Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer Blog Party Kick Off Hop

Thanks for hopping by. We all know children can slide over the summer. And, I don't mean the fun kind of sliding. As teachers and parents, we want our children to retain (and even improve upon) what they've learned in the past school year. Here, I have a fun tried and true way of boosting your child's reading fluency. I hope you learn a helpful tip today, and don't forget to click on the button at the end of the post to hop on over to the next post (with another tip plus a freebie). 

Fluency Fun!!!

Fluency plays a huge role in becoming an effective reader. It connects decoding to comprehension, and it has several components. According to Timothy Rasinki (a fluency guru), fluency includes automatically and accurately decoding words. This leads to greater comprehension. When children get bogged down with trying to decode words, their rate of reading slows down and they concentrate on decoding rather than comprehending what is read. 
In addition, fluency includes reading in phrasing (or chunks), like we talk. Prosody should be used as well. This means the reader is using appropriate rate as well as expression. 
So, in a nutshell...
Fluency=the ability to read with expression and meaning+accurate/quick decoding+appropriate rate/speed
When a reader reads fluently, comprehension can be greatly increased.
So, how do children become fluent readers? The answer is easy!
They need lots of practice reading easy texts with a high rate of repetition. Sound boring???? Not when you use poems and songs! 

I've used these for years, and my first graders would always beg to read/sing them. Here are a few ways you can use poems/songs in your classroom (or home) to build fluency, following a suggested schedule.

  • Monday:Write a poem/song on large chart paper (or smartboard) and introduce it to your class. Read it to your class during morning meeting. Words can be circled/highlighted. 
  • Tuesday: Display the poem/song again. Read it to your class. Then, use choral reading (everyone reads) to reread it. Find/highlight various sight words.
  • Wednedsay: Read the poem again. Use any of the following ideas (sing it, chant it, exercise to it, make up a slap/clap rhythm while reading, use different voices to read circled/highlighted words, etc.).
  • Thursday: Students receive their own copy of the song/poem to place in their poetry/song folder or book. This collection will grow throughout the year and become a great fluency resource they will use time and time again! 
  • Friday: Fluency Fun-students are partnered up to reread the week's poem/song. They practice it many ways (as the class practiced during the week). They may also choose to reread some favorites after practicing the week's poem/song. Call on a few partners to present the song/poem to the class. Some may exercise to it, chant it, use a monster or opera voice while reading/singing it.
Other ideas include:
  • Make a poetry/song packet. Present a few themed songs/poems to students in stapled packets. Introduce/read one each day. Students keep these in their independent reading boxes or bags.  These, and the other books in students' reading bags/boxes easily replace those morning worksheets. You will thank me a million times over when you do not have to deal with preparing/checking them anymore! 
  • Use the poetry packets or folders in place of morning work. There is nothing to check and the students LOVE this (while building fluency).
  • When students finish early, they get their poems/songs.
I've included a camping-themed song packet for your to use with your child/class. Just click on the link below to get this FREE resource. Enjoy! 

Don't forget to click on Erin's wonderful blog at Mrs. Beer's Language Arts Class below to continue to the next stop on the blog hop. 

Keep on hopping! 


  1. Great ideas! I am loving this hop!

  2. Thank you! I love your post and your freebie. :)
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  3. I just love your blog design, your excellent post, and especially the freebie. I had not thought of using campfire songs for fluency. Clever!!

  4. I love your ideas! Great post. Thanks for sharing! :)
    Literacy Loving Gals

  5. Great fluency ideas that I'm planning to pass on to first grade teachers I know! Thank you!

  6. Thanks for sharing! P.S. The theme of your blog is really cute.

    Literacy Spark