Just in Case



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Just in Case

“Coming, Nell?” asked Neal. “Yes, I’ll get my backpack.” Today they were going to the zoo. They had waited a long time for this exciting day. The two of them spotted the bus. When they got on, Nell spotted a peanut and bent over to pick it up. “Oh, no!” Nell yelled. Nell stood up just in time to stop a big spill. Neal laughed. His eyes were sparkling. “Nell,” he said, “Being with you is never dull.” “Well, Neal, it is hardly a matter of dull or exciting,” said Nell. “I bring extra things with me, just in case. I am prepared.” Nell said, “Once, my papa kept a sailboat from sinking! All of a sudden, on that clear, sparkling lake, his boat sprang a leak!” “Papa had clay in his backpack and plugged the leak. Who knows what would have happened if he had not been prepared?” Neal looked sideways at Nell. “Do you have clay in there, too?” he asked. Nell looked worried. “No. Do you think we should get some?” “I think we should go to the zoo.” The bus stopped across the street from the zoo. Neal and Nell got off. “This street is too wide,” said Neal. “What can we do?” “Wait! I have a plan.” Nell gave her backpack a good shake. Lots of things fell out. She shook it again. More things fell out. “Come on, give me a hand,” said Nell. The two of them began to build. “That is a handsome bridge we have made,” said Neal. “Great job, Nell. You are very prepared.” Neal and Nell reached the gate. “How many tickets?” said the worker. Nell reached into her backpack. “My wallet!” she gasped. “I left it at home!” Neal smiled. “Nell, it’s a good thing I’m prepared. I have a little extra money. Just in case.”

Word Count: 135

1. Have your children read this story, as you time them for one minute.

  1. If they make an error, count three seconds, and tell them to go on. Keep track of how many errors they made.

3. Circle the last word they read at the end of one minute.

4. Count the number of words they read minus the words they missed. Write that number above the day of the

week below. Let them finish the story.

5. Your children should read this story every day, Monday through Thursday.




Sign and return this page on Friday

Oral Reading Fluency Scores (Goal for end of year: 90 words per min.)

______ ______ ______ ______

Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs.
Parent Signature_______________________________

Blue #1
500 Isabels

Isabel Inchworm wanted to see her friend, Lizzy. “May I go see Lizzy?” Isabel asked. “Yes,” Mother said. “Pack your bag, and take your homework!” “How far is Lizzy’s house?” Isabel asked. “Lizzy lives 500 inches away. You’re an inch long, so Lizzy is 500 Isabels away!” Mother said. “I’ll be there in minutes!” Isabel said. “Take this with you. Make a mark when you go 100 inches.” She went 100 inches and came to the skating rink. She made a mark for 100 inches. “I have a treat today. I’m going to see Lizzy,” Isabel told Blake Snake. “That’s a fine treat,” Blake said. “I’ve gone 100 inches!” Isabel said. She went another 100 inches and came to the game shop. She made a mark for another 100 inches. “I’m going to see Lizzy,” Isabel told Kate Cat. “Rest and play a game,” Kate said. She went another 100 inches and came to the grocery store. She made another mark. “I have come 300 inches,” Isabel whispered to Polly Tadpole. “Rest a minute, Isabel,” said Polly. When Isabel got to the park, she marked off another 100 inches. “I’ll sit by the lake for a few minutes,” Isabel said to herself. “No, I’ll rest in that tree.” “Who are you?” asked Red Bird. “My name is Isabel Inchworm.” “It’s good you came along because I’m hungry!” Red Bird said. “I’m going to see my friend. I’ll never get there if you eat me,” Isabel said. “Your friend? You know, I always wanted a friend,” Red said sadly. “You don’t have one? Then my friend can be your friend!” Isabel cried. Red was very excited. “Really?” he asked. “Yes, Let’s go!” “Hop on. Snuggle up. We’re going to see Lizzy!” Red lifted Isabel high over the trees. Then they both went to see Lizzy!

Word Count: 307

1. Have your children read this story, as you time them for one minute.

  1. If they make an error, count three seconds, and tell them to go on. Keep track of how many errors they made.

3. Circle the last word they read at the end of one minute.

4. Count the number of words they read minus the words they missed. Write that number above the day of the

week below. Let them finish the story.

5. Your children should read this story every day, Monday through Thursday.




Sign and return this page on Friday

Oral Reading Fluency Scores (Goal for end of year: 90 words per min.)

______ ______ ______ ______

Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs.
Parent Signature_______________________________
Blue #2

How the Leaves Got Their Colors

Once, a very long time ago, there lived a poor artist named Tom. He painted the outdoors near his home in the north. Tom would sit and paint all day and sometimes into the night. In one painting, the water was red and the sky was green. He was an artist and that was how he saw it. One day, a rich man from the south came to see Tom’s work. The rich man liked what he saw. He decided to buy a painting from Tom. “Which painting will you buy, sir?” asked Tom, happy at last to be making some money. “I do not want these paintings. I want a painting of the trees just as you see them,” the rich man said. “Just as I see them?” Tom repeated. He could do that. So the two men agreed. Tom would make a painting of the trees, and the rich man would buy it. Tom got right to work. He set up his easel and paints in the woods. He picked shades of yellow, orange and red for the trees. Tom didn’t want to paint the leaves green. He would make the leaves colorful. Tom was an artist, and that was how he saw them. Tom worked long and hard. When he was done, Tom was very pleased with his painting. The trees had yellow, orange, and red leaves. Under the trees, chipmunks were sniffing at the ground. When the rich man returned for his painting, he gasped. “This is not what I asked for,” he said. “I wanted a painting of the trees as they are!” He stomped away. Tom was sad. He left his painting on the beach to put it out of his sight. The sun was bright and strong, and the water was warm. The paint washed right off the canvas. For a moment, the water turned shades of orange and red. Then, as water will do, it went into the air and became part of the clouds. The clouds grew heavy with colored water. Soon the rain fell. It came in drops of yellow, orange, and red. The rain splashed color on every leaf of every tree around. When Tom looked out his window, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Tom ran outside. The leaves on the trees were red, orange, and yellow! They looked just the way they did in Tom’s painting. “I saw colors fall from the sky,” said one person. “The fall is pretty,” said another. The rich man was there, too. He was sorry for what he had said to Tom. “Tom,” he said, “you saw something that no one else saw. You are a true artist.” This is a story about how the fall leaves got their colors. “Why” tales pretend to explain something in nature.


Word Count: 474

1. Have your children read this story, as you time them for one minute.





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