy sheets to evaluate your partner. You will check the appropriate box for when your partner remembered more words, read faster, read smoother and read with expression. Was it after the 2nd or 3rd reading? Check the box which applies.

7.For assessment, check the students recording sheets to see if they are progressing. Also, ask comprehension questions such as, “How did the dog help the boy win the game?,” “What enabled Mike and his dog to read each other’s minds?”  



-Ali Long: Reading Fast is a Blast!

-Christopher, Matt. The Dog that Pitched a No-Hitter. New York: Scholastic, 1988. Print.




Speed Reading Record:

  Name:_________________________            Date:___________


     - After 1st read            _______

     - After 2nd read           _______

     - After 3rd read            _______


Fluency Literacy Sheet (to be filled in after 3 readings)

 When I listened to my partner read:

                                                         After 2nd           After 3rd

       1. Remembered more words         _______          _______

       2. Read faster                                      _______          _______

       3. Read smoother                               _______          _______

       4. Read with expression                   _______          _______



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