1 class periods of 15 minutes each
The students will reread familiar text to develop fluency. They will practice reading with accuracy, speed, and appropriate intonation.
- Copies of short passages for practice reading.
- Audio tape of selected passages.
- A one minute timer.
- Timed Reading Chart (pdf).
- Blue and red pencils.
- Tape recorder.
Background for Teachers
Teachers should be familiar with teaching fluency and what fluency includes (speed, accuracy, intonation), and also familiar with how to use a Timed Reading Chart.
This teaching strategy uses auditory modeling, timed self-assessments, and partner feedback to motivate students. It can be adapted by having students practice reading independently with an audiotape or do unassisted repeated readings, with partners providing word-identification help, feedback and encouragement. Partners need not be reading at the same level, or practicing their oral reading with the same passage.
Student Prior Knowledge
Prior to lesson students should have been taught in guided practice what fluency is and how to use the graphs and tape player.
Intended Learning Outcomes
The ability to read at a selected target rate. The goal for the 4th Grade Core is 120-150 WPM.
- Help each student select an easy, interesting passage for practice reading. The passage should be too long to memorize: 150 - 200 words.
- Prepare an audio tape of the selected passages.
First Timed Reading:
- Teacher will model reading aloud a passage, telling them that this is what a good reader should sound like.
- Discuss with the students what the reading sounded like: What was my speed? Was it accurate? Did it have a lot of expression?
- Do non-examples: Read too slow, inaccurately, no expression. Discuss what that reading sounded like.
- Tell the students that today they are going to practice reading so that they can become fluent readers.
- Using a one minute timer, have each student do an unrehearsed first reading of the passage.
- Have the student read the passage aloud, underline any word he/she doesn't know, and make a vertical line after the last word read when the timer goes off.
- Help the student count the number of words read correctly, and color the Timed Reading Chart with a blue pencil up to that number.
- Discuss the words that the student underlined, paying attention to letter or word patterns that were confusing.
- Work with a student to set a new target rate for the passage. It should be high enough that the student will need to read the passage several times.
Second and Third Timed Readings:
- Have the student read the passage at least two more times.
- Have pairs of students listen to an audiotape of the passage.
- Students should play the tape again, and this time the student who chose the particular passage should read aloud with the tape.
- Partners should listen carefully to each reading, and rate the readers improvement.
- The teacher circulates and monitors reading.
- After the first partner has practiced reading the passage three times, switch roles.
- Daily practice should continue for 1 or 2 days.
- Do a second timed reading of the passage and have the students record the results on the Timed Reading Chart with a red pencil.
- As the rate increases, help student set a new goal for their target rate and continue practicing the passage for several days.
- If the student is able to reach the end of the passage before the minute is up, tell the student to start again at the beginning and mark the last word read.
This activity could also be used at home.
Use the Timed Reading Chart and the passage to evaluate student's progress.
This lesson is adapted from the "Teaching Reading Source Book" written by Honig, Diamond, and Gutlohn.