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The One Minute Reader Review by Christine Field

The Fluency Company
750 S. Plaza Drive, #100
Saint Paul, MN 55120

Are you looking for a way to help your student read more fluently? The One Minute Reader program is a fun and effective option. It focuses on areas that are a step beyond phonics - fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.

The One Minute Reader was developed by the same people who developed Read Naturally, and won a 2006 Teacher's Choice award from Learning magazine.

What exactly does fluency mean? It means you can read as easily as you can speak. When it comes that easily, reading becomes more enjoyable because it is not filled with hesitation and pauses to understand what was read.

I looked at a starter kit for this program which consisted of a short instructional DVD, a one minute timer, a red/green pencil for recording and graphing scores, a reader and an audio CD of the five stories in the book.

In the first step, the child reads the story aloud while listening to the audio CD. They can hear the pronunciation of unfamiliar words as well as the words they already know.

Next, they read the story alone several times, allowing them to master the story and many of the words. Students use the one-minute timer, included in the kit, to time themselves during several readings of the story. Their progress is further encouraged by graphing their scores (the number of words read per minute, less the missed words).

In addition, the reader contains quizzes for each story, a crossword puzzle, a joke jumble, reward stickers and a glossary.

These steps - read along, read alone, raise your score - are the principles that lead to effective, fluent readers. By following these specific steps, the child learns to read correctly, read faster and understand what they read.

These kits are available in five different levels with three or four readers at each level. They include interest grabbing topics such as Survival Stories, Cool Creatures, Natural Wonders and Amazing Athletes. These are nicely done and highly motivational.

-- Product Review by Christine Field, Senior Contributing Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2006