Literacy has so many different aspects to it that we are supposed to be intentionally teaching/doing each day…one of those things is fluency. Now, thankfully, fluency isn’t necessarily something that requires a ton of work on our part, but more heavily relies on the work the student does.
One thing you can easily do to make sure that you are doing something each day to teach fluency is modeling! Simply reading a book aloud to students every.single.day provides them with an example of a model reader. It helps them get an idea of what they should sound like when reading out loud or even in their heads.
Now…why is fluency so important??
When introducing fluency in our classroom, I read one story to my little readers in 3 different ways. If it is a short story, I will just reread it 3 times switching from much….too…slow reading to waytooquick reading to just right, naturally paced reading. If it is a longer story, then I do a few pages each different way. Then as a group we discuss which version was the best and how they could tell. I ask them how I could improve my other two ways. Reading in the 3 different ways CRACKS my little readers up…which always cracks me up. They know I sound ridiculous, but what they don’t get is that is exactly what they sound like! This is the perfect, quick way to introduce/review fluency. Later in the year, I then ask for student volunteers to show us 3 different ways of reading- they get a kick out of this as well, of course!
Assessment: Most schools use some sort of benchmarking system that focuses on fluency. Now, my experience with these has been that it is pretty much just not fun for all parties involved. We get bored administering it and many of our little readers get super frustrated because they passages are WAY too difficult, have no pictures OR it just encourages them to rush rush rush. Instead, the passages I’ve been using encourage students to focus on more than just speeding through (…or moving at a snail’s pace) for a minute.
Fluency Centers: A fluency center is something that should be included in your rotation…and once you initially get it going, you are set for the whole year! My personal experience with Fluency Folders has been that my little readers LOVE them. And why shouldn’t they? They get better each time which builds their confidence as readers and makes them proud! As a reading teacher, that is always a goal!
Daily 5 Ideas: Lots of us use Daily 5 as a way to manage/run our literacy block. Good News: Fluency can easily fit in as a focus throughout the week during Read to Self or Read to Someone!
If you are looking for fluency passages to use in your class for assessment or simply for everyday practice, check out the links/images below! The passages are leveled for each grade level, aligned with F&P!