September 18, 2017

Fabulous fluent readers!

Each morning, students are responsible for volunteering to read something from our Morning Message.  You can read all about Morning Messages from an older blog post here.  I've tweaked and updated things since then, but the overall purpose remains the same.  

Here are some screen shots from a recent M.M.    

Students are invited to identify new (and often fake) events I post on our calendar as a way to develop oral communication confidence.  They are required to speak in full sentence (e.g. "I notice that on Saturday September 9th, we're going to a baking class.) 
I purposely design my messages so that there are reading opportunities for every level.  The focus is on participation, developing fluency and building skills in quick, short, commercial-type bursts of information.   

We also review our T.O.T.W (Text of the Week) each morning. We read the text together and then students respond to a variety of questions that help prepare them for the test that Friday.  

One area where I would like to see the boys and girls grow, is around fluency.  I would like to see oral reading sound more smooth, like the way we talk.  What exactly is fluency?  I would like to refer you to the photos below from Jennifer Serravallo's "The Reading Strategies Book". This resource has greatly influenced the way I teach reading for the last few years. I can't recommend it enough to teachers and to parents who are interested in supporting their child at home.  Please click on the photos to read what she has to say.  

To help support my students, I wrote this story over the weekend. 

I'm asking that parents have their child read it aloud each night.  The text is quite simple and most students should be able to read it with little support. Please encourage your child to: 
  • group words into phrases so it sounds natural when read aloud
  • try to sound like the character (he doesn't actually speak in the story, but there are opportunities to express his exasperation and excitement) 
  • avoid reading word-by-word (we call that "robot reading") 
  • pay attention to punctuation! Pause at commas and show excitement at exclamation points.
  • monitor pace: we don't want to read too fast or too slow 
I think that with practice and a little bit of nudging from the grown-ups who love them, my students will be able to become very fluent readers! 


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