Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fluency part 1 (5 days of lessons and freebies!)

Hey Everyone!
Getting back into the swing of things after a nice long week off has been tough.  My class is definitely showing signs of - I've been home too long running the show and not listening to authority- syndrome.  We are working on that.

I am trying to locate my GIANT 600 follower giveaway winner!!

If you are, or know Jillian Ramoly, Please tell her to check her email!! :)

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year!  The kids are really reading... I mean REALLY READING!

Ok, I know, I teach second grade and I know they come to me reading.  But in the spring... something just clicks for some of them.  They enjoy books more, they light up with new vocabulary, they get the author's message, they actually want. to. read.

It's AMAZING!!  :)
{big smile}

So that is why I love this time of year, the time when fluency comes together for them!

I start by reminding the kids of a poster I actually show at the beginning of the year when I introduce our "fluency phones"
Click to get... leave some feedback if you like it!

I love the visual of this poster.  It helps them realize that they should sound like they are talking to a friend not like a robot (#1).

It is a lot of fun to model this poster for the kids! :)

We've been using these all year to work on fluency:

These beauties were given to me by a retired teacher... PVC pipes put together.  I hear they were easy and inexpensive to make!

Then I read this book in 2 ways.  I first read about half of it with no expression, reading quickly, and not watching the punctuation.
(do you know how hard it is to read it that way??!!)

If you've ever read this book you know there is some MAJOR opportunities to show expression! :)

After I finish reading, we talk about the things I could have done to improve my fluency.  We discuss things like:

~notice the punctuation
(it tells us to do something)
~slow down when reading
~think about character's emotions
~read smoothly (not like a robot)

So on my second read I HAM IT UP and read it with all of the above and more. (yeah, that's better!)  We compare the two reads and of course there is a unanimous love for the second read.

All of the above is on day 1.
On day 2, I start by reviewing what the kids learned about fluency (the list above). Then I share one of my all time favorite poetry books:
There are so many poems in this book with great opportunities to show expression, however, my absolute favorite is... 
I actually have the book with the CD of Shel Silverstein himself reading a few of his poems... he does a GREAT job adding expression!

After listening to a few poems, we talk about punctuation.
hehe... I LOVE this poster!

What does the period tell me to do when I'm reading?  And we think about the question mark, exclamation point, the comma, quotation marks, and even what it means to have a ---->   . . . 
(I always say,  more .   to  .   come  .)

That finishes day 2. 

 On day 3, we review punctuation and what it all means to the reader.  Then I pass out strips to the kids.  The look on their faces is classic.

click above to get a copy

This is the BEST way to teach punctuation!  I love that it removes the "reading" and it focuses on the punctuation!!  We have some good laughs reading these!!
Each child gets one and then reads it to the class as we follow along.
We did this today and the kids really got the idea that their voice should change depending on the punctuation.

It's a beautiful thing!
Oh, and super hilarious!! ;)

On day 4 and 5 I partner the kids up and give them a poem.  They get to decide on how they are going to read it together as a team.  I usually partner the kids so they can learn from one another (i.e. the one with good fluency understanding who can help the other one).  They practice the first day and they present their poem the second day.  Here are some of the poems I use (click pick to grab these)

All of that is just our first week!  In the next post I will share what I do the next 2-3 weeks! Plus more goodies!

I'd love to hear what you do for fluency!  Please share in the comments below!


  1. I love the idea about breaking up the alphabet with various punctuation. We do songs that the kids hear on the radio (the kidz bop versions). I'm also working on typing up some reader's theater using the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. My kids love those books! Then for the kids who are really struggling with fluency, I have a poetry club with them. Fluency is hard though for my kids - thanks for talking about what you do for fluency. My next post might be about fluency too!
    Teaching in the Valley

    1. I love reading about your wonderful tips on fluency. I have seen the alphabet before with the various punctuation marks but never had a copy of it. Thanks for sharing. I will be using it with my students tomorrow.

      Smiling and Shining in Second Grade

    2. Liz- Yay for Elephant and Piggie... so funny you mentioned that because just before I read your comment that is exactly what I thought of!! :)

      So great Shelly! Glad you found something useful! :)

  2. YAY!! Thanks for this amazing post and the freebies! I especially love the alphabet activity. I'll DEF be using it in the next week or so!
    Those reading phones are super easy to make! A few years ago I showed a pic of one to the hubs and he made me 6 of them in less than an hour. He was pretty proud of himself... Such a macho guy lol!

  3. I teach first grade, but I have a little friend who doesn't pay any attention to punctuation. She's a total word caller, and she struggles with comprehension as well. So I think these ideas would be perfect for her! Thanks for the freebies! I'm going to use them with her! :-)

  4. Thank you for all the great fluency ideas. I teach Kindergarten so we are just starting out with our reading, but I have been mentioning fluency with my higher reading groups lately. In fact, just yesterday we were talking about "reading like a robot". I love your "Did I read Like..." freebie. It is perfect to show my kinders what I meant because some of them just didn't quite get it. Great post- thanks for all the wonderful ideas.

  5. This is exactly what I was looking for! You have such great ideas. Thank you very much for sharing. I have already printed the poster, punctuation practice and poems. We will use them tomorrow. I can't wait to see what other great tips you have to offer. Thanks Again!
    First Grade Carousel

  6. This is fantastic! I have been looking for something great to use with my kiddos to improve fluency! I can't wait to hear more about weeks 2 and 3. Thanks for sharing!
    Enchanting Elementary

  7. I loved this post and the resources you shared to promote fluency. I will use them all! Looking forward to your next posts! Thank you!

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  9. We have a fluency binder. ( Cheap plastic binder ). 2-3 days a week we add another page to our binder. I start with the alphabet. I give them a sheet with mixed up letters. We read together, they read with me, and then they read for 1 minute by themselves. Then later in the day, they read with a partner, and then by themselves. After alphabet then move on to sight words, nonsense words, word families, short stories, poems, nonfiction text, etc. Reread, reread,reread! wendy

  10. Which book did you read twice? the picture won't load, but i love these ideas! Thanks!

  11. This is excellent! Thank you for sharing!

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