Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fluency part 2- TONS of ideas!

Hi Everyone!
I'm back for fluency part 2!!
You can read all about part 1 here!

I have to do a quick share of one of my students first.  So I have this little girl in my class this year.  Reading just isn't her thing.  I'm sure you have a student like that too.  
In my class we do Daily 5.  One of the choices is word work.  If I let this girl, she would pick word work every. single. round. of. every. single. day.

Well, just last week she picked Read to Self 8 times in a row!!  I kid you not!!  I nearly fell over when she picked it without my prompting!  Those are the moments when I think.... ok, I got to her...somehow, some way...

victory! :)

So let's jump into fluency... part 2!
This week we have been working on a reader's theater based on one of my favorite books...

Love that penguin!

I start off showing this video of Tacky
and asked the kids to watch for signs of good fluency.

Luckily the woman who reads the book has GREAT fluency so we had a lot to discuss!

Then I passed out the reader's theater script
(click above to get a copy)

Prior to passing out the scripts,  I assigned parts to the students.  I actually split the class in half and each half is doing the exact same script.  They will be performing their reader's theater version for the other half of the class.

We have been working on:
 watching punctuation
reading with expression
projecting our voice
following along in our script
standing still ;)
holding our script without dropping it!

We have been practicing all this week on the Tacky script and we will perform for each other tomorrow.

Next week we will break up into three groups with three different scripts.  They will be getting "big kid" binder scripts...

I will have to post a pic of how cute they look all standing there with their black binders looking all serious. :)

We will be reading scripts from:

The Recess Queen
(It's not the one I use...but it's a good one)

Wemberly Worried
(On TpT- I'd love your feedback!)

Caps for Sale
(There are a WHOLE bunch including this one here!)

We will perform for our first grade friends after about a week of practice.  I can't wait! :)

When I was thinking about this post I made a list of the things I do to encourage fluency... I came up with a bunch and I wanted to share with you...

1.  High Frequency Words-
This is the root of fluency!  Without a good sight word foundation, fluency is difficult.  I use this...
It's a fun way to practice building that sight word background!

2. Re-reading-
 This one is HUGE!
I have a sheet with a letter that I send home.  The sheets are designed so that the child is reading the same book 3 different times and then again at the end with me.  All that extra exposure to the same book builds confidence and fluency.
The sheets look like this:
Read 3 books at a time sheet

Read 1 book at a time sheet

I use books from our reading series as well as printed books from Reading A - Z (I really like their non-fiction books).

3.  Listening to reading-
When I taught first grade, I actually had the kids read an entire book (short level 1 book) on a tape and we created a listening center of all the kids reading.  I hung the books on a clothes line in my room and I used old "walk-mans" and the kids could listen to each other read (it was old school but so fun for the kids to become the listening center!).

I did a similar thing in second grade, except we created a poetry listening center on tape where each child read a poem and all the poems were together on one tape.  Again, they loved listening to each other read.

I actually have a tape recorder just like this picture... and it took me a LONG time to locate one!  It was a great purchase though!!

My plan this year is to record (video) the kids using my iPad and then letting them watch/listen to themselves read.  I think hearing yourself read is so powerful!

We also do these two things during our listen to reading time...

This site is simply AMAZING!!  It is quite costly.  However, I would search your local library or your neighboring libraries as they often have it for free (I actually use it from a library about 30 minutes away from my school).

This is GREAT!!  You can sign up for FREE as long as you have a scholastic account and they give you 10 books free just for starting!  You can use it on your computer, laptop, or iPad (that is how we use it).  Many of the books are read to the children and there are often activities to go along with the books. I actually use my scholastic points to get more books!

4. I've posted about this before...
It has specific word lists that progressively get harder.  The children read the words for 1 minute.  I use this with my parent helpers- and it works!  Oh and it's completely free!

5.  Reading incentives-
Yes I do believe in bribery! ;)
But really, it is motivating and fun!
We will be getting ready to do this one very soon...
It's perfect to do in the spring!

One last thing... 
has a fun poetry race to build fluency- we haven't tried it yet but it looks very motivating and fun for the students.

Phew! You made it to the end! :)
Thanks for reading... I LOOOOVE your comments so if you are here, and gained an idea (or two!) leave a comment! :)
Oh, and I'll give one of my High Frequency Word packs to one lucky person!
(leave your email!)

Thanks Doodle Bugs for the great linky!


  1. Thanks for all of the great ideas Tori! And thanks so much for sharing the read at home sheet! I've already printed it and I'm going to use it on Monday! I really like the idea of my students reading the same book 3 times or more! I've been thinking of how I could do something like this and you've already done it for me! Thank you so much!

    A is for Apple B is for Blog

    1. Yay!! That makes me SO happy!! I have done this for about 10 years! (hence the not very cleverly made sheets- but effective!). I am so glad you found something helpful!!

  2. I am very excited to track back in and start working on fluency right away next week. Thank you for such an awesome post with great ideas. Do you use RAZ kids (connected with Reading A-Z)? We started using it this year and my students love using it for listening to reading.

    1. Hi Emily! Yes, some of our students do RAZ Kids at home for extra practice. We haven't used in the classroom yet. I just love tumblebooks so much that I haven't needed to use anything else just yet. Thanks for the reminder of it!! :)

    2. I'm excited! I was waiting for more! Now to read through it THOROUGHLY!!!

    3. AWESOME Lisa!! I am sorry it took me so long to get to this second post... I had report cards this week so I was getting behind on my posting! Thanks for your patience!! Hope you like the tips! :)

  3. Thanks for the great fluency ideas. Our school is really pushing fluency this year, so these will be a great help!

  4. I'm excited! I was waiting for more of your fluency lessons/ideas! I have been working on fluency with my students, too! Starting Monday, for the next 2 weeks, we will be on lockdown due to state testing. I have my formal observation right in the middle... I have totally decided to use your ideas on fluency and can't wait to start. Thank you so very, very much for sharing your ideas and how they worked out with your students. :D

    1. Wow, that is QUITE a compliment Lisa!! I am so glad you found some things helpful! It's comments like yours that remind me how much I love sharing!! Thanks for making my day!!!

  5. We do one poem a week (usually a funny one or one that ties with our studies, because who wants to hate poetry in second grade?) and practice reading it several times a day. Fridays we take it home to read to our parents.

    Every now and then we do a special choral reading with a holiday and go out and read to other classes. I let each group choose their own poem, decide how to read it and then practice, practice, practice.

    Might try Tacky; thanks for sharing!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  6. WOW - this post is chalked-full of wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing! :) My kiddos definitely need work on their fluency and I like how organized and consistent your method is.

    Joy in the Journey

  7. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas. We have been using your ideas from last week. The children can now identify if they are reading like a 1, 2, 3, or 4. All are striving to improve. We also practice reading the abc's with punctuation. This has been a great help. Looks like Tacky will be our next challenge. Thanks!
    First Grade Carousel

  8. I learned a lot from your post. Thanks for sharing some great ideas.

  9. I am loving your fluency posts. They are wonderful to use with my first and second graders!
    Enchanting Elementary

  10. Hi Tori, just wanted you to know that I emailed you the End of the Year Fun Memory Book & Craftivity :) Let me know what ya think!

    And I love all of these fluency ideas!!