The Reading Specialist in my school recently lent me her copy of The Fluent Reader: Oral Reading Strategies for Building Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension by Timothy V. Rasinski after a brainstorming session we had about ways to help two of the students in my class who have not met the reading benchmark for this point of the school year. She suggested I work with these two students on repeated reading of phrases and short sentences (pgs. 94 – 100) as a means of building their fluency with more than just high-frequency words. I’ve spent some time thinking about how to extend what Rasinski suggests, which is by doing a repeated choral reading of five – ten phrases/sitting with these students. I was thinking of creating phrase rings for these students so that they have the punctuation and capitalization of these phrases written correctly on an index card. My thinking is that if students write down the phrases they read with me, as they’re supposed to be written, then review will become easier. Also, I can tuck-in some conventional noticings in these reading fluency lessons. Here’s what I’m thinking:
PHRASE #1: Write it down.
CONVENTIONAL NOTICINGS: This is a command. It’s a short phrase that’s telling you what to do. It starts with a capital letter and ends with a period.
PHRASE #2: When would you go?
CONVENTIONAL NOTICINGS: This sentence is a question. It starts with a question word, “What.” It ends with a question mark, which means that our voice changes when we get to the end of the sentence.
PHRASE #3: It may fall down.
CONVENTIONAL NOTICINGS: This is a complete sentence. There’s a subject, “it,” and a verb, “fall.” This complete thought tells us what might happen to it. IT may FALL down.
And so on and so forth. This is what’s rattling inside my head as a means for extending this fluency reading practice. Perhaps more than just chorally reading these phrases and sentences will help my students become more fluent writers as well.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).