Fun with Fluency!

By: Katie Wilcox


Rationale: When students are working with fluency, it is required for them to be able to first know all the letters. Fluency is the next step from reading and a very crucial time in a student’s reading ability. This lesson will teach the students about where they are fluency-wise and it will have them increasing their social skills among each other. My goal for this lesson is for the students to improve their time each time they read the section in the book so they can drastically improve their reading skills and how fast they are reading.


1.      Loose-leaf paper ( 2 for each student)

2.      Pencils (1 for each student)

3.      Junie B. Jones, First grade: Boss of Lunch (1 for each student, or one for each group of 2 students) by Barbara Park

4.      Timer (1 for each group of 2 students)

5.      Fluency Checklist (1 copy for each student)

6.      Speed Reading Progress Sheet (1 for each student)

7.      Sentence Strip: “We can choose any career we want when we grow up.”

8.      Cover-Up Critters (Enough for the rest of the class, the students will have a chance to make their own with popsicle sticks and decorating them the way they want)


Speed Reading Progress Sheet:

Name: _______________________    Partner's Name: ___________________

 How many words read:

1st Read:

2nd Read:

3rd Read:

Fluency Checklist:

1st time                        2nd time

                                                       Read faster

                                                   Read smoother           

                                                  Remember more words

                                                  Read with expression

Reading Time Sheet:

 1st Time: __________________

2nd Time: __________________

3rd Time: __________________


1.      Say: Today we are going to practice on becoming fluent readers when we are reading. Who can tell me what fluent reading is? (Pause) Yes, a fluent reader means someone who can read their words in a faster pace and all the words “flow” together. The main goal of becoming more fluent readers is to be able to recognize the words quickly and being able to know all of our sight words. One way to do this would be “repeated reading”, which is reading the same passage over and over, like repeating, in order to comprehend the words.

2.      I am going to model for you the difference between a fluent reader and non-fluent reader when we read this sentence strip that I am going to write on the board. The sentence I am going to write is: We can choose any career we want when we grow up. First, read the sentence as follows, w-w-e-e-c-c-a-a-n-n-ch-ch-oo-oo-s-s-e-e-a-a-n-n-y-y-c-c-a-a-r-r-ee-ee-r-r-w-w-e-e-w-w-a-a-n-n-t-wh-wh-e-e-n-n-w-w-e-e-g-g-r-r-o-o-w-w u-u-p-p.  After we separate the different sounds of the sentence we are going to try to add some extra expression to the sentence, such as, We can choose any career we want when we grow up! Could you see the difference between the first time I read the sentence and the second time I read the sentence? If you could tell, what was different? And if you can’t, let me read it again so you can really listen to the difference in expression from the first time and the second time. Which time was easier to understand, the first time or second time? If you said the second time, you are correct! Reading with expression is a lot easier to understand and a lot more fluent.


3.      Say: Have you ever come across a word you did not know when you are reading?  If you have, I know how you feel, it can be very confusing and frustrating! What are some ways we can help with this? (Listen to suggestions) I have one to suggest, how about these cover-up critters we’ve made? I will show you an example. I am going to write the word send on the board. The vowel is e and I know that short e makes /e/.  Next, I will uncover all the letters before the vowel, which in this case is s, which including the vowel I will pronounce as /s//e/.  Then, I will uncover the rest of the word and sound it out, /n//d/.  Now, I will put all the sounds together, /s//e//n//d/.  Does that make it easier? If not, your partner can help you in assisting you in figuring out what the word is.

4.      Before we start our activity, I am going to give you a background on our book, Junie B. Jones, First Grader Boss of Lunch by Barbara Park. This book is about how Junie B. becomes a lunch lady at her school. She is very excited about her job as the lunch lady and gets to hang out with Ms. Guzman! She thinks that she has the power to run the whole lunch room. Do you think she could become the boss of the whole lunch room operation? Let’s find out!


