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Fourth Grade Fluency Fun!
Students will be able to increase their reading fluency through multiple readings and peer review.
- Write the word "fluency" in the middle of a piece of chart paper, and invite students to share their knowledge on the word's meaning. Ask students to think of other words or contexts they associate with the word fluency or fluent, and record their answers.
- Tell students the definition of fluent (able to express oneself easily and articulately), and write the definition on the board, near students' background knowledge.
- Ask students to turn to a partner and guess what they think reading fluency means. Call on a few students to share their thinking.
- Tell students that today they will have a chance to work in partnerships with each other to measure and improve their reading fluency.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain to students that reading fluency is measured by the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and correct expression. Elaborate that this means that a person can read a text in a smooth and natural rhythm, with minimal to no mistakes, and appropriate intonation or expression.
- Tell students that reading fluency is usually calculated by words per minute (wpm). When a student skips or misreads a word, that word is subtracted from the total words read in one minute. Explain that while the number of words per minute is a key aspect of reading fluency, the expression with which you read, along with how well you understand what you read, are equally valued as overall reading fluency.
- Display a copy of the Work It! Fluency Reading worksheet on the document camera. Turn on a timer for one minute and read aloud the passage, with poor intonation, and limited fluency for one minute. Record your wpm score, documenting any mistakes. Then, reread the passage for another minute while modeling improved fluency, accuracy, and expression. Record your second wpm score, and briefly write a few sentences to summarize the passage.
- Ask students to discuss the difference between the first and second readings.
- Tell students that the second time you read a text, your fluency may improve because you've had the chance to read it once. Emphasize how reading a variety of texts often helps us improve our reading fluency to ultimately become better readers.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Show students the "Don't Read Like a Robot - Blazer Fresh" video about reading fluency (see related media).
- Ask one student to volunteer to model the process with you, using the passage from the first worksheet used in the lesson.
- Start the timer, and record the student's reading on the space provided in the worksheet. Model how to calculate the wpm score by subtracting any word errors. Compliment the student on a positive aspect of their reading (e.g., accuracy, expression, or self-correction) and also provide them with one area of improvement (e.g., make sure you pause at a comma or don't get hung up on one tricky word).
- Distribute the Pump It Up! Fluency Reading worksheet to students. Assign students partners who read on similar levels to be their peer reviewer.
- As you set the timer, instruct students to measure their partner's reading fluency. Then, have them hand their partner the worksheet so they can write their first summary before completing their second reading. After their second reading they can add additional information (with a different colored pen/pencil) to their summary.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Have students take out a book they are reading that is at their level. If you prefer, you may use a class set of the same book.
- Tell students they will measure their reading fluency using text from a book they are currently reading.
- Instruct students to start on the next chapter they have not yet read. They may work with the same partner to monitor their progress or you may assign them new partners. Set the timer, and have everyone conduct their reading fluency test. Students will need to count the words themselves. Tell them to double check their counting.
- Hand out two sticky notes to each student. Instruct them to write one compliment or positive comment about their partners reading on one note. On the second sticky note, have them write a constructive feedback comment.
- Provide sentence frames to help students with the peer review. Some ideas include:
- "Your reading is ____ (fluid, smooth, dynamic)."
- "I like how you ____ as you read."
- "You could become an even better reader if you ____."
- "One way you could improve your fluency is by ____."
- Have students thank their partner for the peer review, and place the two sticky notes in the next section of the book they are reading. This will help remind them of what to work on the next time they read.
- Students at a lower reading level can use the Reading Fluency: Airplanes worksheet for the Guided Practice portion of the lesson.
- As a challenge activity, during the Guided Practice portion, have students write inferences from their two readings of the passage below their summary. Make sure they cite evidence from the text to support their inference.
- Ask students to show you on their hands how much today's lesson helped them improve their reading fluency, with one finger representing minimal improvement and five fingers representing huge growth.
- Use this student self-assessment as a way to measure their understanding of the lesson objective, and to gauge the extent to which they absorbed the tools and strategies for improved fluency.
- Invite a few students to elaborate on how the lesson helped them.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Ask students to reflect on ways that having excellent reading fluency will help them in their future endeavours. Discuss as a class the importance of having strong reading skills for middle and high school, and beyond.