I hope you are all doing well! As I've mentioned, things are a little crazy this month, but also very productive. Upon completing some reading assessments, my team and I noticed that many of our students were struggling with fluency. I'm happy to report that reading comprehension is not a huge problem this year. YAY!
But fluency sure is!
Turns out though that practicing fluency is loads of fun!
There are so many great tricks out there and the littles sure love to practice them all.
The best trick I've come across so far is timing them.
At this age, students are happy to repeat the same exercise over and over again. Especially if it means trying to WIN or beat their old score. Basically, all we really do is read and reread short fluency passages over and over again, as we try to beat our time.
Sometimes I read the passage and ask the student to beat my time (their favorite). Sometimes, I just ask the student to keep rereading until they have a good time.
I also go over the importance of expression, intonation, and inflections during reading.
We discuss what good reading sounds like.
I read a passage in a robotic word by word voice and ask if they enjoy listening to that kind of reading. Then I read the same passage in my best road runner voice and ask if they understand or enjoy listening to that kind of reading. I explain that good fluency and good reading has a specific pace and I read the same passage at a good pace.
I do this each and every time we practice fluency to remind them that it is not a race!
Sometimes, I like to practice fluency with the whole group.
These past couple of weeks we have been using Jennifer's over at First Grade Blue Skies
Reader's Theater with Familiar Text package. Let me tell you it is a huuuuuuuge hit!
First, I read the text to them. I model appropriate pace, fluency, intonation, pausing, and expression.
Then, we read it together while I time our performance.
We read it together a few times (each time, timing our progress).
Then I assign different groups of students a part in the Reader's Theater.
This is my favorite part. It just sounds so great!
This is also the part where we get to highlight our roles!
Highlighting being a very exciting activity for the students! It's one of the "highlights!"
4-5 students read a part as we go through the text again as a class. We do this a few times.
Then I split the class up into groups (making sure that each group has a member for each part of the Reader's Theater) and the students practice together.
Finally, I ask the groups to present in front of the class. THEY LOVE THIS! We start the timer again and try to see which group has the best time. They are all very positive and supportive of each other and even my struggling readers know their parts by the end of the process.
It's great fun and it works! All my kiddies are reading and improving their fluency.
What do you do to practice fluency in your class?
Until next time...