Adventures in Literacy Land: Reading Fluency

Showing posts with label Reading Fluency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading Fluency. Show all posts

Teaching Reading In Small Groups - Chapter 2: "Forming Groups: Making the Invisible Visible Through Assessment"

When I signed up for this summer book study, I immediately gravitated towards chapter 2! I have always struggled with small group reading instruction (hence, the book study participation) and one of my biggest struggles is HOW to get the kids into groups that make sense AND allow for the greatest amount of growth in all students. It seems like my reading groups tend to stay static for a loooong time and then abruptly change. Jennifer Serravallo has laid out some great ideas for how to create the best groups for your students and keep them flexible as their needs change.
2

I Resolve To Teach Fluency!

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  No matter how well we teach reading some students still struggle with fluency!  Wouldn't you like to have fluency goals in your room that engage the students in a fun and exciting way?   I have personally researched many ways of implementing fluency in a primary classroom and this one is awesome!  Enjoy this post and then go out and buy yourself that well-deserved teacher gift for fluency!  Happy holidays you wonderful teachers of reading!
No matter how well we teach reading some students still struggle with fluency!  Wouldn't you like to have fluency goals in your room that engage the students in a fun and exciting way?   I have personally researched many ways of implementing fluency in a primary classroom and this one is awesome!
0

Using Reader's Theater to Build Fluency

Many of my early readers read word by word, with little expression. I need to provide experiences for them to read more fluently and with proper phrasing and intonation. This will not only make their reading sound better, it will make the content more comprehensible. 

Read-alouds and shared readings allow teachers to model how fluent reading sounds and shapes the understanding of the text. 

Rereading stories helps students practice reading books on their independent reading level to improve their fluency and comprehension. 

During guided reading groups teachers can build fluency and support children’s expressive reading through choral reading, reading along with books on tape and reader’s theater.
Provide opportunities for your Kindergarten students to read fluently and with expression by using reader’s theater scripts in Kindergarten. This post includes a link to a great professional read and pictures of reader’s theater in action in a Kindergarten classroom.
I love developing my students’ fluency skills using all of these strategies, but my favorite way to work on fluency and reading expression is reader’s theater. I first fell in love with reader’s theater when I read Sharon Taberski’s book Comprehension From the Ground Up and had the opportunity to meet her.  Since there were not many Reader’s Theaters for Kindergarten she encouraged me to write my own.
Provide opportunities for your Kindergarten students to read fluently and with expression by using reader’s theater scripts in Kindergarten. This post includes a link to a great professional read and pictures of reader’s theater in action in a Kindergarten classroom.
Reader’s theater helps readers develop fluency, build detailed retells and improves phrasing and expression when reading. Reading, speaking and listening are combined to make reading an engaging experience for my students. My students LOVE performing reader’s theaters and look forward to Theater Thursday when we break out the microphone for our weekly performance. Check out Comprehension From the Ground Up and consider adding reader's theater to your reading workshop.
 
Are You My Mother? from Jonelle Bell on Vimeo.
Provide opportunities for your Kindergarten students to read fluently and with expression by using reader’s theater scripts in Kindergarten. This post includes a link to a great professional read and pictures of reader’s theater in action in a Kindergarten classroom.
Provide opportunities for your Kindergarten students to read fluently and with expression by using reader’s theater scripts in Kindergarten. This post includes a link to a great professional read and pictures of reader’s theater in action in a Kindergarten classroom.
Provide opportunities for your Kindergarten students to read fluently and with expression by using reader’s theater scripts in Kindergarten. This post includes a link to a great professional read and pictures of reader’s theater in action in a Kindergarten classroom.
Check out more about Reader's Theater on my blog, 
A Place Called Kindergarten.
2

How Songs Help Build Strong Readers

Greetings Friends!


Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!


It's Jennifer (aka The Guitar-Playing Teacher) here!  

Today I am happy to hop over from  Stories and Songs in Second  to share a variety of favorite songs from my musical collection that will help your students build reading confidence, fluency, and expression!

Now, some of you are most likely pausing as you read this to ask the following questions:

1.  Why do I need to sing with my students?

2.  What if I can't carry a tune?

3.  How do I sing with my students if I don't play an instrument?

4.  How am I supposed to make time to sing with my students when I have too much on my  
     instructional plate already?

5. What if my administrator walks in and finds me singing with my students? 

Here are your answers:

The reason you need to sing with your students....

