Forming hands into conch shells as an echo chamber.
Trying this ... mini cars!
Charting progress after using mini cars.
This is our first day using mini cars. I would recommend rereading the sentence if reading sounds choppy.
Will THIS help?
High Frequency Words
So many sleepless nights this week!
After gathering and carefully examining data from mid-year testing, I can't sleep. I question my lesson plans and teaching moves for a few struggling readers who are still not reading at an acceptable rate. These students remain at the bottom of the class according to AIMSweb data, showing minimal growth in reading fluency.
Reading sounds more like a cadence and lacks expression for some of our second and third graders. Even at an independent reading level, their reading is dysfluent with random pauses and short phrases. It seems that we have tried everything: modeling fluent reading, rereading familiar text, lots of easy reading and even reader's theater. Nothing seems to help.
Turning to Research for Best Practices
How long do I keep trying before giving up? Tossing and turning all night, I'm determined to help these readers. Early in the morning, before my alarm clock rings, I'm at my computer researching sound teaching methods.
I'm committed to apply the research of Lucy Calkins as well as recommendations from Jessica Tobin's Fluency Webinar into our classroom. We're trying Tobin's suggestion of using mini cars to roll smoothly under the words. After a few days of using this method, our readers seem to be more aware of their starts and stops in oral reading and are training their eyes to keep moving through print. On Tuesday, our mini lesson included Lucy Calkin's recommendation of forming student's hands into a conch shell as if its an echo chamber in order to listen to themselves read. As I write lesson plans, a list of best practices serve as reminders: teacher modeling of oral reading, talking with students about the passage to ensure comprehension, allowing students to chart their progress of words per minute, continue phonics instruction with Words Their Way and check on sight word knowledge for each reader. Fountas and Pinnell believe "many struggling readers...have developed deeply ingrained habits of reading slowly without expression." Perhaps sliding my finger over the text while students read, will help as well. Research is clear. Text levels for fluency practice must be at students' independent reading levels. Trying again... not giving up on myself or my readers!