Fluent Readers are Cool as Cats!

Fluent Readers are Cool as Cats!

A Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

Lauren Nix

Rationale: Learning to read by decoding unknown words is a complex process. It can be made easier if the student is fluent and phrased. Instruction and practice in fluency can help students recognize unknown words and increase their sight word vocabulary. Repeating reading can provide opportunities for students to become fluent readers and move forward from slow, deliberate decoders to automatic, effortless readers. This lesson provides methods or strategies that increase sight word vocabulary through crosschecking, rereading, and recording progress in pairs in order to motivate students.



Stopwatches for each pair of students

Fluency graphs for each child, star stickers

Class set of Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business

Fluency checklist

Reader response form


Partner Reading Progress

Total words in chapter ­­__________.

Reader ___________________________________________


1 _________ Words in ________seconds

2 _________ Words in ________seconds

3 _________ Words in _________seconds

Turn number that sounded smoothest __________________

Turn number that had the fewest mistakes _______________.


Reader Response                                                     Name: ______________________________

Directions: On a separate sheet of paper, answer each question with at least one complete sentence.

1.     Why did Junie B. Jones think her parents had gotten her a present?

2.     How would you react if your parents told you that they were going to have another child?

3.     Why does Junie B. Jones think she deserves an apology?

4.     Why does Junie B. Jones think babies smell bad?



1. Explain the activity

Say: “Today you are going to learn how to read smoothly and naturally just like we normally talk. When you read naturally, you can read better and become interested in the story and what’s happening.”


2. Model fluent and nonfluent reading

Say: "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) My name is /J-u-n-I-E/ /JunIE/ B. Jones. (JunIE does not sound right, Junie makes more sense than JunIE.) The B stands for /B-E-a-t-r-I-c-e/ /BEatrIce/. (BEatrIce does not sound right. I am having trouble with some of these new words so I have to finish the sentences to see if I can figure them out.) E-x-c-e-p-t, ex-c-ept, except I don't like /BEatrIce/ Beatrice (that's it). I just like B and that's all. B stands for some-thing, something else, too. (2) Let me try this passage again. My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all. B stands for something else, too.

[Ask for a 1 finger or 2 fingers]. Say: “Which story did you like best? 1 or 2? Why did you pick 2?”


3. Review a strategy

Say: “Did you notice that I finished the sentence so I could figure out some of the unknown words? I used the strategy of crosschecking, which relies on the meaning of the story to help figure out the words. I asked myself does the word make sense?

4. Practice together

Say: "Let's try reading the next 3 sentences on page 1 together as a class. I see one tough new word in the 2nd sentence. (Choral read) 'B stands for baby. I'm only in kindergarten. But I already know how to spell baby.' I heard some of you having trouble with kindergarten, but you used the rest of the sentence to figure it out."


5. Motivate to read

Say: “Let me tell you a little bit about Junie B. Jones. She is in kindergarten and always getting into trouble. In this story, she has a new baby brother. When she goes to school, she tells her classmates he is a baby monkey. They all pay her with trinkets such as a ring, a read sweater, or a locket in order to see the baby monkey. Her teacher finds out and sends her to the principal. Do you think Junie B. will get in trouble? Will her friends get mad when they learn the truth? Let’s read the rest of the book and find out what happens to Junie B. Jones." 


6. Explain the new procedure for paired practice

While explaining, 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 two Partner Reading Progress checklists and two reader responses 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 this chapter and put that number at the top of your checklist forms.

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

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

4. Then do a subtraction problem the total number of words minus 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 two 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 three stars. I will figure out your three rates and after putting your name at the top your stars 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."



Grades are computed using point system as follows:

Followed direction for completing forms


Improved in speed


Improved in accuracy 


Answered 4 questions with complete sentences



Answers accurate/appropriate


Total Points




_____________________Reading Rate



































Murray, Geri. Reading is a Breeze


Park, Barbara. (1993). Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Sanford, Lindsay. Fluent Lions


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