A Fluent Wednesday WOW

Jan 15, 2014

Thanks for stopping by!  This is one of my all-time favorite lessons...

My reading teammate (Karen) and I decided to start 2014 off right with some concrete metacognition lessons.  And they were so so so successful!! I wasn't expecting them to go so well.  It was a huge WOW! Actually...it is my *first* post on the Literacy Land blog.  You can check it out tomorrow HERE!
This week we wanted to really illustrate how we group our words naturally when speaking and that doing this when reading allows us to read fluently.  We wanted to also explain that fluency allows your brain to think about what you are reading (metacognition).  Karen and I had it all planned out!

Then Sunday night hit and so did an idea!  The metacognition lesson was so concrete and visual, which is why it was so successful.  I wanted the fluency lesson to be just as powerful.  Here is what I came up with:
1. Read Wolf! (one of my favorite books to illustrate fluency):
2. Then we took a sentence from the book and had the students hold up each word.
I read it aloud with space between each word (very robotic).  Then our firsties read it the same way.

3. We decided that this was not fluency.  So I pushed all the students close together, leaving no space between the words.
This time I read it super fast!  Our firsties decided this was not fluency.

4.  This time we spaced the words out just a small amount.  I explained that when we speak and read we actually group our words.  This helps us so we speak and read at a correct pace.  I showed these groups with swoops (or ribbon).

We used the ribbon to help us slide our finger along the phrase, instead of pointing at each word.

5. After this demonstration, we looked at this new learning on paper.
Students came up and used the swoops to help them slide along the phrases.  We even stood up and acted out some of the phrases and swoops by moving along with the sentence.

I look forward to doing some practice with this skill in our small groups now!  And a few more fluency tricks that I have up my sleeve ;)

Can't wait to read about your WOWs!!


  1. I am WAY behind on my blog reading. It's so embarrassing. Regardless, when DID you redesign things here?? I LOVE it! It looks awesome. I have considered a layout change, and even that overwhelms me a bit. lol. Also, your fluency lesson is so neat. I may use this with one of my small groups next week! Thank you! :)

  2. Hey Em! I love, love, love your fluency idea! What a great way to work on phrasing. I linked up today...freebie alert. :-)
    Comprehension Connection

  3. What a cool idea! I have several (more that I'd like to admit) that read word by word all choppy. I always love being able to put visuals out there for kids to help them understand things. It's even better because they are part of the demonstration. : )
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  4. Very interesting! Makes me wonder if some kids get the wrong idea because we work so hard to get them to point to each word as they read, rather than sliding their fingers along under the words. Something for me to think about tonight:)

    1. You are so right!! I tell them that we need that one to one but now that we have hit the second half of first grade, we are ready to slide our finger and read in phrases or "groups" of words. They seemed to agree with me! :)

    2. Sliding their fingers is a great idea to teach in the second half of first grade. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to implementing this starting tomorrow. :)

    3. I am so glad it is something you can start using tomorrow, Tori!! I love things like that :)

  5. LOVE this idea!! Brilllliance!!! Sharing with my followers with a link here!!! GREAT work!
    Smiles, friend!
    Growing Firsties

  6. What a great idea!!! I love this & now have to go find that book :)

    First Grade Fairytales

  7. What a great idea! Don't you love ideas that hit on a Sunday night?!!!

  8. Em, this is fantastic!! I love how visual and kinestetic this is. I have done something similar by giving kids those fancy plastic drink stirrers (we call them swivel sticks) and letting them "swoop" their phrases. This would be a great way to introduce this!! Definitely will be trying! Will also be sharing!

  9. Thanks for this post. I loved reading about your little darlings and how you made "fluency" meaningful and real!

    :) Shelley

    The Perks of Teaching Primary

  10. This is brilliant! I can't wait to try this out! I like your new design, too!

  11. What a fabulous idea! Love everything I have read! Thanks for sharing such a great lesson with us!

  12. A great idea! It's one those that makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that!?" I can't wait to try this out with my kiddos that have difficulty with reading fluency (especially for those super fast kids that never stop at punctuation)!
    Thanks for a great idea!
    Mrs. H’s Resource Room

  13. I LOVE this fluency idea...it's such a great way for students to really see it! Will be trying this out soon with my little friends- thanks for the idea!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

  14. Excellent idea! I think I will have to try this!

    Not very fancy

  15. Great idea! I'm always looking for new ideas when it comes to fluency. Thanks for sharing :)

    First Grade Smiles

    1. Thanks so much for reading!! I am so glad that you liked it!

  16. Coming from Lisa's blog. Thank you so much- this post is awesome! I want to try this with my kinders!
    Learning With Mrs. Leeby

  17. So happy to have found you through Lisa (Growing Firsties). What a great post on fluency. I love the visual and kinesthetic aspect to the lesson. Definitely going to try this out in my classroom!! Thank you for sharing!
    Colleen :-)
    Fun and Fearless in First

  18. extremely brilliant idea.. my fellow primary school teachers' been trying to figure how to introduce fluency to her reading class... Thx a ton for sharing


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