Take a Peek at Fluency with Junie B.

Growing Independence and Fluency

Jennifer Strickland


Rationale: Decoding is very important for learning how to read, but it is a slow and painful process sometimes. This slow reading can greatly hurt the reading comprehension of the reader. Fluency instruction is a beneficial means to speeding up this process. This type of instruction helps turn new words into sight words, or words that are automatically recognized. Using the method of repeated readings helps a student move from being able to slowly decode words towards automatic and effortless reading. This lesson teaches children strategies that aid them in building sight words through crosschecking for meaning, repeated readings of the text, and charting their progress in partner reading to continue their motivation to reread.  


-Stopwatches (1 per pair of students)                                         

-Fluency graphs for each child, stickers

-Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying (1 copy per student)

-Fluency checklist

-Reader Response Form

-White board/markers


Partner Reading Progress

Total words in chapter          .



1                 Words in             seconds

2                 Words in             seconds

3                 Words in             seconds

Turn number that sounded smoothest                           

Turn number that had the fewest mistakes                    


Text Box: Reader Response                                                             Name: 						
Directions: On a separate sheet of paper, answer each question with at least one complete sentence.  
1. How does Junie B. first practice her spying skills?
2. Why does Junie B. want to be a spy?
3. What does Junie B. do to spy on her teacher?
4. If you were Junie B. Jones, what would you have done differently to be a better spy? 










1) Explain the activity:

"Today we are going to learn how to pick up speed while we reading so that we can read as smoothly and as naturally as we talk. It's much easier to understand the words you are reading and get interested in what's going on in a story when you can read smoothly!"

2) Model fluent and nonfluent reading

"I am going to let you listen to me read a short passage two times. When I'm done, I'll take a vote on which time I sounded better.

(1) (Read choppily) My dd-aa-dd, d-ad, dad, (l-i-ck-s), (come back after to change to likes, known by cross-checking) to taaa-kk-eee, t-ake, take, me ffff-iii-shh-ing. I caaa-guhh-ed, caaau-gg-t, caught a b-ii-g , big f-iiii-shhh, fish too-dddd-aaay, today!

 (2) (Read smoothly) Let me try this passage again. My dad likes to take me fishing. I caught a big fish today!

(Ask for a show of hands) Who liked listening to my first reading? How about the second? Why did the second time sound better to you? Right! The second time sounded a lot better to listen to because I didn't have to stop to figure out any of the words.

3) Review a strategy

"Did you notice that I used a strategy of crosschecking when I couldn't get a word? I finished the sentence with the word I couldn't figure out to see if I could figure out the pronunciation of these tough new words that had silent letters, like the e at the end of likes and take and the gh in caught.  The first time I read them, I pronounced how they looked like they should sound, but they didn't sound like real words I've ever heard of. When I finished the sentence, I could tell what the words were, like caught instead of caugt.

4) Practice together

"Let's try reading the two sentences that I have written on the board together. I see a couple of tough new words in the sentence."

(Choral read): "I thought I had a fish on the hook so I tried to reel it in. A fish was nowhere to be seen."

"I heard some of you having trouble with thought and tried, but you used the rest of the sentence to figure them out. The word "thought" is like the word "bought" that we practiced a few minutes ago. That "ough" sound makes an "aww" sound, like if you think something is cute. In the word "tried", the "ie" simply says i's name. Let's all read these two sentences together again now, thinking about these special spellings as we read the words thought and tried."

5) Motivate to read

"Today we are going to read more about the crazy life of Junie B. Jones. She has decided that she wants to become a spy, and to do this, she has to master being quiet, hiding, using sneaky feet, and peeking at people through cracks.  The problem is, thought, how can Junie B. become the "bestest spier in the world" when her mom won't let her practice her necessary spy moves? We are going to read the first two pages of this book right now to learn about Junie B.'s path to becoming a sneaky spy."


6) Explain the new procedure for paired practice:

(While explaining, I write directions as steps on the board for students to refer to.)


Say: "Here's what you are going to do next.


1. Pair up with your reading buddy; one buddy can come and get 2 Partner Reading Progress checklists and 2 reader response forms from my desk, then return to your reading places. While one buddy is doing this, the other one will count all the words in these first 2 pages of the book and put that number at the top of your checklist forms.

2. Take 3 turns reading the 2 pages to each other. While one reads, the other will use the stopwatch to time your partner's readings.

3. I want you to pay close attention to how many mistakes your partner makes each time.  Make tallies like this (show line tally method on the board lll) for each mistake.

4. Then do a subtraction problem: Take the total number of words and subtract the number of tallies for each reading. 

That number goes on this line:                Words in             seconds

5. After getting some progress measures figured out, answer the 2 questions on the progress form about which turn was the smoothest and which had the fewest errors.

6. When you are done timing each other, you can discuss the answers to the reader response questions.

7. Then, each of you will write your answers on a separate sheet of paper back at your desks.

8. When you turn in your papers and checklists, I will give you a graph and 3 stickers. I will figure out your 3 rates and, after putting your name at the top, your stickers will go in the time spaces to show your reading rates. 

9. You'll put your completed star chart on the front bulletin board on the fluency poster."


Text Box:                           Reading Rate
81 +			
Wpm 	1	2	3











Grades are computed using point system as follows:

Followed direction for completing forms:                 +1

Improved in speed:                                                            +2

Improved in accuracy:                                                       +2

Answered 4 questions with complete sentences:    +3

Answers accurate/appropriate:                                     +2

TOTAL POINTS:                                                                   +10



"Junie B. Jones is Captain Fluency". Smith, Blair. http://auburn.edu/~bms0009/bsmithgf2.htm

"Reading is a Breeze". Murray, Geri. http://www.auburn.edu/~murrag1/murraygf.htm

Picture: http://depositphotos.com/4952547/stock-photo-Looking-through-his-magnifying-glass.html


Return to the Rendezvous Index