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How do I start fluency?

HOW do I start first grade fluency ? This is a really important question! It’s almost as important and WHEN should I start fluency and WHAT materials should I use?
I am nobody’s boss, but let me share what I do.
FALL FLUENCY & SIGHT WORDS
In the fall we work really hard on sight word fluency. I want them to master 300 words by the end of the year. They are divided into groups of 10 (30 lists) and placed into daily homework folders. The sight words are very prominent in the set up. They are half sheets and become very well worn by the end of the school year! The fluency passage is right there next to the sight words, so that both can be read easily!
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade.
We practice them daily in class, during afternoon reading buddies, and for homework. We really hit them hard and play a lot of sight word games I  found on Pinterest.
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After speaking at a kinder conference in the spring, it occurred to me that I should be doing single-passage fluency in the fall.  But how would I start? What would it look like? This might be how you are feeling too.
FALL FLUENCY & PASSAGES:
I hit the books, “Googled” it, talked to others and, honestly, I prayed. How and when would I introduce single-sheet passages to my firsties? Shouldn’t they be turning the pages of little books in the fall? Are their “reading eyes” too new for passages?  First graders are fragile and if you overwhelm them, they FREAK out. Oh my goodness could I really consider timing these babies on words per minute? Prayer, Google, Diebles, and Fran Kramer, Prayer, Google, Diebles, Fran Kramer REPEAT. This was how I spent my summer and I came up with a plan. Research told me first graders should not be timed until December or January. Shared reading is how I decided to start with a soft launch into passages.
 Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
This is my pocket chart. I know this looks like teaching from 1992, but this works. I wrote out the single sheet fluency passage onto sentence strips and created comprehension picture cards that go with the fluency.  I also wrote the fluency to have very readable and predictable text!
In this way (Pocket chart style) I begin to model fluency, 1 to 1 correlation, and vocal intonation, rate, and accuracy.
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
Then the kids take over the pointer and the real magic happens. I mean look at those babies! Hands in the air BEGGING to read. Be still my heart!
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade 
We pull picture cards off and put them back on to encourage comprehension. I hand out the cards and when you hear the line read that matches your card you get to come up and put it on the chart.
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
The kids LOVE getting up and reading off the “Big Chart”. We do a lot of echo reading at this point too!
FALL FLUENCY & SIMPLIFIED PASSAGES:
Keeping it readable is key. I really think my job in this first trimester is to help the children see themselves as readers! Many of their skills are lying just under the surface and with a little practice, luck, and love those skills will come bursting through as will a confident and excited reader. So I wrote really easy, but engaging passages. They should be easily mastered within a few days so the kids can begin to build their fluent voices!
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
FALL FLUENCY & ART:
You know that I believe art is important. There is no denying I am into making learning fun. Each passage has a darling art project and bulletin board lettering for you to display.  Does a pretty room equal smart kids? No. Does an engaged child equal a smart child? More often than not. I display the art we will create next to the fluency passage on my chart to get them excited and pumped up about the passage we are reading.
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
FLUENCY and WRITING
These go hand in hand!!! I LOVE having my students write about our fluency topic. The ideas are ones they are SO familiar with! By Friday, when we sit down to write, the ideas flow easily and they can concentrate a little more on conventions. Please, God, let them capitalize, punctuate, and use finger spaces. PLEASE!
I adore “processes of learning” maps, Thinking maps, or smart charts. Whatever you call them, they help the kids organize their thinking and I like that! Kids at this age level need that all year, not just in the fall! These are our Circle Maps for the healthy foods we like to eat!
Flunecy, writing, and art go hand in hand- A nice circle map is always fun tooFLUENCY MATERIALS- Informational Text
In my opinion the content read by kids in a fluency manner should be Social Studies and Science based! Kids are hungry to read about the real world. This is also a simple way to get informational reading into my day! If they are going to read a passage no less than 20 times, shouldn’t it be worth while? Shouldn’t it add to their schema? I think it should.

