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How NOT to Read Fluently

Today, my students spent some of our reading time practicing fluency. Especially at this time of year, I go out of my way to make it fun. (Brain research shows us that "fun" is a big motivator, but I think teachers knew that before the research was done!)

There are 4 important parts to fluency:

  1. automaticity in word recognition 
  2. accurate word recognition
  3. rate (speed) of reading
  4. prosody, or expression
We started today with a demonstration of what NOT to do when reading. I demonstrated reading too fast, not stopping for punctuation, mispronouncing words without going back to fix it, and using a monotone- no expression at all.

There were lots of giggles.

Then I modeled the proper way to read. I read smoothly and accurately. I kept an appropriate pace, and I gave it meaning as I read it.

This time, instead of giggles, I got applause! (I admit, I have my class well trained!)

I thought this activity would be perfect to put into my emergency sub plans. It's got limited materials (just books for kids, which I'm sure you have!) and is a skill that needs to be practiced frequently. This is the type of activity that can be repeated several times during the year. I've typed up the directions for you to download and put into your own emergency plans. Just click the image below.

For more ideas for substitute activities, see THIS POST.

For more information about fluency, see THIS POST.

This blog post tells about an activity that can be repeated numerous times, that the kids love, and that gets them thinking about fluency.

Patricia Polacco's Holiday Books and More Books

I'd forgotten about this book, then I found it in my collection and read it to the kids today.  Patricia Polacco is one of my favorite authors because of the way she brings emotion into her stories.  She uses rich vocabulary and real characters.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats is about a Jewish family living in a rural area of Michigan preparing for Hanukkah, who find out their beloved neighbors have come down with scarlet fever and are unable to prepare for Christmas.  It's a delightful example of a big Act of Kindness and sacrifice for friendship.  It also shares a taste for the traditions of Hanukkah, combined with Christmas family traditions as seen by those who don't celebrate Christmas.

Christmas Tapestry is another example of a story that brings out strong emotions and shares real family traditions, a valuable message, and true meaning of the holidays.

Welcome Comfort is another sweet book with a Christmas theme.  It features a young boy who doesn't quite "fit in", who finds a way to fit in, with a special friendship, and a delightful surprise at the end.  Students have loved this story every year, and I enjoy reading it as much as they enjoy listening.

For the Love of Autumn has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, but it's my favorite Patricia Polacco book, so I had to mention it.  As all her books, it has warmth, rich vocabulary, and real characters.  (The main character is a teacher, so I couldn't help but love it!) Plus, who couldn't resist the sweet kitten, Autumn?

Singular and Plural, With a Holiday Twist

This is a key Common Core Standard in Language for grades 1- 3:
Singular and Plural, with a holiday twist! Here's a fun game for practicing word work and nouns, with a holiday theme!

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1:  Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Here are singular and plural nouns, holiday style! There are several noun pairs, some regular plurals, some irregular plurals, with several activities for the kiddos!

Grab it while you can, and be sure to check out several other holiday items while you're there!  (Many of them are free!)

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