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hop on the fluency bus!

A Growing Fluency Design by Kathleen McGahan



Rationale: Reading fluency is being able to read with automatic word recognition. This means that the student is transitioning from decoding. Readers need to become fluent so that they can focus their attention on becoming quick in their ability to read text, smooth, increase expression, and comprehend the text. To gain fluency and speed, it is best to use the method of repeated reading. Students need to develop sight word vocabulary while they practice becoming fluent readers. This will allow the students to be able to enjoy their reading, instead of becoming frustrated. This lesson will allow the students to use the strategy of crosschecking during repeated readings of decodable text to gain fluency and independence in repeated and timed reading.



  • Expo markers

  • Whiteboard

  • 1 Stopwatch for each pair of students

  • Fluency graphs for each student

  • Fluency checklist

  • Reader response questions   

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



1. Say: We want to be the very best readers that we can be. In order to be the very best readers we can be, we must be able to read at a fluent rate. This takes practice. We are able to really love and enjoy a book when we are fluent readers, because we do not have to worry about stopping to try to understand specific words.To read fluently means that we are able to read in a smooth manner, so that we do not have to stop and think about each word.


2. Say: Now direct your attention to the sentence written on the board: Sally ate the last cookie! Listen as I read aloud the sentence and tell me if I sound like a fluent reader or not. SSSaall, SSSaaallyy, at, I mean ate, the llllaaass, last, ccookiiee. Sally ate the last cookie. Now I will reread the sentence so that I can check and make sure that the word makes sense. Sally ate the last cookie! Did you notice how I didn't have to sound out any words? I spoke the sentence in a smooth manner and the sentence was much easier to understand! Now turn to a partner and practice reading the second sentence on the board: I ate a really big hot dog. Read it aloud to one another until you can each read it fluently. When you can read it fluently, find another partner. I would like for you to read the second sentence on the board until you can read it fluently. The second sentence is: The ball went in the lake.


3. Say: Now that I have read the sentence Sally ate the last cookie! What did I get stuck on? In order to figure out how to read the hard word, I had to reread the sentence, remember my correspondences, and focus on my pronunciation. I knew at  did not sound correct. I took a moment and remembered that a_e says /A/. Then after I corrected my mistakes, I went back, re-read the sentence, I realized that it actually made sense when I said ate. This strategy I used is called crosschecking.


4. Say: Today we are going to read Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus in order to practice our fluency. In this story, Junie B. is so scared to ride the bus on the first day of school because she hears many scary rumors about what happens on there. So, instead of going on the bus after school is over, she decides to hide in the teacher's closet. What will happen to Junie B.? Will she ever overcome her fear of the bus?


5. Write the directions on the white board for students to look at. As you are writing it down, explain what you will have the children do. Say:

-  Now, I want you to get knee-to-knee with your reading partner. Then you need to go to you designated spots out around the room. While one buddy goes and picks out a place to sit in the room, the other buddy will come up here and get two, Partner Reading Progress checklist. Once the other buddy has claimed a reading area, I want them to count all the words in the first chapter of Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.

-  Each partner is going to take turns reading parts of chapter 1, of the story, aloud to one another three times each.  While one partner reads, the other will uses a stopwatch to time them.

-  Pay attention and make sure that each partner notes all of the mistakes your partner makes when they are reading aloud. Make sure to place a tally mark for each mistake. (show the tally method on the board)

-  After you have finished your reading, you will continue on by doing the math problem to solve or fluency. The subtraction problem is the total number of words minus the number of tallies for each reading. The total number of tally marks should be subtracted from the total number of words in the section you have read. Do this three times.

-The next step is to figuring out the progress of each student. This should be done by answering the questions on the progress form. This should tell which reading was the fastest and which reading had the fewest number of errors.

-   To continue, after finishing each reading, you can answer the three reader's response questions.

o   Who tells Junie B. scary stories about the bus?

o   What does the B stand for in Junie B. Jones’ name?

o   Who sat next to Junie B. on the bus?

  • Upon finishing, the students will return to their desk. Each student should write down his or her own individual answers on a sheet of paper. This paper should be turned in, when they have finished. After the papers and checklist are turned in, a fluency graph will be given out. The three rates will be figured out and you will record your scores in the time spaces, which will show the individual reading rates.


Assessment: I will review student's responses to the reading response questions. Each student will have submitted these questions, after they finish. I will then complete the rubric, which I have attached, while reviewing students’ work throughout the lesson.



Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. 1997. Random House.


Lauren Carter. Fluency Fun with Junie B. Jones


Casey Piper. Fluency Fun with  Junie B. Jones


Reading Rate_________







Less than 50

Wpm              1     2    3



Partner Reading Progress

Reader Name: _________________

Checkers Name: _______________

                         Total words in the chapter______

1.       Tally Marks:

  ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

  _____ words in ____seconds.

2.       Tally Marks:

 ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

 _____ words in  ____seconds

3.       Tally Marks:

 ____total words- ____ tally marks= ____ words

 _____ words in  ____seconds

Which reading turn had the fewest tally marks (errors)? ________

   Which reading turn was read the fastest? _______

Assessment Rubric


Student Name:


Answers accurate/ appropriate


Responded to comprehension questions


Improved fluency


Improved accuracy


Completed Partner Progress form





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