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Saturday Sayings

Tammy, Forever in First, writes a great reflective post each week called Saturday Sayings.  She has graciously asked Julie, Lighting A Fire in Third Grade, and Sandi, Literacy Minute, and myself to join her for the month of April.  How fun!  Please be sure to go their blogs too each Saturday and read their Saturday Sayings.   If you have a moment, be sure to leave us a comment about our new journey together.  :)

Fluency is the ability to read accurately, quickly, expressively, with good phrasing, AND with good comprehension- Dr. Timothy Rasinski

We all know fluency is important and what a fluent reader sounds like.  We strive to teach fluency to our students who lack fluency.  The question is do we remember to tie it in to comprehension?  The whole goal of reading is to comprehend what we have read.  So when striving for fluency we need to be sure we are not leaving out the component of understanding what we read.  

Fluency is not reading as fast as we can go.  I model this way of reading so students can hear what it sounds like.  Students laugh and cannot understand what I am saying as I am going so fast, tripping on words as I read.

Fluency is not reading word by word, sounding out as we go.  I model this type of reading also.   Students do not like listening to this at all.

Fluency is not reading at one speed in a monotone voice.  When I model this, students frown and are not interested.

Finally I get to model what fluent reading sounds like and you should see the nods from the students and the smiles on their faces.  They know fluent reading when they hear it!    When we practice fluency, I try to help the students understand that this not only sounds better, but fluency helps them understand what they are reading.  It is important to make that connection for students so they do not just concentrate on the speed of their reading.

We all know Reader's Theater, choral reading, and echo reading helps students practice on their fluency.  But we shouldn't forget about poems!  Kids love poems and they just naturally lend themselves to fluency practice.  Poems paint pictures in our minds using the poet's words and is a natural link for making that connection to comprehension.    So as you are reading and writing poems for April, use them for practicing fluency too.  Try reading a poem the first time without fluency to the students and have them do a quick sketch of what happened in the poem.  Then read it again with fluent reading and lots of expression and have students draw again what the poem was about.  They will be able to hear and see in their mind lots more details.  This can be done with a T chart too.  On the first side of the T chart, they chart what the poem was about or details.  Then after the second reading, they again chart all they heard and saw in their minds.  Compare the two pictures or two sides of the chart and how much more detail they comprehended with the fluent reading.  It is a great way to visually make that connection between fluency and comprehension for students.


  1. Lori, I'm so glad you're doing Saturday Sayings too. I love the way you approach fluency. Making the connection to comprehension is what it's all about. We use poetry in my room for fluency practice, but I've never tried the T chart idea with it. Thanks for that tip!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Love this idea! I use a lot of poetry in my room and I am always searching for more ideas. :)

    Sprinkles to Kindergarten

  3. Great idea! Since April is poetry month this is a perfect time to try it out!

    Light a Fire in Third Grade

  4. Okay! This was a hit with me! I have almost all the fluency workbooks by Rasinski. His work with fluency just can't be beat. However, I find that teachers are hesitant to use them. I think that fluency takes a back-burner sometimes.
    Poetry is a great way to encourage fluency. One of my favorites is by Judith Viorst-My Mother Doesn't Want a Dog.
    Thanks for the great post!

  5. Thank you for this. I haven't thought to use Poetry lately. I also didn't know April was poetry month:) Thanks for a great post!


  6. Thank you Tammy, Erica, and Julie! Sandi, I checked out that poem and I love it-funny ending! Thanks Corinna-poems are great for so many things!


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