I was lucky enough to have parents who sang to me and with me at an early age.  My mother was a Girl Scout leader, and I have fond memories of learning the words to The Bear Went Over the Mountain and A Great Big Brownie Smile at our weekly troop meetings.  My father often was the one to tuck me in at night, and would sing traditional tunes like You Are My Sunshine and  Oh Susanna to help lull me to sleep.  Sadly, many families today don't sing together much anymore, unless it is along with the car radio as they travel to-and-from extra-curricular activities.  Consequently, the students in your classroom have not had the opportunity to develop as many "wrinkles" in their brains (a term a wise occupational therapist once shared with me) that grasp and hold on to language and build important cognitive skills such as sequential memory and oral speech patterns.   Singing with your students will make up for this lost time!  It will create the "wrinkles" in their brains that they need to not only be more fluent readers, but readers that are able to understand and recall what they have read.

Don't worry about singing off-key....

Your students will not notice, and a few will not be able to carry a tune either!  They will have fun trying though, and so will you!  Yes, you will have students who are self-conscious and who refuse to participate.  Yes, you will have students who roll their eyes and quietly think that you are a nutball.  But, you will also have those children who grin when you grab your plastic microphone and burst into a hilariously funny and thoroughly entertaining "Michael Jackson" version of The Itsy Bitsy Spider.    And maybe, just maybe......that child who never raises his/her hand to answer (and speaks below a whisper most of the day) will smile gleefully and join with you in singing Raffi's "Willaby Wallaby Weynolds, an elephant sat on Mrs. Reynolds!"

Instruments are not needed for classroom singing.....

Acapella works just fine, and so do CDs, online music links, your Pandora playlist, or cassette tapes!
I've included links to many of my favorite, trusted sites throughout this post.

Music is something that you can easily incorporate into your daily learning menu to enhance or extend the experience, and cue student attention! 

When it's time to practice counting on with money, my class reviews the value of our coins with this fun jingle that we keep posted on chart paper. 


My mother gave me a penny
to go and see Jack Benny.
But I didn't see Jack Benny!
Instead I bought bubblegum!

Ba-yoom!
Ba-yoom!
Bought bubblegum!
Ba-yoom!
Ba-yoom!
Bought bubblegum!
Instead I bought bubblegum!

The rest of the rhymes follow....
...nickel- to go and buy a pickle
...dime-to go and buy a lime
...quarter-to go and buy some mortar
...dollar-to buy my dog a collar


When it's time to move on to practice some subtraction action, we often open the Fluency Folders we use during our Read To Self or Read To Someone blocks and sing Five Green and Speckled Frogs with great gusto, following the song lyrics across the printed page with a fun tracker or our pointer fingers.

Make sure that when you are singing with your students, they have a print version of the song lyrics to read from!  

The lyrics can be scrolling across your Smartboard , pasted in their poetry notebooks, written on chart paper, cued up on their computer screens, or in a packet you've typed up and copied called  "Teacher Favorites!"   Then, if your principal happens to do a walk-through at a time when your class is "making a joyful noise,"  just point to this important ELA learning standard you have posted on the wall,  smile and wave, hand over a song sheet, and hope that he or she will join in!

I can read read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, 
appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

I tell my second graders that songs are really just stories set to music, and that long ago--before T.V. and DVDs and video games--troubadours, or singing storytellers, traveled the countryside entertaining families in front of their fireplaces or around the village square bonfire in the evenings.  I explain to them that many of the songs we still sing today have been passed down in this "oral tradition" over the years, and that we are lucky to have the words written down in books now so that they are not forgotten.  My class is usually quite fascinated by this information, and when I "unearth" or introduce songs I learned as a little girl, they often wonder if I lived during the time of kings and queens.  I hurriedly assure them that I am not THAT old, and proceed to share this musical gem that I loved listening to as I watched Sesame Street with my younger sister.



Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!



If you are not sure about what types of songs and lyrics work best in the primary classroom, 
here is a list of ideas and suggestions to help you get started.  Many of the picture and music books shown come with an audio CD and can also be enjoyed at your Listen to Reading station!
  




Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!



This heartwarming book, written by Joe Raposo and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, tells the tale of a little bird who is afraid to find his "voice."  My students love to "Sing out loud! Sing out strong!" 
as I turn the pages!



Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!



Wee Sing Silly Songs, created by Susan Hagen Nipp and Pamela Conn Beall, are  great anthologies of familiar tunes like There's A Hole In The Bottom of the Sea, The Ants Go Marching, and Found A Peanut.