5.      Now I am going to pass out a copy of the book to each of you but do not open it until everyone has their copy! (Pass out Junie B. Jones, First Grader: Boss of Lunch books) Okay, now I am going to read to you chapter 2 and after the first time I am going to read it to you I am going to reread the chapter. The second time I read the chapter be sure to listen for these things: Am I reading at the same pace as the first one? Am I remembering all the words? Does my reading have expression and is it smooth? After the students have answered the questions I have asked them I will discuss the following: The more you read, the easier and more fluent the readings become. Therefore, by doing repeated readings helps the students to become more fluent and familiar with the text.


6.      Say: Now I am going to tell you about the activity we will be doing today.  It is going to be similar to what I just did with chapter 2.  For this activity, I am going to break you up in pairs and have you go to different parts of the room and practice with a partner your “fluent reading.” I am going to give each of you: A timer, 2 pieces of paper, 1 fluency checklist, 1 reading time sheet, and 2 pencils


7.      Say: Now that you are in pairs I would like you to decide with your partner who will first be the recorder and who will be the reader. The reader will wait for the recorder to start recording and they will read chapter 3 first. The recorder will be the one in charge of timing the reader when they begin and stopping the timer when they have finished reading chapter 3. Be sure to stop the timer as soon as your partner has finished reading. Then, the recorder will record that time on their time sheet under 1st time. Now the reader will reread the passage.  Then, the recorder will record the time for the second reading.  Next, the recorder will complete the fluency checklist.  The reader will reread the chapter for a third time.  Then, the recorder will fill in the time and complete the checklist for the last time. Once the reader has finished, you both will switch jobs. You will then repeat the steps until both of you have read chapter 3 3 times each, there are 3 recordings for each of you, and the fluency checklists are completed after the second and third readings.


8.      Say: To clear up any confusion before the activity I am going to model an example before we begin.  Would anyone like to raise his or her hand to volunteer to be my partner?


9.      Now break the class into pairs and let them begin.  While the students are working, walk around the room and monitor what the recorders are writing down after each reading. Stop and ask students if they need help by going to the groups who are struggling or look like they are struggling.


10.  After all the groups have completed the activity bring the class back to their seats and collect all the time sheets and fluency checklists.  Ask the students to take out paper and a pencil.  Then, ask them to write their name at the top along with the chapter number that they read. 
Say: now I am going to have you write a summary on the chapter you just read with your partner and I am going to give you five minutes starting now.


11.  I will assess each student in several ways.  First, I will look through the time sheets and fluency checklists to see how each student improved through the course of the repeated readings and whether they completed their worksheets correctly. Next, I will calculate each students Words Per Minute (WPM) by using the fluency formula: words x 60 / amount of seconds it took to read.  Third, I will review their chapter summaries to see if the students understood what they were reading.  Lastly, the teacher will use any mental notes taken during the lesson to assess whether or not the students increased their reading fluency.


12.  Optional Activity: If I feel that the students benefitted from the lesson and would like to continue practice in increasing reading fluency I could assign the following homework assignment: Have the student take home a copy of Junie B. Jones First Grader: Boss of Lunch and have the student repeat the repeated reading process they completed with a partner with their parents so their parents can not only show their parents their improvement but also get practice. The student will read chapter four, three times.  After each reading the recorder will have to record the time it took for the student to read the chapter.  After the second and third reading the recorder will complete the fluency checklist.  Lastly, the students will write a summary of chapter four.  Then, the students will bring all of their work to school the next day to turn in to me for extra credit.

Assessment: I will assess the students by walking around the room and making sure they are completing the activity correctly and that they are doing what is asked of them. I will also assess the students by collecting their fluency checklists and their reading time sheets and recording them to monitor their progress.


Junie B. Jones First Grader: Boss of Lunch. Barbara Park. Random House, 1993.

Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie "Developing Reading Fluency"

Blair Smith, Auburn University Spring 2012

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