Fast, Fluent Reading is Fun!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Taylor Willis

 

Rationale: Fluent reading is essential in comprehending. Fluency is characterized by effortless word recognition, which influences speed.  Effortless word recognition allows students to no longer focus on decoding word by word; instead they are able to reflect on what they are reading.  Reading quickly also allows the reader to remember what they have read in order to make connections and not forget what they have previously read.  Through reading, decoding, crosschecking, mental marking, and rereading, students will be able to confidently improve fluency and grow into improved readers.  Children will be assessed in improvement by the formula (words read x 60/seconds) to determine the child's words read per minute (wpm).

 

Materials: North Meets South chapter book for each student, peer rereading checklist for each child, rereading checklist for each student for teacher use, pencil for each student; each student's personal fluency graph; stopwatch for teacher                      

 

Procedure:

1. Say:  Today, we are going to practice reading fluently, with good expression and at a good speed.  To do this, we have to know most of the words by just looking at them.  Notice how I said "most" because even great readers sometimes come to words they do not know. Good readers then use strategies like crosschecking and mental marking that will help them know the unfamiliar word the next time they see it.  This means that when I come to a word I do not know, I sound it out, and then finish the sentence to see if it makes sense.  After I think about whether the word I sounded out is right or I notice the real word, I think about how the spelling of the word is like or not like the punctuation, this is called mental marking.  After I notice the spelling, I go back and reread the sentence to make sure that I have all the information in my brain and to get me back into the story.

 

2. Say: I am going to practice using this skill by reading these sentences (have "The sun beat down on the men as they went down the road." written on the board or on an overhead, be sure to read slowly and hesitant, improving a little with each reading).  "The…sun..bet…don…bet down…beat down (oh ea says /E/ and that ow says /ow/)……on..the men as they went don, oh wait, that's the same word with the /ow/, down…as they went down the road."  From reading this, I see that ow says /ow/ in down and ea says /E/.  Next time I read this, I should be able to remember these words. Let's try it again, "The sun beat…um, down… on the men as they went down the …road."  See that was a little better.  Let's try again.  "The sun beat down on the men as they went down the road."  Do you guys see how each time I read it, I know more words and it sounds more natural?  This also works when we read whole pages, chapters, or stories.  Sometimes we reread entire texts to see if we can read it faster, with more expression, which will allow us to comprehend better.  We do not reread because we read bad the first time, even great readers reread!

 

3. Say: Our book today is called North Meets South. This story takes place in the Civil War times, when the North, who were called the "Yankees" and South of the United States, who were called the "Rebels" were fighting. One day, two young boys run into each other as they are cooling off by a creek, but the problem is, that one boy was from the North and one boy is from the South, and they are not supposed to be talking with each other, instead they are supposed to fight each other.  Do you think that the two boys will fight each other, or will they get out safely? Everyone open the book to page one, and we will read the first chapter as a class. I want each person to follow along with their finger.  Read the chapter one time through. Now, let's read the chapter again, and I want each person to whisper read with me. Read the chapter through a second time.

 

4. Say: Now I want you guys to practice using your skills with partners to read. Each person should find a partner.  I want one person to read the chapter one time.  Then, read it again. (While holding up the peer review sheet)  After you read it a second time, I want your partner to mark on the peer sheet whether the person remembered more words like the elephant, whether your partner read faster like the cheetah, whether their reading was smoother like the swan, and whether your partner read with more expression like the silly monkey.  Then I want you to read the chapter a third time, and again your partner will mark you peer sheet.  Now, switch positions and this time the other partner reads while the person who read the first time marks the sheet. Make sure you are thinking about the words that give you trouble between each reading.  While you guys are doing this, I will call each student to come to my desk to practice reading a few times with me. If you and your partner finish early, you may write what you believe will happen next in the story.  This is called predicting.  We will read the next chapter tomorrow to see if our predictions were correct.  As each student comes to the teacher's desk, the teacher fills out the assessment worksheet on the following page.  The student will fill out their personal fluency graph they made in an earlier math lesson.

 

5. Once everyone has had an opportunity to do a formal evaluation and reading and rereading with the teacher, come back together as a group and discuss what happened in the first chapter. Continue with this routine throughout the rest of the chapters of the book, finishing at the end of the week.

 

Assessment: Each student will be assessed individually at the teacher's desk on words per minute, expression, and smoothness.  Each child will have a words per minute goal that he or she will be working towards meeting by the end of the week (approximately 10-20 wpm faster than at the beginning of the week).

 

Reference:

Dennis, Maegan, "Rocket into Fluency." http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/dennisgf.htm

 

Book: Sims, Matt. North Meets South. Illus. Rick Hackney. High Noon Books. Novato, CA. 2001.

 

I noticed that my partner…

elephant.gifAfter 2nd Reading       After 3rd Reading

cheetah run 2.gif¨                     ¨                      Remembered more words    

swan.jpg¨                     ¨                     Read Faster

monkey.jpg¨                     ¨                     Read Smoother

¨                     ¨                     Read with expression

 

Student Name__________________________________________________________________

 

             Book or Chapter ________________________________________________________________

 

 

Reading # 1

 

Time:

 

Total Number of words:

                                   

WPM:

 

Miscues:                                                                     

 

 

 

Reading # 2

 

Time:

 

WPM:

 

Did The Student:

 

Read smoother?

¨  Yes

¨  No

 

Read with more expression?

¨  Yes

¨  No

 

Miscues:

 

 

Reading # 3

 

Time:

 

WPM:

 

Did The Student:

 

Read smoother?

¨  Yes

¨  No

 

Read with more expression?

¨  Yes

¨  No

 

Miscues:

 

 

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