A Motivating System to Improve Reading Fluency at Home View Cart

Steps to Fluency

One Minute Reader is more than just a book of interesting stories. It's a system for improving reading fluency, especially for people who struggle with reading.

The One Minute Reader steps are easy to follow, and many readers can work through the steps on their own. But parents or tutors can also help by going through stories together or by listening after the reader has practiced a story and then discussing it. Parents' interest, praise, and support is important in building students' confidence.

How often and how long should readers work on the One Minute Reader stories?
Do I need to be present while my child works on One Minute Reader?
1 Get ready to read

1. Get ready to read.
Pick any story. Read the title, look at the picture, and think about what you might learn by reading the story.

This helps readers get in the habit of thinking about what's they'll read before they begin. This helps improve their understanding of the story.

2 Time yourself reading

2. Time yourself reading.
Set the timer for one minute, and read the story aloud until the timer goes off. If you don't know a word, underline it. Mark the last word you read when the timer went off.

Do the readers have to read out loud?
3 Mark cold score in blue

3. Mark your cold score in blue.
Get your cold score by subtracting the number of words you underlined from the number of words you read in a minute. Write your score on the blue line below the story. Then go to the graph page (page 14), and fill in a blue bar on the graph up to your cold score. Put a sticker for the story you are reading under the bar.

The cold timing score lets readers compare future scores to their starting scores to see how much they improve.

4 Read along with CD

4. Read along with the CD.
Put the CD in a CD player and advance it to the track for the story you are reading. Read aloud with the CD three times or until you learn all the words.

Reading along with the CD helps readers learn how to say the words and how to read in a natural voice.

Why does the narrator on the CD read slowly?
Should the reader always read along with the CD three times?
5 Read alone and raise your score

5. Read alone, and raise your score.
Read the story several times alone, without listening to the CD, until you can read the story well. Each time you read, time yourself for one minute and mark the last word you read when the timer goes off. (You can then read the rest of the story.) Write your scores on the green lines below the story, and watch your scores go up!

How many times should a reader practice reading the same story?
6 Take the Quick Quiz

6. Take the Quick Quiz.
Circle the correct answers, and then turn to the Joke Jumble page. Copy your answers to the numbered lines. Answer the questions for all of the stories to solve the joke.

This is a way for students to see if they understood what they read.

7 Read for an adult

7. Read for an adult.
Read the story while an adult times you for one minute and counts the words you don't know. Finish reading the story, and then talk about what you learned.

How important is it to read without mistakes?
What should I listen for as my child reads during the final timing?
8 Mark your hot score in red
8. Mark your hot score in red.
Get your hot score by subtracting the number of words you didn't know from the number of words you read in a minute. Write your hot score on the red line below the story. Then go to the graph page (page 14), and fill in a red bar on the graph above the blue bar, up to your hot score. This shows you how much you improved.