Reading Fluency - aligned with 1st - 3rd CCSS

Of the five components of reading, fluency is the one that seems to take a "backseat" most often when teachers have hectic schedules. Nowadays, we have more and more demands on our time.  When something has to give, it seems like fluency lessons are the ones chosen.

A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to teach in a district that hired a reading consultant that met with my grade level several times a year. We discussed the reading progress of our students.  Dibels was one of the scores we discussed. She told us something interesting that really brought home to me the power of a true balanced literacy program.  She said there are typically 3 times that new students are added to the reading specialist rolls.  In first grade, students who need the support of the reading specialist are lacking phonemic awareness and phonics skills.  In third grade, a new crop of students "suddenly" appear.  These students lack phonics skills needed to decode the more academic language that is presented in third grade. These students were usually sight word readers, often teaching themselves to read before they entered school. As you can imagine, when the 3rd grade teacher tells the parent of an early reader that their child needs additional support in reading, there are questions.  How did this happen? The last "new crop" of students occurs when a student enters middle school. These students can usually decode and comprehend the meaning of words, but their fluency rate is very low.  Middle school students are expected to read vast amounts of material in a short period of time, so even though they can read and comprehend the words, they fall behind in their studies.

The bottom line is a quality program needs balance.  Where do you find more time in an already hectic day?  My answer was to work smarter.  We incorporated some fluency activities during our reading group lessons and added a fluency center.  My students' fluency rate improved when I became more balanced in my approach to reading. 

My fluency center uses 3 minute egg timers.  I didn't have a stop watch or I would have used 1 minute for the time frame.  The handout the partners fill out gives choices for length of time.  I found a dozen timers at Oriental trading for $5.  Here's a picture:

Get your copy here for FREE!

I am linking up with Lisa @ Growing Firsties.  Hop over and visit her for more fluency ideas.


Edana said...

Fluency is really important, I totally agree. Thanks for sharing!
{I'm your newest follower :)}
Color Me Kinder

Michelle said...

You're welcome! I'm glad you joined.

Lori said...

I completely agree that fluency is so important to students to help them comprehend and as they grow older to be able to get through the ever increasing amounts of materials that they must read!
Conversations in Literacy

Patti Wilson said...

Thank you for sharing!

One Class, One Sound

MrsDM said...

When I tried to download the free fluency center, it gave me 'Busy Prepositions', which is nice but not what I was looking for!


MrsDM said...

Am I doing something wrong, when I click for the free download, I ended up with a 'busy prepositions' file... nice, but not what I was looking for! :)


je n fagan said...

Love this....it makes so sense

je n fagan said...

Love this....it makes so sense

Growing Firsties said...

Powerful!!! Thank you for sharing and for linking up!!!