Internet Fluency Resources — Get Your Printers Ready
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
As a proponent of academic intervention, our district mandates that we teachers monitor fluency in students grades 2–6 on a weekly basis. Weekly fluency monitoring equals ample fluency practice throughout the week. It also means I spend plenty of time each week scouring the Internet and books for fluency resources. In this post, I am going to share some of these resources with you. Get your printers ready — they may be working overtime today.
Why Worry About Fluency?
The last time I wrote a post on fluency was in 2008, and rereading it — or "rethinking" it — recently, I realized how many resources are now available that weren’t readily available then. This post is dedicated purely to printable resources found on the Web. But first, why worry about fluency? Here's what the experts have to say on the subject:
- According to Timothy V. Rasinski in his article, “Speed Does Matter in Reading,” excessively slow reading leads to less overall reading, poor comprehension, and reading frustration. Students need to be reading appropriate texts in order to practice increasing reading speed. Texts should be well within the student’s independent-instructional range.
- “Fifteen percent of all 4th graders read no faster than 74 words per minute, a pace at which it would be difficult to keep track of ideas as they are developing within the sentence and across the page. ~ Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children, Fountas and Pinnell
- Repeated and monitored oral reading had a significant positive impact on word recognition, fluency, and comprehension. ~ National Reading Panel report
- According to Richard Allington, we need to worry about the "cycle of defeat." Nonfluent readers most often struggle because of a lack of practice with reading. In order to increase fluency, start students at their independent reading level to get over that first hurdle of learning to decode words.
Fluency Resources Galore
Okay, here we go. Get ready. . . .
Advice From Former Top Teaching Blogger Danielle Mahoney
It baffles me that so few people commented on Danielle’s incredible fluency posts:
She was my go-to source at the beginning of the year for fluency instruction, and I have used every single anchor chart, bookmark, and printable resource in these two posts. If you have the time, I highly suggest you take a look. Below are some of her incredible fluency resources.
Danielle’s Anchor Charts
“What?” you say. “I can’t print an anchor chart!” Why, yes, you can. In fact, you can print out any JPEG image on this site, as small or as large as you’d like, using Blockposters and your printer.
My students LOVED the task of "swooping" (phrasing) words together.
Danielle’s Printable Resources
Simply print on card stock and distribute to your students.
My students noted the benefits of reading fluently, which included understanding characters better, not sounding boring to themselves and others, and being able to tackle harder texts.
Continue reading to see how we used this sheet while recording ourselves reading on our iPads.
Beanie Baby Fluency Charts From Former Scholastic Teacher Advisor Alyssa Zelkowitz
Many of you are familiar with my decodable reading strategy posters featuring beanie babies. Well, Alyssa created some just for fluency a few years ago. Her posters include the Cheatin’ Cheetah (for reading too quickly, without care for comprehension); the Just-Right Rabbit (you can hear "just right" with your ears; you'll be hopping along at the appropriate pace); Word-Ending Elephant (good readers never forget to look at the ends of words); and Pointer Penguin (Pointer Penguin reminds us to push our fingers along with the words, as though they're skating on ice). You can download her PowerPoint or a PDF printable version I created. Just click on the image below. Beanie babies are optional.
Blogger Amanda Nickerson
Amanda has been a loyal reader of this blog for a few years, and clearly she has been busy with her own blog, One Extra Degree: Confessions of a Teachaholic. I love the fluency resources provided in her post. In particular, I really like her fluency poster and even turned it into a bookmark. (You can download this by clicking on the image below.) I'm including Danielle’s bookmark, too, so you can make double-sided bookmarks for your students.
ReadingResource.net offers reading fluency activities and other fluency resources you can use right now. Below are just a few that I think are highly engaging and effective.
I purchased a sight word phrases card set exactly like the one this site provides for free!
Practice reading the alphabet with punctuation marks. ABCD? Boring, right? E! Fun! Simply print on card stock and cut.
A list of grade level fluency phrases and short sentences for repeated practice.
Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR)
Need some free printable fluency lessons organized by grade level and difficulty? How about a year's worth? I depend on the FCRR's literacy games and so do many teachers in our school. These games make excellent 10–15 minute literacy lessons, and they're free! You can change the setting for your particular grade.
Some Final Fluency Tips
To close this post, I want to offer a few final suggestions on teaching fluency.
- To introduce phrasing/swooping, start with the Pledge of Allegiance. Students can easily swoop words together. With Microsoft Word, you can demonstrate how to do this using the highlighting feature: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
- Note that swooping words together does not mean you have to pause in between those phrases. In fact, I repeatedly and explicitly model reading a sentence with and without appropriate phrasing and ask students to listen for the subtle difference before they practice it as well.
- Remember that reading is thinking. Otherwise, you are not reading, regardless of accuracy rate success.
- Interested in creating your own fluency passages? Visit Intervention Central for their Reading Fluency Passage Generator. It not only levels and counts the words, but it creates fluency assessments: one for the student, one for the teacher.
- Do you have iPods or iPads in your room? We have a set of five and used Danielle’s mood sheet to prepare to do one-minute video recordings of a reading passage. A partner then watched the video, looking for the desired emotion, and provided feedback using Danielle's sheet. This was HIGHLY effective.
Visit my Pinterest page to find MORE fluency resources. Most of these resources can be found under the Printables/Freebies board.
So, that’s it for now. I have so many other links, resources, and information that I had difficulty narrowing them down for this post. I neglected to write about some of the most common fluency routes, such as readers theater. I’ll make it a point to revisit fluency later this year in order to cover other literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness, that play a part in fluency.
I hope this post finds you when you have a moment to appreciate some of the many free resources available to you and your students!