Sunday, March 30

Building a Fluency Continuum

All year long we have worked very hard to build fluency in our first grade class!

We’ve worked on it by, through and during...

mini-lessons 

shared reading 

repeated reading

modeling

echoing

independent level books read during Private Reading

See, our school district switched over to the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project for our Reading (and Writing) Workshop this year and we’ve been deep in the throes of learning and implementing all kinds of strategies.

I'm still learning and tweaking and refining but can overall say that I am enjoying the change.

One reason is the increased amount of time we've been able to spend on building fluency.

Recently, I decided we should "put it all together" and take what we've learned about how fluent readers sound and build a continuum.

If you have any posts on fluency that you'd like to link up, please feel free to do so! See more info at the end of the post.

Here's how we built our continuum...

Over the course of the year we have had all kinds of lessons and practice on elements of fluent reading.

On our continuum, each element has its own color (selected randomly).

Phrasing - Red

Expression - Orange

Pace - Yellow

Punctuation - Green

Self-Monitoring - Blue

I tried to break each element down into a range of 4 levels...AND make it kid-friendly & succinct enough to fit on the 10 x 2.75 pieces of Astrobright paper I had pre-cut. (And I really didn't want to have to go to the paper cutter a few rooms down to re-cut.)

Do I think my wording is perfect? No.

Do my students know what it means? Absolutely.

So I'm stickin' with it.

K...

So, the wording was already written when I started the lesson.

Sidebar: Could I have spent time with my class generating the qualities of each level instead of writing them out ahead of the lesson? Yep. But I was limited on time and I chose to do it this way, this year.

Since there were five categories, I put the kids randomly into five groups and sent them to their work areas, delivered the cards and the kids got to work, putting the cards from their category in order from 1 to 4 (least to most fluent).

Once the groups had laid them out in order, we traveled around as a whole group to agree and tweak each group's findings.

Here is a close up...



And there you have it - our fluency continuum.

If you'd like to link up a new or old post, please do the following two easy-peasy things...
1.) Add this image to your post:
2.) Make sure the post content is specific to teaching fluency.


34 comments:

  1. We do several rereads to increase our fluency for individual students, but our most successful strategy is shared reading. This allows the students who are struggling to have the 'echo' support of their peers, and it slows down those racetrack kids. Over the 5 day plan, the little ones really do get a sense of fluency.

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  2. Teaching fluency has always been a challenge. I really try to meet my students individual needs and work on fluency during guided reading. We do 30 second quick read and we also use fluency phrases. I could really use the awesome resources you gathered to improve this area. :) Love your ideas and products.

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  3. I do some combo things... echo read, read to someone and when we can I let them read into a tape recorder so they can actually hear themselves. LOVE what is in this giveaway! I so need some new ideas :-) thanks for the chance to win!!
    Karen
    tommysmom0206@yahoo.com

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  4. I love everything about this post!

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  5. Wow!! This is SOOOOO AWESOME!!!! As a first year, first-grade teacher (with 27 years of experience in PK-K), I could really use this the last 9 weeks of school!!

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    1. I just saw I was supposed to write how I teach comprehension. I mostly use the basal and teach a comprehension skill with each story and then reteach it with a leveled reader.

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  6. I'm working to improve my fluency instruction to be more consistent and specific. In the past, I've found poetry and readers theater to be especially helpful for fluency. I've also used a lot of echo or choral readings, rereadings, and listen to reading opportunities to model/practice fluency with my students. laura.scheunemann@wrps.net

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  7. We use a Basal. However, I like to use Reading A to Z books as well. My school is also big into Accelerated Reader. We have a 35 minute block that is dedicated to independent reading in addition to 120 minute reading block. I read to my students several times a day usually associated with a mini lesson. We echo read,choral read and reread just as Laura mentioned above. kmeyer@prc.k12.ms.us

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  8. I have been working hard on fluency too! Thanks for the fun fresh new ideas!

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  9. We use the same as everyone else. I do alot of shared reading, partner reading and echo reading. During our opening we have a poem we read and it's the same poem all week. We reread that or sing it until all 25 students have done it. sbrown@sandi.net

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  10. Shared reading especially with our weekly poetry and repetitive texts! This is an awesome post and giveaway!!!!!

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  11. We have been doing a LOT of repeated readings with silly voices (Thanks to Katie Knight!) and fluency passages, as well as practicing our sight words over & over again with Fry Phrases. I just purchased Katie's set (thanks to the awesome spring cleaning sale), but I still have Jen's set in my wish list, and anything by Jodi is fantastic! Love your continuum!
    SweetSchoolMoments

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  12. What an awesome post!! :) I love this idea! :)

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  13. We do a poem a week, choral reading. As mentioned above, this is great for pacing, since you can't be slower or faster. And I can break it into stanzas so I read and then they copy me. Until we get it. :-)

    I just bought Katie's pack during the clean up (clean out my wallet?) sale so happy to find more ways to develop fluency.

