Junie B. Jones is Captain Fluency 

Growing Independence and Fluency

Blair Smith

A. Rationale: Fluency is an important reading skill because it helps with comprehension and reading more difficult texts. Repeated readings help develop fluency and help in the transition from decoding to automatic word recognition. In this lesson, students will do repeated readings of decodable texts and use their decoding strategies to gain more sight words and therefore become more fluent and faster readers.

B. Materials:

1.     Copy of Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day by Barbara Park for every student

2.     Stopwatch for each pair of students

3.     Reading Time sheet for each student

4.     Fluency checklist for each student

5.     Cover up critter for each student

6.     Poster with "I have a pet dog." and "The leaves are crunchy."

7.     Copy of the sentence "She wants to win all the events." for each pair of students

Time 1: ___________


Time 2: ___________


Checklist 1                   Checklist 2

  O                                     O                     Read faster.

 O                           O                    Read smoother.

  O                          O                      Remembered more words.

  O                           O                     Read with expression.


C. Procedures:

1. Say: "We need to read fluently if we want to become expert readers! Fluency is when we read words quickly and automatically. The main goal of fluency is to help with recognizing words and learn more sight words.  We can practice fluency by reading a book more than once so we become familiar with it.  We will call this a repeated reading.  When read something a few times, you can recognize the words easier.   

2. Say:  "Let's practice what we would do if we come across a word that we don't know while we're reading! Remember that his is called crosschecking. Look at the poster on the board: The leaves are crunchy. Listen as I try to read the word crunchy in the sentence: The leaves are c-r-r-u-n-n-ch-y….oh crunchy! If I came to a word I didn't know, like crunchy, I would use my cover up critter and start by finishing the sentence to see if it made sense.  The leaves are c/r/u/n.  Hmm… /c/r/u/n/ch/y/. Oh okay, like crunchy leaves in the fall! That sentence says: The leaves are crunchy.  Then I am going to reread the sentence so that I will get the word instantly the next time I see it."

"Now I'm going to show you how a fluent reader sounds compared to a non-fluent reader. Let's look at the next sentence on the poster: I have a pet dog.  If I wasn't a fluent reader, I would read like this: I hhhaaaavv a pppeeettt d-dddog.  Did you understand what I was reading? Was it smooth and fast or slow and choppy? It was hard to remember and understand what I read because it was so slow.  Now listen to the difference when I read it fluently. I have a pet dog. Now I understand what I have read and got the message it was telling me! It is good to practice reading fluently so we can better understand what we are reading. Now practice reading this sentence with your partner: She wants to win all the events. Read it until you are fluent at it and can understand what it means. "

3. Say: "Today we are going to read the first chapter in Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day."  Book talk: Junie B. Jones is the team captain for kindergarten field day. Room nine, her class, wants to win, but room eight keeps on winning! How will she lead her team to win? You'll have to read to find out! You are going to practice reading fluently with this story. You will read and reread it, trying to read faster each time. The more you read the story, the easier it will be to decode and remember the words."  

4. Give a copy of the text, a coverup critter, a reading time sheet, and a fluency checklist to each student. Pair up the students, and give each pair a stopwatch. Say: "When you read this story today, you are going to be reading it with a partner to check your fluency! You and your partner will take turns reading the story. You will each read it three times, trying to become more fluent each time. While you are reading, your partner will time you and record your total time on the reading time sheet when you are done reading the chapter each time. Also, your partner will be looking to see if you are reading faster smoother, remembering more words, and reading with expression each time. When you are done reading and recording all three times, talk about the chapter with your partner! What happened in the story? What do you think will happen next? Did you like the story?

D. Assessment: Walk around the room to make sure they are on task and completing the activity, while also observing their reading fluency. Have the students turn in their score sheets after the repeated readings are finished. Graph each student's individual speed so they can see their improvement as time goes on.  Also, assess words read per minute by using the formula words x 60/ seconds.

Comprehension questions:

1.     What day is it at Junie B. Jones' school?

2.     What is the problem in the story?

IV. Resources:

Roebuck, Caitlin. Becoming Faster With Fluency.

Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day. 2001.



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