If you want to try some of the Fall units you can buy a few separately to get a taste of the goodness!



 Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade   Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Use yoour fluency to support your writing! It is so much easier to write when you have a lot to say! Slide3
Plus, of course you get the comprehension pictures to go along with a pocket chart !
Pocket Chart:
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
Obviously pocket chart, holder, or sentence strips are not included. I am pretty sure I don’t have to say that, but you never know….
Bulletin Board Lettering and Art Masters:
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Use art and writing to support your program! 
TPT 3
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
  Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first gradeGreat blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Use art to make it more fun! Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Use yoour fluency to support your writing! It is so much easier to write when you have a lot to say!
Bonus Free Resource Links and Pocket Chart Pictures:
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Make it thematic, full of fun and art! Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Using picture cards to match your fluency will help support comprehension
Bulletin Board Lettering and Art Masters:
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade. Use art to bring fleuncy to life
TPT 3
 Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade
Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade-Art brings it to life! Great blog post on how to start teaching fluency at the start of first grade- Use yoour fluency to support your writing! It is so much easier to write when you have a lot to say!
Pocket Chart Pictures:
Slide13 IMG_9692
Bulletin Board Lettering and Art Masters:
Slide4
Not pictured since the kids do the art on Tuesday! I promise to update this post for sure when they complete the art!
IMG_3241 
TPT 3
FALL FLUENCY LESSON PLANS & TEACHER HELPERS
Each packet comes with easy to read lesson plans and explanations for how I run my successful program. It’s a very common sense approach. 20 minutes of your school day will turn into the most powerful minutes of your day for building comprehension and fluency!
Fall Fluency Lesson Plans
If you are hungry for more games, strategies, and materials I wrote a 101 post {here}.
Develop fluent readers who can comprehend
Here is my hope for us and for fluency this fall: Let’s get these little babies reading. Let’s have some fun together in the midst of Common Core drama. Let’s just teach reading to the best of our ability with Social Studies and Science passages that matter in real life!
A super personal note:
It’s is a big week for this little lady, this blog, and my teacher-prenure adventure. I have reached a major TpT milestone because of all of you! To celebrate I am putting the unit above Comprehension and Fluency 101 on Sale for 50% off all week. My entire store will be on sale Sun – Wed for 20% off because I am so thrilled to have surpassed $75,000 in sales. I cannot believe I get to be in the newsletter on Sunday Sep. 20th, and I am honored to share this milestone moment with so many talented people I LOVE!
Check out the newsletter {here}.

image Comprehension and Fluency is my Newsletter Special !!!! Regularly $8.00 This week the price is $3.20 Sun-Wed and $4.00 after Wed- Sunday the 28th!
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5 comments:

  1. You are so funny my friend! I LOVE 1992! I still teach that way! POCKET CHARTS ALL AROUND! kids have to see print in small chunks. They have to manipulate it & make it their own! Fluency comes after confidence...confidence comes from practice...we all know practice...daily! Great post! THANKS! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

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  2. First of all, congrats on your TPT success! Everything you create is amazing. In fact, the fluency packets are so good, I want to teach first grade! :) How about something for kindergarten? We're working on letter sounds and names right now but will eventually be reading easy stories. And you know I love pocket charts, too. I wear one every day (my apron).

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  3. OMGOODNESS Katie! I love this product! Thank you for praying, googling, and making it,taking the time to post how you use it in your classroom. You have thought of everything to implement good teaching while keeping the kiddos very engaged in their learning. I am off to pin and add to my cart, I can't wait to check my download and see what color my pocket chart is...I am hoping for red! :)
    Congrats on your milestone, well deserved!

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  4. LOVING this product and this whole blog post! You are so talented!

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  5. SO HELPFUL!!! Thanks a bunch!!

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Thanks for commenting! I feel the love!

 
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