The Race for Home

Rachel Smith

Growing Independence and Fluency


Rationale: Children need to read faster, smother, and with expression to become fluent readers. Students also must be able to recognize words accurately and automatically. This lesson will help students to read more fluently by focusing on reading faster.  Students will be able to read faster and with fewer errors through repeated readings and timed readings. Students develop fluency through many exposures to text and a lot of practice.


Copy of Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peeky Spying for each student

Teacher copy of Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peeky Spying

Timer for each pair of student

Pencil for each pair student

Dry Erase board and marker

Chart with tree and moveable squirrel and bird per student.

Speedy reader progress chart per student:

 Speedy Reader Progress Chart

(timed readings)
First Read:_____(time)
Second Read: _____
Third Read:_____


1. Explain lesson purpose: “Today we are going to work on becoming more fluent readers. That means reading without pausing to decode every word, like how I read to you. To become a more fluent reader, we need to practice knowing the words when we see them. We are going to read our book through several times and it will get easier each time to know the words.”  

 2.  Model: Have the sentence “I didn’t tattle tell on Mrs.” written on the whiteboard. “I am going to read this sentence a few times, and then I want you to tell me which is easiest to understand.” First read the sentence disfluently, “IIIII dddddiiiiidddddnnnn’ttttt tttttaaaaattttttllllleeee tttteeeellll oooonnnn MMMMMiiiiisssss.” Then read it correctly, but with pauses between words, “I didn’t tattle tell on Mrs.” Finally read it fluently and quickly, “I didn’t tattle tell on Mrs. Did you hear the difference? Which time was the easiest to understand? (wait for answer) Yes, the third one. Each time I read the sentence, it was a little easier to read it the next time. That is the same when you read.”

 3.  Explain the activity. “Today, we will be reading the first chapter of Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying several times. In this chapter, Junie B. tells us a little about herself. She also tells us about a time she got in trouble. Why was she in trouble? Let’s read to find out. It should get easier to read the words every time you read through the story. The first time you read it, you might come to a word you don’t know; remember to cross-check. That means do the best you can with that word and finish the sentence. Then see if it makes sense. I am going to read the story through once to show you what you want to sound like.” (Read through the chapter fluently) 

 4.  Give students time to practice fluency on their own.  “Now that we have practiced, I am going to let you work together.” Divide students into pairs and give each pair a timer and sticky notes and each student a tree with movable parts. “I want each of you to take turns reading the full book to your partner. Then one person will start the timer and the other reads. Time your partner for how long it takes to read the chapter and mark any words they say wrong by putting a sticky note in your book. Tell your partner what words they missed after they finish. When you finish, put your bird and squirrel on your tree. The less time it takes you to read, the closer the bird is to her nest, and the fewer words you miss, the closer the squirrel is to her home. I want you to each read three times and move the bird and squirrel each time. Watch as I show how this works.” (Have a student read and model how the partner marks words and places the bird and squirrel.)

 5.  Walk around classroom to listen to students and check that students are on task.

 6.  Make a note when you pass of students’ scores to make track if speed is increasing and errors have decreased.

To Assess students when each pair is finished reading, ask each student two of the following questions to check for comprehension.

1. What is spying?

2. Who does Junie B. want to spy on?

3. Why was Grandpa scared?

4. Why did Grace get mad?



DeBlanc, Amber. Up, Up, Up, Goes the Sub,

Landon McKean, Go, Read. Go!,

Park, Barbara, and Denise Brunkus. Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying. New York: Random House, 1994. Print.

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