Racing Into Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency

By Adrian Snider


Rationale: In order for students to read easily and smoothly, students must become fluent readers. For students to be fluent in reading they must recognize words automatically. Fluency becomes easier when students learn to decode words and use decoding strategies. Students can practice using these strategies through repeated readings. Repeated readings help students become fluent, have greater comprehension and vocabulary, and can help increase reading speed. This lesson focuses on repeated readings of a text to help readers become more fluent and to help readers understand the importance of fluent reading.



·        Stopwatches for each pair

·        Timing sheets and checklist for each student

·        Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket copies for each student

·        Pencils



1. Say: "In order to become a fluent reader, you must learn to read words automatically and correctly. Fluency also deals with how fast you can read a text. By reading a story many times, readers will learn how to read a text more quickly and will also help a reader understand what the story is about (reading comprehension). Today we are going to read the story Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket many times to help develop our reading fluency. Each time you read the story try to set a goal to increase your speed from the last time you read.

2. Say: "Whenever I am reading and come across a word I do not know I must use a one of my decoding strategies to figure out the word. I like to use the cover-up strategy. The cover-up strategy is whenever I come to a word and do not know how to pronounce it; I cover up the entire word but the first letter and make the sound of that letter. Then one by one I uncover more letters and blend the sounds together. So lets say that I came to the word "fact" and I do not know how to pronounce the word. I will cover up all but the letter "f" and make the /f/sound. Next, I uncover the "a" and make its sounds. Then I will blend the /f/ and /a/ together. Then, I will uncover the "c" and make its sound. Blend together /f//a//c/. Lastly, I will uncover the "t" and make it's sound. Then I will blend /f//a//c//t/ together and say the word "fact".

3. Say: "Now I am going to model to you how repeated readings help build Fluency by reading a sentences that I have written on the board three times. (Have the sentences "We are like three peas in a row" written on the board.)The first time I read the sentences I am going to read it slowly and might have to sound out some words.  We…..are… like…thhrrrreeeee…peas……a...row. Now, I am going to read the sentences again to gain fluency. We… a..row. I am going to read the sentences one more time, and see how much better I have gotten at reading the sentence now. We are like three peas in a row. Can you tell how the repeated readings helped me say the sentence faster, and also being able to read the words automatically helped in my comprehension.

4. Each student will receive a copy of Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket. The teacher will read chapter one aloud to the students. Then students will read chapter two silently to themselves and then will partner up for timed readings of the book. Book talk: Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in her Pocket is about Junie B. and her class going on an end of the year field trip to a farm. Junie B. is very scared to go on the field trip because she believes the farm is a very dangerous place. Junie B. tries to fake sick so she doesn't have to go, but her mom ends up making her go on the field trip anyway. Will Junie B. have a dangerous farm trip, or will she end up loving the farm? You will have to read the book to find out! After everyone reads the story discuss the events of the story with the class.


5. The students will get a partner and each pair will have a stopwatch and two worksheets to record their times on. One person will be the reader first and the other will be the timer. The first time, the timer will record only the time it takes for the reader to read chapter two completely. Then the partners will switch and the reader will now be the timer and the timer the reader. The second time and third time, each reader reads the story the timer will keep the time and also check for the items listed on the checklist. Each student should read chapter two three times and have their times recorded each time. Each student should also fill out the checklist for his or her partner after his or her partner's second and third time.


6. While the students are reading the teacher should walk around the room and observe the children as they read and make sure the students are timing and recording correctly.


7. After the students have completed the timed reading they should read chapter three to themselves silently to practice fluency.


8. Assessment: The teacher will individually call each student back to her desk and go over his or her times and reading checklist that the partner fill out for them. The teacher will also ask a couple of comprehension questions from chapter two. Questions: 1) What is the cable show called that Junie B. watches that makes her scared of ponies? 2) What other animal is Junie B. scared of on the farm?




Daniel, Trisha. "Junie B. Jones and Some Fabulous Fluency"

Miller, Maci. "Flying Into Fluency"

Park, Barbara, and Denise Brunkus. Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket. New York: Random House, 2000. Print.



Name:_________________________                                                          Date:___________




                        - Time of 1st read           _______


                        - Time of 2nd read          _______


                        - Time of 3rd read           _______



Checklist- filled out by partner.


As my partner read after the 2nd and 3rd time he/she:


                                                                                  After 2nd           After 3rd


                        1. Remembered more words     _______                _______


                        2. Read faster                                 _______                _______


                        3. Read smoother                         _______                _______


                        4. Read with expression             _______                _______


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