Fast and Furious: Fluency on the Bus

Growing Independence and Fluency

Haley Wilson


Rationale: In order for students to learn how to read faster, smoother, more expressively, and be able to focus on comprehension, they must become fluent readers. Fluency is important in a reader's transition from decoding to gaining automatic word recognition. The method of repeated readings is an efficient way for students to move from slow, sometimes frustrating decoding reading into effortless, expressive, and enjoyable reading. In this lesson, students will use the strategy of crosschecking after readings of a decodable text and repeated readings to gain fluency and independence in reading.


Materials: stopwatches for pairs of students, fluency graph and 3 star stickers for each student, pencils, paper, class set of Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelley Bus book, reader response questions, sentences on white board, comprehension questions, fluency checklist



1. Say: In order to be the very best readers we can be, we must be able to read fluently. Reading fluently means reading easily and smoothly, without having to sound out the parts of a word. Being fluent reader's means that we are able to enjoy the book much more because we can focus on what is happening in the story instead of focusing on how to read the words.


2. Say: Now let's look at a sentence written on the board: Jake ran fast in the big race. Listen as I read this sentence aloud and let me know if it sounds like I am reading fluently or not. J-j-j, /a/-/a/-/a/, k-k-k, jak, oh wait a_e makes /A/. J-/A/-k, Jake ran f-f-a-a-s-s-t-t-, fa-s-t, fa-st, oh fast. Jake ran fast in the big r-/A/-k-e, Jake ran fast in the big rake. Oh, that doesn't make sense. It must be race. Jake ran fast in the big race. Did I read like a fluent reader? That's right, no I didn't because I had to decode the words in the sentence. Here's how to read that sentence fluently: Jake ran fast in the big race. See how I did not have to sound out any of the words this time? I spoke smoothly and it was easier to understand. Now turn to a partner and practice reading the second sentence on the board. Kate plays in the sand, she runs by a crab! Read it aloud to your partner repeatedly until you ran read it fluently.


3. Say: Did you notice that when I read the sentence, I got stuck on the last word? To figure out what that word was, I reread the sentence from the beginning and tried what I thought the word race said, rake. That did not make sense, though, so when I read the rest of the sentence I realized that it was not rake, it was race! This strategy is called crosschecking.


4. Say: Now we are going to practice fluent reading by reading the first chapter of the book "Junie B. Jones" Junie is scared to ride the bus on the first day of school. She hears a lot of rumors about what happens on the bus. Will she ride the bus? Are the rumors true? Let's read the first chapter to find out. I want everyone to read the first chapter of this book silently, which means you are not whispering or using your lips.


5. Write directions on the whiteboard and explain. Say:

          -Find a partner. One partner will be the reader first and the other will be the recorder. Later you and your partner will switch rolls. First the recorder will count the number of words in the first chapter of Junie B. Jones. Write the total word number on top of your checklist forms.

          -The reader will read the chapter three times, and the recorder will use the stopwatch to time each reading.

          -Make sure to pay attention to mistakes that your partner makes, and make a tally mark for each mistake.

          -After the reader is finished reading, the recorder will tell the reader which words were missed and the reader will go over each word.

          -Do a subtraction problem for each reading: total # of words - # of tally marks = ___ words. Then you are going to write this and the time in the second line: ____ words in _____ seconds. This is for each time your partner reads the book.

          -After the reading partner is finished, the recorder will ask the reader the questions from the comprehension question sheet. The reader will write down their answers and turn them in to me. The recorder will turn in their checklist sheets.

-Make sure that when you are finished, you and your partner switch roles so that everyone gets to be a reader once and a recorder once.

          -When you turn in your papers and checklists, I will give you a graph and three stars. I will figure out your three reading rates and you can put stars in the matching time spaces to show your progress

          -We will display our charts on the bulletin board in our classroom.


Assessment: I will review the student comprehension question responses and complete the rubric attached to assess fluency and independence improvement.



Casey Piper, Fluency Fun with Junie B. 2013.


Reading Rate_________







Less than 50                           

Wpm              1     2    3




Partner Reading Progress

Reader's Name: _________________

Recorder's Name: _______________

  Total words in the chapter______


1st Reading    Tally Marks:

#  ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

#  _____ words in ____seconds.

2nd Reading       Tally Marks:

#  ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

#  _____ words in  ____seconds


3rd Reading      Tally Marks:

#  ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

# _____ words in  ____seconds


Which reading turn had the fewest tally marks (errors)? ________

Which reading turn was read the fastest? _______


Comprehension Questions:

1. When does Junie B. meet her teacher for the first time?

2. What does Junie B. call her teacher?

3. Who sat next to Junie B. on the bus?



Assessment Rubric


Student Name:


Evidence shown for reading three times  ___/3

Responded to comprehension questions  ___/3

Improved fluency  ___/1

Improved accuracy  ___/1

Completed Partner Progress form  ___/2

Total  ___/10






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