Become a Reading Superstar!


Growing Independence and Fluency

Caroline Hiskey


Decoding can be a slow process, but it is important for students to learn to read by decoding. Fluency instruction can help speed up the process and increase comprehension. Fluency instruction helps students turn newly encountered words into automatically recognized words, or sight words.  Repeated readings help students move from slowly decoding every word, to automatic, effortless reading. This lesson shows students how to use strategies that build sight words and increase motivation to continue reading.  These strategies include crosschecking for meaning, repeated readings of the text, and charting progress in paired partner reading. 


·         Stopwatches for each pair of students

·         Erasable fluency charts for each child

·         Star stickers

·         Class set of Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

·         Fluency Checklist

·         Reader Response Worksheet 


Partner Checklist

Chapter Word Count: ____

Reader: _____________________________

Observer: ___________________________

1st Read: _______ Words, Minus _______ Mistakes equals ________ in ________ Seconds.

2nd Read: _______ Words, Minus _______ Mistakes equals ________ in ________ Seconds.

3rd Read: _______ Words, Minus _______ Mistakes equals ________ in ________ Seconds.

Which read sounded the smoothest? __________

Which read had the fewest mistakes? ___________



Name: ________________________

Date: ____________

Reader Response Worksheet

Directions: Answer each question using complete sentences.

1.      Why do you think Junie B. is scared to go to school?

2.      How did you feel on your first day of school?

3.      What did Junie B. think about riding the bus home?

4.      Does Mrs. seem like she’s going to be a nice teacher?



1.      Explain the Activity:

      Say: When we are talking to someone, the conversation sounds smooth and natural.  Today, we are going to learn how to read aloud faster, so that we can sound as smooth and natural as we do when we are talking normally.

2.      Model Nonfluent and Fluent Reading:

      Say: Listen while I read a passage two times.  1. My k-I-nd/er/gart/en, kind/er/garden, kindergarten (Oh, kindergarten, that’s the grade before first grade) is the af, aft/er/noon, afternoon kind. Today was my frist day of school.  (Hmm, frist doesn’t make sense there. Oh, I know, I got a little tongue-tied, first makes much more sense than frist does).  Let me try the passage again. My kindergarten is the afternoon kind. Today was my first day of school. Let’s take a vote on which reading sounded better.  Raise your hand if you think the first time I read the passage sounded better.  Now what about the second time? Why do you think the second time sounded better? It’s because I didn’t have to stop and try to figure out the words. 

3.     Review a Strategy:

      Did you notice that when I finished the sentence, I tried to figure out what would make more sense than frist? It was a hard spelling, and when I pronounced it, the word didn’t sound like any read word I had heard before.  Then, when I finished the sentence and used the strategy of crosschecking, I could tell that the word was really first.

4.      Practice Together:

      Say: Let’s try reading a line on the next page together as a class. I see some tough new words in the next sentence. (choral read)"My teacher was decorating the bulletin board with the letters of the alphabet.”  I heard some of you having trouble with decorating and bulletin, but you used the rest of the sentence to figure out what they meant.  This is called crosschecking.

5.     Motivate to Read:

       Say: Before we go any further, let me tell you a little bit about Junie B. Jones.  Junie B. is a girl who is about to start first grade! She’s excited to meet her teacher and see her classroom, but really nervous about riding the bus home with the meanies.  So one day, she just decides NOT to ride the bus! I wonder what’s going to happen to her!

6.     Explain the Paired Practice Procedure:

      Write the instructions on the board, and Say: "This is what you are going to be doing next."

·        Pair up with your reading buddy, and send one person to come get two Fluency Checklists and Reader Response worksheets from me. The other person will be counting all of the words in this chapter, and when you get your Fluency Checklist, write that number up top.

·        Each of you will take turns reading the chapter three times.  While one reads, the other partner uses the stopwatch to time your partner and makes tallies for any mistakes the reader makes. 

·        Subtract the number of mistakes for each reading from the total words they read.  (For example, if I read 25 words and made 5 mistakes, my number would be 20.)

·        When you have filled out the Fluency Checklist, and answer the questions on the Reader Response worksheet.

·        Turn in your checklists and worksheets, and pick up a graph and stars.  Based on your math, I will compute your three reading rates and show you where to put your stickers.

·        Put your completed star chart on the Fluency Poster up front.


Students will be graded based on the following point system:



Followed Directions


Improved in Speed


Improved in Accuracy


Answered all questions in complete sentences


Answers are Accurate





____________ Reading Rate


































Park, Barbara. (1992). Junie B. Jones and the stupid smelly bus. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Geri Murray, Reading is a Breeze!

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