The CJ Fundamentals  cassettes are two favorites that I purchased way back in 1995 at a workshop, but are only available as MP3 files via Amazon Prime.  The Three Bears Boogieis a hoot, and a great non-traditional addition to any study of fairy tales!




Peter Spier's beautifully illustrated version of the old folk song, The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night
has a wonderful call-and-response style and rhymed refrain that encourages my students to
"howl at the moonlight" as they echo!

She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain is another great folk song that helps build sequencing skills.  My class stands up when we sing it and adds motions to each piece of the story puzzle.  Great hilarity always ensues when we get to these verses!

Oh we'll have to sleep with Grandma when she comes...(Move over!)

She'll be wearing red pajamas when she comes...(Scratch, scratch!)



Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!





Polly Wolly Doodle and Home On The Range are two traditional tunes that I introduce to my students when we study the tall tales and cowboy legends of the Old West.  I've Been Working On The Railroad is another folk song that my group loves, and I often change the words
as needed during our school day.....especially when directions need to be repeated!  My version sometimes sounds like this.

 I am looking for some listeners,
all the live long day!
I am looking for some listeners,
just to pass the time away!
Can't you hear your teacher calling?
Please put your supplies away!
Can't you hear your teacher calling?
It's almost time to play! 


Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!





 Barefoot Books is a publishing house and website that I just discovered last year.  It features books with audio CDs for purchase, as well as some free animated videos that have follow along "karaoke style" text.  The books are a beautifully illustrated and designed to build and practice
important phonemic awareness skills!



Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!






Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land  is the most requested song during my class' daily sing-a-long, and is always a huge hit on Grandparent's Day in the spring!  I love showing my students this You Tube video of Pete Seeger, his grandson, and Bruce Springsteen singing it with a children's choir on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial!



Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!






As a "child of the '70s and '80s, I grew up listening to and learning to play the songs of John Denver.  I performed Sunshine On My Shoulders at my 8th grade Talent Show, and still sing the lead melody
on Take Me Home Country Roads at our family's Christmas beach bonfire in Florida.  

If you've never enjoyed Christopher Canyon's beautifully illustrated book series, I urge you to at least invest in Grandma's Feather Bed!  What a wonderful song to use when teaching exaggeration!  It also has four comical hound dogs and a piggie that's stolen from the shed!  Enough said!


Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!







Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!


Hopefully, most of your students will have belted Take Me Out To The Ballgame during the "7th Inning Stretch" at some point in their short life, so singing the parody written by Alan Katz, 
I'm Still Here In The Bathtub, will be easy-peasy!  This collection of  songs is just plain "silly dilly," and is best enjoyed right before bus or lunch recess!  It will send your students out the door with a smile!





Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!


What could be better than Paul McCartney singing Mary Had A Little Lamb, and James Taylor singing Getting To Know You?  Well, it is a toss-up between Bruce Springsteen singing Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips and Alligator Eyes, or Ziggy Marley singing Give A Little Love.

On the one hand, the rhymes in Chicken Lips are just grin-inducing (and a bit gross).....

Chicken lips and lizard hips,
and alligator eyes.
Monkey legs and buzzard eggs,
and salamander thighs.
Rabbit ears and camel ears,
and tasty toenail pies.
Stir them all together,
it's Mama's Soup Surprise!

On the other handthe message in Give A Little Love is all about kindness and caring 
(with a reggae beat).....

Let's give a little love,
have a little hope,
make this world a little better....






On Top Of Spaghetti, written by folk singer Tom Glazer and sung to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey, served as the inspiration for this little fluency FREEBIE that I hope you will use and enjoy in your classroom!  

The song works well as either a partner read/sing activity or a group choral read!  My class loves
to perform it in their best Italian opera voices!





Click this button to get your FREE song booklet!


Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!


Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!

Thanks so much for sticking with this lengthy post!  Exposing children to the magical combination of books and music is something I am very passionate about.  Know that it makes my heart, and theirs, happy!









I will sign off now with House At Pooh Corner, by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina.  It is a song I used to sing during my college house coffee days, and that I sang as a lullaby to both my son and daughter many moons ago.  It tells the story of two best friends who I met in A.A. Milne's Hundred Acre Wood,and who still are two of my favorite book characters today.




Thanks so much for "listening!"   Leave a comment below about one of the ways you love to use music in your classroom!

Until next time, always remember this.... 


Learn how songs help build fluency and expression in young readers!  Use traditional folk tunes, nursery rhyme jingles, or favorite campfire songs to get your students moving and grooving!







18