Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chapter 5 Fluency

Hello All,

I'm a little behind on posting about the Summer Book Study (#SBS14) with Heidi over at Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs.  In case you are just happening upon this then we are reading Debbie Diller's Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All.  It's a great book and if you are looking for a way to step up your Reading Small Groups it's a must read.Chapter 5 is all about Fluency.
There's a lot of great information in the book. Let's look at some highlights.

First, it's important to understand that "Fluency includes decoding accurately, reading rate, expression, intonation, phrasing, pacing and pausing."  So often we think about fluency as only the reading rate. But it is so much more than that.  Reading rate is only one small part of this.

How do you know when a child is reading fluently? Well for a few measures they need to be able to read text at 95% accuracy or above.  They must also be able to read with automaticity. Read with little effort to decode (which goes hand in hand with the reading accurately).  This can be measured by wpm. By the end of second grade students should be reading 90 words per minute. Hopefully they will be coming in around 50/60 words from 1st grade and then you have the school year to get up to 90.  You could think about it like 10 words per minute per quarter. Obviously, they will need to be practicing A LOT to increase this way. Lastly, students need do be reading with expression. You can check out this by listening to students read orally.  You can use a rubric for this. Debbie had one in her book. Yes, I typed it up and have it for your here to use if you would like.  Fluency Score Rubric  Click the link and you'll get it in a google doc. The graphic is from  (Be sure to support her. She is so kind to let teachers use free clipart because she appreciates teachers!!)

Some other important quotes from this chapter --
"Fluency is a bridge between phonics and comprehension."  This is important because if they cannot decode they use up too much brainpower trying to read the word that they have no energy left for comprehension. Which as we know is the goal of reading.  Remember no comprehension = no reading. That's also why fluency is so important. When children read fluently, they will comprehend! Practice is imperative to fluency and then to comprehension!

Given all of these facets of fluency which leads to our goal of reading -- comprehension what do you focus on?  Here are her suggestions for Focus for Lessons.

  • Decoding words effortlessly and automatically
  • High-frequency word work
  • Reading punctuation
  • Reading in phrases
  • Reading with intonation
  • Reading dialogue
  • Regulating the speed of reading
Here are some factors for choosing materials for fluency work:
  • Choose books at students' easy reading level -- at least 95% accuracy.
  • Larger print appears easier to read than small print and less intimidating for struggling readers
  • find books on topics that interest the students
  • familiar stories with repetitive phrases
  • gradually reduce support and present text that is a little more challenging as you progress
As is the format for the other chapters, there are sample lessons for High Frequency Words, Phrasing, Reading Dialogue,  and Adjusting Rate. 

Here is a blank lesson plan  Small Group Fluency Lesson Plan

I love also how she has information to help you link these small group lessons to Whole Group and Work Stations.

She had another chart about Prompts to say based on what the child is having trouble with.  So, I want this handy for my groups and so I have typed up here to share with you.  Prompts for Fluency

One thing that came to mind about teaching to read the punctuation was a video I saw, I think at Responsive Classroom training. The teacher had taught them to make a signal/sound for each type of punctuation mark to emphasize what is done when reading based on the punctuation type.  I googled and couldn't find anything about it so it must be just this teachers doing.  I did find this article online that said to use percussion for the punctuation during shared reading.  This is the same idea. The other was just more active and interesting.  I will look for the video and see if I can find it.  Here's a link to the article with some other ideas  you might find interesting as well.  Percussion for punctuation

Well, here's my shares. I will get to Chapter 6 later this week.  I think I'm behind a week now....but don't worry I'll catch up.  I hope you are liking our Book Study. It's a great book. I highly recommend you purchasing it. There are many sample lesson plans you could use to get started and many resources from the book.  Please leave comments. I like hearing your comments and if you have any questions or comments about the shares please let me know.

Have a great weekend,