Lower Elementary
English Language Arts

Nailing Fluency with Every First Grader

Fluency is a main focus in teaching first grade, but sometimes we need to pay extra attention to this area to keep students on the right track. This collection provides you with ways to monitor and improve progress in fluency throughout the year. Your first graders will love some of these activities, too!
A Collection By Sian Babish
  • 10 Collection Items
  • 10 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Nailing Fluency with Every First Grader
  • literacyhow.com
    literacyhow.com

    Fluency: Bridge between decoding and reading comprehension

    10 minute read
    Sian Babish says:
    Pikulski and Chard's article in The Reading Teacher discusses approaches to fluency challenges and instruction on how to work with students on decoding. There is a dedicated section to teaching decoding strategy, which specifically addresses Kindergarten and first grade. It also promotes repeated reading exercises, independent reading, and use of appropriate texts. I found the section on spelling and its relationship to recognizing word parts to be very helpful.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Silvia Tolisano presents this fun, interactive classroom project. She creates and shares podcasts featuring readings by first grade class, in which they take turns reading a section of the class book. Tolisano says students record themselves reading and play it back to themselves. Later on they have the opportunity to re-record if they did not like their segment, which promotes mastery in their fluency. I love the idea of bringing technology, reading, and fluency together in this activity!
  • Sian Babish says:
    Pinterest has a collection of boards that feature classroom posters for the first grade. Most of the ones here promote reading strategies, using familiar animals or colors to visually engage the student. Some of the posters are printable, but others feature images of DIY reading strategy materials. I was impressed by so many creative spins on these kinds of classroom materials!
  • Sian Babish says:
    Reading Rockets addresses different perspectives of fluency problems: from the child, the parent, and the teacher. Here is a fantastic approach to isolating telling behaviors of fluency problems, and what teachers can do to help. I like the recommendation to include lessons that teach students how to pay attention to context clues, because that makes a big difference working through fluency problems.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Heidisongs, a contributor to SchoolTube, posted a collection of "music videos" for first grade sight words. In her music videos, the song's lyrics scroll across the bottom and in the top right corner, you can see two students also performing the song. Even if you don't show these music videos to your first graders, you can use these musical exercises in your class. It's a lively, refreshing way to get first graders into sight words (and other things!).
  • edweek.org
    edweek.org

    Reading Fluency Viewed as Neglected Skill

    10 minute read
    Sian Babish says:
    Liana Heitin's article for Education Week discusses the little research done about reading fluency in the last fifteen years. Heitin states that fluency problems are not one-dimensional, which complicates the problem. The one tried and true strategy that researchers seem to agree on is repeated reading. I really enjoyed this article, especially because a teacher was interviewed from a neighboring town in my home state of New Jersey!
  • Sian Babish says:
    The Balanced Literary Diet has a short video about the classroom's guided reading area, where a teacher works with three or four students at a time. She has a table filled with materials to accompany lessons, and explains how she uses each one after a reading. I like how the teacher also shows how she gets students to listen to letter sounds, and begin to pronounced them properly.
  • Sian Babish says:
    ReadingResource.net has a whole collection of free printable fluency assignments and activities. There are also many creative lesson plans, both for individual and group work. I loved the Lego Fluency Cards. It's a simple, fun, and constructive activity!
  • Sian Babish says:
    The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has this amazing, comprehensive page dedicated to childhood fluency learning disorders. There is a dedicated section to different types of treatment, including what teachers can do at a classroom level to work with students. It's a great resources because it gives an overview of how teachers can work with therapists and counselors as well.
  • pbs.org
    pbs.org

    Grade-by-Grade Learning: First Grade

    5 minute read
    Sian Babish says:
    This page on PBS shows what and how student learn in their different subjects, especially Language Arts. It also gives a very important mention of how mistakes are crucial for development, as first graders learn from mistakes and work toward mastery. I like how it offers an overview of the learning process for every subject, because fluency goes beyond Language Arts.