Flying Into Fluent Reading



A Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

Rebecca Tarleton



Rationale: The goal for this lesson is to become fluent in student's reading by practicing with expression and being able to read with automatic word recognition. Fluent reading is essential for reading comprehension. As a result, students will read smoothly, accurately, and with expression. If a student is fluent, they are able to focus more on the meaning of the text rather than trying to decode the words. Once students can read fluently they can also add expression, making reading to others more interesting. Students will accomplish this by reading with partners using expression and using reading strategies such as crosschecking and rereading.


Materials: Copies of Frog and Toad are Friends Arnold Lobel (Harper Collins Publishing 1979) for each student and one for the teacher; repeated reading checklist for each student; repeated reading checklist for teacher when assessing students individually; white board; marker; pencils for students



1.     To begin lesson say: "To be an expert reader, we must know how to read with expression so that we can read more fluently. Fluent means to read really smooth with no long breaks in between our words. Today we are going to be practicing reading more smoothly. Remember if we come to a word we don't know we must use our crosschecking and then rereading strategies to help us."

2.     Say: "When we want to read smoothly, we use our two most helpful strategies: crosschecking and rereading. They help us to be more comfortable and better understand what we are reading." Write sentence on the board: Frog was excited that it was Spring. Then read the sentence pausing and pretending to decode the words. "Frog… was… exceted… that.. it… was… Sprang. That didn't sound just right. Let me try that again. Frog… was… um... excited… that… it… was… Spring. Oh! Frog is excited that it was Spring. Did everyone notice how I read the sentence the first time and it didn't sound right? But then I went back and read it again, crosschecking my words that I didn't know. When I read the sentence the last time, I could read it smoothly because I knew all of the words. Today you are going to be reading the first chapter in the book Frog and Toad are Friends with a partner. You and your partner will read it three times each.

3.     Say: "It is now Spring and Toad is very happy. He goes to his friend Toad's house to wake him up, but Toad did not want to get up. Frog pushed Toad out of bed and made him come outside but Toad said he was going back to bed. What will Frog do all spring without his friend? Will he be able to get Toad out of bed for good? You will have to read to find out!" Teacher now reads first chapter to students modeling how to read smoothly and with expression. "Now we're going to read as a class. Follow along in your book and read with me while I read."

4.     After reading, break the class into partners. Say: "I want you to get with your partner and read the first chapter of the book like we just read together. You should take turns reading. Only one of you will be reading at a time. While one person reads, the other should be listening and using their reading checklist (attached below). Put your partner's name on the front and your name on the back. You should be checking to see if your partner is reading faster, smoother, remembering more words, and reading with expression. After your partner reads the chapter three times, you will switch roles and let the other partner read while you listen and use the checklist. After both partners read, you should tell each other something good you noticed as they were reading. Then, show me thumbs up that you and your partner are done. You may then continue reading on your own in your seat.

5.     After all partners have finished reading, ask students about the reading activity. Say: "Who felt like they are becoming better readers? Did you feel like you could read more smoothly and with more expression? What is going on in the story so far?"

6.     Each student will meet with the teacher individually to assess student's fluency. The student will read the first chapter of Frog and Toad are Friends to the teacher. Teacher will take notes of their fluency using the same checklist partners used during reading. Check for reading faster, smoother, accuracy, and expression. This checklist should be compared to the student's checklist so the teacher gets a better idea of who is becoming more fluent and who needs more help. While each student is meeting with the teacher, the other students should be writing about what they read and about what they think will happen in the next chapter to test reading comprehension.



·        Maegan Dennis, Rocket into Fluent Reading,

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

·        Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad are Friends. Harper Collins Publishing. 1979.


Reading Checklist:


After Second Read

After Third Read

I noticed my partner…



read faster



read smoother



remembered more words



read with more expression



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