Read, Read, Repeat!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Kasey Shepherd


I. Rationale: Fluent readers can read and recognize words quickly, automatically, and effortlessly.  In order to become fluent readers, children must build their sight vocabulary. The best way to do this is to transition from decoding to automatic word recognition.  In this lesson, students will develop fluency skills through repeated readings.  

II. Materials: Fluency checklist for each student (checklist with: read faster, read smoother, remembered more words, read with expression, and a spot for the time)

Time 1: ___________


Time 2: ___________


Checklist 1                   Checklist 2

  O                                     O                          Read faster.

  O                                     O                          Read smoother.

  O                                     O                          Remembered more words.

  O                                     O                          Read with expression.

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park (class set), Stopwatches (class set), Graph to chart reading time (for each student), Cover up critter (for each student).

III. Procedures:

1. Explain: "In order to become expert readers, we need to be able to read fluently. Fluency is when we read words quickly, automatically, and effortlessly. The main goal of fluency is to develop our word recognition skills and expand our sight vocabulary.  We can practice fluency by reading a book more than once so we become familiar with it.  We will call this a repeated reading.  Repeated readings are how the experts get good at reading aloud.  When you read something a few times, you know the word when you see it again, and it's easier to understand the sentence." 

2. Model: "Let's practice how we would figure out a word we don't know by using crosschecking.  If I came to the sentence "My cat is on the branch." and didn't know the word branch, then I would use my cover up critter and start by finishing the sentence to see if it made sense.  My cat is on the /b/r/a//n/.  Hmm… /b/r/a/n/ch/.  Oh! A cat can be on a branch!  That sentence says: My cat is on the branch.  Then I am going to reread the sentence so that I will get the word instantly the next time I see it."

"Now I'm going to show you how a fluent reader sounds compared to a non-fluent reader. Let's look at this sentence (written on the board) Sid is a big kid.  If I wasn't a fluent reader, I would read like this: Ssssiid iss a biiggg biigg k kid.  I read that so slow and spaced out that I'm not even sure what I read!  The message was harder to understand because it was so spread out.  Now listen to the difference when I read it fluently. Sid is a big kid.  I understood what I was reading and got the message because my words flowed together.  Now I want you to try.  Read this sentence fluently:  Red gets fed."    

3. "Today we are reading Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, but we are only going to read the first chapter today."  Book talk: Starting kindergarten doesn't make Junie B. Jones nervous -- but riding the bus is another story. She thinks the bus smells like egg salad and black smoke, has screechy brakes and no glove compartment for Kleenex, and is filled with pushy boys and girls. So when it's time to go home, she doesn't.  What happens to Junie B. Jones?  You'll have to read to find out. 

4. Give a copy of the text and a cover up critter to each child. Now I want you to start on page 1 and begin reading together using your cover up critter.  After the students are finished reading, have a discussion about what was read.  Assess comprehension by listening to student responses. 

5. Have students partner up and give out checklists and stopwatches to students.  Have one student read chapter one aloud, while the other student times him/her. Then have the students switch roles. After reading, have the students talk to each other about what they read (comprehension).  Then have one student read chapter one aloud, while the other student marks the checklist (read faster, read smoother, remembered more words, read with expression). Then have the students switch roles. Repeat these steps once more (so that there are 2 timed readings and 2 checklist readings per child).

6. Assessment: Have the students turn in their score sheets after the repeated readings are finished. Graph each student's individual speed so they can see their improvement as time goes on.  If a student did poorly, have them try again with the teacher.  Ask: What is the problem?  Where did Junie B. go on the bus? (Two comprehension questions).

IV. Resources:

Holly Vanhooser, Ready, Set, Read,


Barbara. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. Scholastic, Inc. 1992.


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