Friday, August 8, 2014

Fluency Folders

So today I had one of those 'Aha!' moments.  I have to admit, I love my guided reading time, and I tend to obsess about it, even into the summer, trying to make it even better.  So today I was working on the upcoming year's Fluency Folder and trying to decide what changes to make, if any.  That's when it hit me.  The 'Aha!'  Fluency.  We talk about it.  We want it.  But do our students REALLY know what we mean?  Sure we tell them they should read like they talk.  But no matter what grade you teach, you know there are some students who still struggle with fluency.
Last year I started my Fluency Folders.  Each week I would pull a poem that would correlate to our weekly story, genre, or the season.   Most of the poems came from the You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series by Mary Ann Hoberman.  I have every book in this series!  They're only about $6 a piece on Amazon, and are well worth it.
 These books are filled with poems for two voices.  They are simple rhymes typed in two different colors, with topics kids love.  The illustrator, Michael Emberley, does a fantastic job capturing the mood of the poems, too!  My kids LOVED these poems.

We would start on Monday with me modeling the poem using 2 different voices.  Then I would read one color, they would read the other and we'd switch.  On Tuesday, they would begin their Read to Someone with their weekly poem.  Then they could continue the session with books of their choice or an assignment from me.  On Wednesday, the folder would go home and they would read the poem with a family member.  Then Thursday and Friday were free choice days.  If they were in Read to Someone those days they could start their session with any of the poems from their folders.  With my lowest group, I would start each teacher session with the weekly poem for a warm up with me reading one voice and the group reading the other.  I received so much positive feedback from parents on this folder!  Parents of my struggling kiddos would tell me that their children would read these over and over at home!  It made me ecstatic.
 So maybe you're asking yourself, "If it worked so well, why is she messing with it?"  I don't want to change the poetry part of my fluency folders, I just want to expose my students to some other types of writing in the folder as well.  So while I was working on my fluency folders this week, I had an amazing idea.  Chunking the phrases in a selection by color to help with fluency.  You may say, "Duh?  Of course!" But I never really thought of tackling it that way.  For example, by paying attention to punctuation, students will learn to read more fluently.  Get the idea?  This could easily be done with highlighters, but I'm partial to neat and tidy, so I was going to type up a couple of examples and see how it went.  I decided on a 4 part system for each selection, maybe every other week, offset with the poems.
Part 1
For Part 1, I followed a very similar format to the You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series, with two colors of font.  But I made the first section all onomatopoeia words since that's a common core skill  and the kids think it's fun and don't consider it work!  I'm planning on having the kids partner read this section during their Read to Someone.
Part 2
Part 3
For Part 2, I kept the colors for the font, but used it for phrasing, not for partners.  I hope to still use it in Read to Someone, but taking turns reading the entire card this time.
For Part 3, I decided to use the same text, but in all black and see if the fluency carries over.  This step would again, be read to a partner.
Part 4
The final part is a comprehension check, because let's face it, that's our end goal, right?  So this is the first set I've made, but I figure if I'm only doing it every other week, it shouldn't be that hard to keep up...  Right?

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