Hunting for Fluency
Growing Independence and Fluency
By: Gabrielle Guyette
Rationale: Fluency is being able to read quickly, at an even pace with expression. It is an important skill for students to obtain. If students are fluent readers, reading becomes more efficient and they can begin reading for understanding at a better pace. In order for students to become fluent readers, they must read and re-read decodable books practice decoding and decoding at a quick speed. This lesson calls for students to practice reading decodable books many times in order to be able to read them quickly and smoothly. Students will read the books independently and then read to a peer.
1) Say: Today we are going to be practicing how to read fast but smooth at the same time! Being able to read quickly and smoothly is called fluency. It is important that we learn to read quickly and with ease so that we can focus on understanding what we read rather than how to decode the words! This will help you read more fluently and also will help you read more and more books!
2) Say: Now, I am going to show you how to read a sentence fluently. Put a sentence strip on the board with The snake was slithering on the ground, on it. Say: Listen to me as I say the sentence a loud and listen to how the sounds blend together so smoothly. Thhheeee sssssssssnaaaaaaakkee wwwaaasss sssswwwiiiiiitttthherrriinnnggg oooonn ttthheee gggrrrooouuunnd. I will then read the sentence faster than the time before and then repeat. The last time, I will blend the words together and read the words at the same pace and smooth the words together in the sentence. Say: This is how we read fluently. Do you see why it is important for us to read this way? When we read like this, it is much easier to understand. We are improving our reading by reading and rereading to make it more fluent.
3) It is your turn to practice reading fluently now! Everyone spread out around the room and I will give you a book to practice reading quickly and smoothly. Please read it a few times because practicing reading the books multiple times are a great way to improve reading fluency. The book we are reading is Brown Bear, Brown Bear. This is a story about many different animals that we see. They are various colors and some may look very funny to you. Let's read and see what kind of animals we will see. I bet you will see some that you may recognize. What kind of animals do you think you will see? Let’s read the story to find out. Remember to put the words together smoothly in the sentence as you reread the book!
4) Once you practiced reading your book, come back to the group and I will pair you with a partner to read together. You are each going to read the book to your partner 3 times. With the stopwatch I give you, you are going to time your partner for one minute while listening to them read. At the end of that one minute, you will count how many words they read during that minute. I will give you a check lists that has a space to write how many words they are reading one minute the first, second and third time. After one partner has read 3 times, you will then switch and do the same thing!
5) During the peer assessment, I will monitor the students working and try to ensure that all students are following directions and assessing each other correctly.
6) After the students read to one another, I will call them up to my desk individually and explain to them what how many words they read per minute means and how it relates to fluency. I will then have a chart with Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny to the rabbit hole. There will be increments of 5 starting at the beginning as 5 going up to the rabbit hole where Bugs Bunny lives to 85. I will put the Elmer Fudd character on the corresponding number of words they read in a minute. I will encourage the student to keep practicing by moving their Elmer Fudd character up each time they increase their words read per minute.
Assessment: I will assess their speed reading by keeping their times documented and watching their improvement on the charts.
Reference: Lauren Emily Shipman. Reading Genie Website. Fishing for Fluency.
Martin, Bill. Brown Bear, Brown Bear.