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  14. I work on fluency in small groups. We reread passages and practice getting faster, using expression, etc. Also- this year I purchased Mrs. Russell's fluency homework packs (the whole year because I love them). These are high interest leveled passages. I send them home weekly for homework. I have seen HUGE improvement using these! I also use Katie's American Heroes unit for teaching the heroes and fluency. I am so proud of my little ones this year- this is the most fluent class I've had (thanks to all the products I've started using)! Carol

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    1. This feedback just warms my heart! :) I'm so glad to hear that you are seeing such success! :0) I use Katie's American Heroes pack TOO! :) Ha ha! ;) It would be cool to teach down the hall from you! :) XOXO

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  15. We read and reread! We have also been using Tamra's differentiated passages for work at home. Our AIMS scores have improved tremendously, and the kids and parents LOVE them.

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    1. Awesome news! ;) So excited for you and your littles!! :0) Keep up the fantastic work with them! :) XOXO

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  16. I use word drills and frys phrases for daily practice but am looking for more to add to our fluency as there is a lot of room for improvement and the class is ready for it, I just need to keep moving them on up! I am impressed with all the time and work and effort that went into these products as well as many others that I have seen from these wonderful ladies.

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  17. We do a lot of shared reading, coral reading, and echo reading to increase fluency.

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  18. Our school uses a program called "Read Naturally" that targets fluency. I also use an activity called "Lightning Words." Students time and record their reading each day. By the end of the week students have decreased their time by half, thus building fluency. My children do a lot of rereading, buddy reading and fluency passage reading. All of the products shown look amazing!

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    1. Do you like "Read Naturally"? I saw a session on it at a conference I went to. I couldn't decide how I felt about it. :)

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  19. To be honest, I am a beginning teacher and I'm not really that educated on fluency- hence why I'm trying to win these awesome products! :) My students and I talk about reading smoothly and not using or "robot" voices. They will all laugh when I read a book with my robot voice. They all agree that it sounds better when we sound like the characters, read punctuation marks, and read in a more natural tone.
    Joyfully,
    Sam C.
    rigbys2014@gmail.com

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  20. I'm a new teacher (currently a substitute) and I haven't much of a chance to develop my own method, which is why I'm always looking for helpful resources!
    alyxmcclure@gmail.com

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  21. Wow! This post is so helpful for me and my 1st/2nd grade kiddos! Thank you for all your hard work.

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  22. I use fluency phrases, echo reading, reading in different voices, readers theater plays and lots and lots of re-readings!

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  23. This is one of the areas I struggle with the most. I focus on it a lot in small groups but practice it through choral reading, echo reading, and practicing different fluency phrases. I would love any resource to better meet the needs of my students.

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  24. Wow! As a first year teacher, this is INCREDIBLE. These are great resources and are really getting my brain going on ideas for my own classroom. Bravo ladies!

    Shelby
    First Time Firstie

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  25. Girl...I am loving this fluency continuum! :) I'm going to have to whip this idea out this year in my classroom as well! :) We are all about fluency this year...I can only see this idea taking us just that extra step higher! :) I never leave this blog without gynomo nuggets of wisdom Lisa, really. You are without equal!! :) So glad that I can come by from time to time and get these wonderful tips that make me a better teacher and leader! :)
    XOXO,
    Tamara

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  26. What great resources! I already have some of them and I love them! Thanks for the opportunity. Enjoyed your blog post.

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  27. Wow...what a generous giveaway!!! Thank you so much for considering me ).

    At the beginning of the year, I directly teach a unit on fluency, focusing on accuracy, pace, phrasing, punctuation, expression, and comprehension. It is then intermingled throughout the year through a wide variety of literacy activities. Right now, we are doing a "Reader's Theatre" unit, which is giving them a perfect chance to focus on fluency through repeated readings in a non-threatening, small-group environment!! Our current plays are fracture fairy tales, and the kidlettes are having a hoot <3.

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  28. What an awesome giveaway!!! Thank you for the opportunity!!

    We use a fluency program throughout the year where we give them a cold read on Monday and then they practice throughout the week and finally a hot read on Friday.

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  29. We use Reading A to Z fluency stories for whole group, small group and partner readings. We also use several different online programs like the STAR reading program, Raz-Kids and Reading Eggs.

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