Take off with Reading!


Growing Independence and Fluency

Ashley Bledsoe

Rationale: A very important goal of reading is comprehension. In order to comprehend during reading, students must be able to read fluently. They must be able to read with expression, automatically and accurately. The goal of this lesson is to help students with their fluency by working on their reading speed. Fluent readers read faster and their reading is a lot smoother. The reading fluency of students will increase through this lesson by reading and rereading text. It is also important to time the student as they read to measure their growth as fluent readers.


Stopwatch (1 per student)

Speed reading charts (1 per student)

      Name: _______________________     Date: _____________________

     After 1st read        _________

     After 2nd read       _________

     After 3rd read       _________

Repeated Reading checklist (1 per student to use with partners)

     Name and Partner’s name: ______________________________

     As I listened to my partner read, he/she:

                                                        After 2nd time                     After 3rd time

     Remembered more words                   _____                                _____

     Read faster                                          _____                                _____

     Read smoother                                    _____                                _____

    Read with expression                          _____                                _____

Class set of Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy


1. The lesson should begin by explaining to the students what it means to be a fluent reader and why it is an important part of learning to read.  “We are going to talk about fluency today.  Fluency is the ability to read words quickly, smoothly, and with expression.  Fluent readers can read automatically, so they rarely have to pause while reading. Whenever a fluent reader reads, it sounds just like they are having a normal conversation with someone.  Why is it so important for readers to be fluent? I can tell you a couple of reasons!  When you become a fluent reader, reading becomes more enjoyable and you are able to concentrate more on the meaning of the text instead of individual words. So let’s get started!”

2. Pass out Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy to the students.

3. “Have you ever had a book that you liked so much, but it took you a long time to finish it? Today, we are going to work on our reading speed and becoming fluent readers. When reading fluently, it is very helpful for you to go back and re-read parts of the text so that you are able to read it smoothly. This is called cross-checking. It’s what we do whenever we are faced with unfamiliar words. Cross-checking is also something that we can use to help with fluency. As you read text over and over, you learn words and you start to say them automatically. After you are able to read the words automatically, you are then able to read with more expression because you don’t have to focus on every individual word in the text.”

4. Model for students. “While reading, have you ever come across unfamiliar words? It can be very hard, but I am going to show you how to make all of it better.” I'll read the first page of the book, Bo and Rose. “When I am reading books for the first time, it is sometimes hard for me to finish because I have to read slow and figure out all of the words that I don’t know.” Read the sentences (not fluently) and make mistakes. “R-o, Ro ha-s a g-goa-t. Th-e go-goa-t is B-o. B-o h-as a g g-ray c c-oa-t. Did everyone notice how hard it was for me to read some of those words? It wasn’t smooth at all and I couldn’t enjoy it because I had to pause too many times.” Read the sentences for the 2nd time. “Bo h-as a g-oa-t. Th-e g-oa-t is Bo. Bo h-as a gr-ay c-oa-t. Wow! That time, I was able to read a little faster because the words that I didn’t know are becoming more familiar and I did not pause as much. I read it a lot better, but it still wasn’t completely smooth.” I’ll reread sentences. “Rose has a goat. The goat is Bo. Bo has a gray coat. It was very smooth that time, but I did not show any expression while reading.” Reread again with expression. “I figured out something! The more times I read those sentences, the easier it got and I learned to read the entire book quickly, smoothly, and with expression. I did not have to stop, which made the book a lot more enjoyable!

5. “I would now like for every student to take the time to read the first chapter of Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy. Pet day is coming up at school and Junie B. is excited. There's just one problem! There aren't any dogs allowed on pet day. That's the only kind of pet Junie B. has! What will Junie B. do? You'll have to read and find out if Junie B. finds another pet.

6. “Read until I tell you to stop. If you finish, I would like for you to start reading it again from the beginning.” Give students 10 minutes to read alone. After the 10 minutes are up, I’ll place students in pairs.

7. Give students instructions on what to do while in pairs. “I want for you t o work with a partner this time. One person will read and the other person will keep the time. I will hand out the stopwatches to you shortly. I want for all of you to read the book 3 times and write your times on the paper that I hand out.” Pass out stopwatches and charts.

8. Have students evaluate each other. “I would like for each of you to look at your partner’s chart to see if they are getting better each time they read.”

9. “Everyone is doing a great job! You will all be fluent readers before you know it! This takes lots of practice, so I really want everyone to try hard and stick with it.  You can take your books home and read them to your family so you can practice even more.  The more you read the book over and over, the faster and smoother you will become at reading it. Continue to practice and we will continue to chart improvements.”


Take the opportunity to ask comprehension questions and listen to each student read chapter one to individually assess their improvement. Ask comprehension questions to see that student is comprehending text. Also assess them to be sure that there are not other skills they need to improve on first in order to succeed as a fluent reader.

                                                    Sample comprehension questions:

Why didn’t Junie B. want the worm as a pet?

What does Junie B. do when she finds out that there aren't any dogs allowed?


Bo and Rose. (1990) Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.

Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy. Random House Books for Young Readers, 1998

Read and Reread by Seth Clark



Ready, Set, Read! by Amy Lewisead and Reread by Seth Clark)


 The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency 


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