We are so excited to welcome a new guest blogger today, Terri Maples! Terri is a second grade teacher and spends a lot of time teaching reading fluency in her classroom. Her post today is all about fluency fun in her classroom and how she uses Rachel’s winter-themed reading fluency task cards to engage her students in practicing their reading skills. Keep reading to get some excellent tips and ideas from Terri!
Is fluency something your class looks forward to? Or is it somewhat of a grind? One of the most constant problems for teachers is how to keep learning fresh and interesting. I’ve tried various techniques with fluency. We want our students to love reading, but before they can fall in love with reading, they have to be able to read fluently. It’s kind of a catch-22, isn’t it? One way to encourage growth in reading is to offer fluency opportunities several days a week in small group lessons.
I regularly use the Winter Reading Fluency Task Cards by Rachel Lynette twice a week right now. These winter fluency cards have created real excitement in my class! They think it’s fun to read in character parts. They don’t think of it as a monotonous ritual, and they enjoy learning about winter sports with the non-fiction cards. They are held accountable because they read with a buddy. I think they actually try harder with their buddy than with me!
When I started using the winter fluency cards, they were introduced slowly. First, we talked about the PARE rubric and how punctuation, accuracy, rate, and expression are the components of becoming a strong and successful reader. I have reading folders for each child that have their score sheet inside the folder. I like to put the cards on card stock and laminate them. They can use a dry erase marker to highlight punctuation or circle missed words. We talked about the score sheet, which is super easy for second graders to use!
I modeled several times showing poor, average, and strong reading. We worked a lot on expression. Sometimes children think strong fluency means reading fast. They need to not read so fast that comprehension flies out the window! We worked on rate. We want them to read at a good pace but be able to remember what they have read.
These fluency cards are adaptable to being used in small groups, individually, or in a literacy station. The brain likes variety, so I often use the cards, Reader’s Theater, or video taping every week. The students have a purpose and are goal-driven because they understand the expectation of the PARE rubric.
This product has some blank cards that the teacher can fill in with appropriate text. For example, my emergent readers are practicing the alphabet with punctuation marks. My middle group’s cards help them practice letter patterns and decoding skills. The cards can be kept on metal rings very easily. Fluency is one of the most important components of teaching children to read. Fluency cards may be started at any level.
But, it’s very important to use text that is at the child’s instructional level. The student’s confidence will zoom when they find success with reading fluently! Sometimes we use an iPad and video the students reading out loud. They get to watch and hear themselves! It’s an incredible moment for many students and their teacher! My goal has always been to encourage students to fall in love with reading. These task cards are a great addition to any teacher’s toolbox!
Are you interested in other reading fluency task cards? Rachel has three other task card sets! Click the images below to be taken to them on Teachers Pay Teachers.
My name is Terri Maples, and I’m a 2nd grade teacher. This is my 39th year of teaching, which is so hard for me to believe! I love watching children learn to read, and when that light bulb turns on, it’s a huge moment! I live near the Smoky Mountains and love gardening, cooking, music, my incredible family, and my two pet cats, Maisy and Henry.