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113. Best Practices for Teaching Fluency
22nd January 2024 • Teacher Approved • Heidi and Emily, Elementary School Teacher and Resource Designer
00:00:00 00:36:34

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We have a special episode for you! Last summer we were on The Literacy Lounge Podcast with Ciera Harris where we had a wonderful conversation involving reading fluency. As teachers, we know how big of a hurdle it is when a student isn’t a fluent reader and our biggest question is how do we help our students become fluent readers? In today’s episode, we’re giving an overview of fluency and sharing some fluency best practices to use in your classroom.

For all the resources mentioned in this episode, head to the show notes:

https://www.secondstorywindow.net/podcast/fluency-best-practices

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Do you have a question or concern that could use a teacher-approved solution? We'd love to answer your question on the podcast! Submit your question to hello@secondstorywindow.net and put "podcast question" in your subject line.

Transcripts

Emily

Hey, there, thanks for joining us today. This week, we're doing something different around here. We're sharing with you a conversation we had last summer with our friend Ciera of Ciera Harris Teaching.

Heidi

We had a great chat with her about reading fluency. And we wanted to make sure that you got to hear that too. We think you'll love this discussion. And Ciera has a new podcast called The Literacy Lounge that you will definitely want to check out. We'll link to it in the show notes.

Ciera

So teachers, having a student who isn't a fluent reader can really be a big hurdle. And it's something that we face as teachers all the time. But what are the best practices when it comes to teaching fluency? I think that's a question we all have.

Ciera

So today, we are getting the chance to talk to amazing experts in the literacy field. And we're going to take a quick dive into the world of fluency. So please welcome Heidi and Emily. Welcome, guys.

Emily/Heidi

Hi.

Ciera

Oh, my goodness, thank you, I'm so excited. I knew when I put out information to my audience about this amazing expert experience that they are going to be a part of, and I got to let them pick, you know, what they wanted to have videos about and what they wanted to learn about. When they said fluency, I immediately thought of you guys.

Ciera

And so I'm so excited to hear what you have to say today about fluency and best practices and how we can really help our young readers become the best readers that they can be. So talk to me a little bit about Second Story Window like, you know, fluency literacy, like how did you guys all get started?

Heidi

So I think we got into fluency the way a lot of teachers get into fluency. And that is, we were forced into it. Sitting in a faculty meeting one day, and they were announcing, Oh, guess what, guys, we've got this new program, and you are now going to be held accountable for your students fluency. And I thought, I don't even know what that is.

Heidi

Yeah, so I back to the classroom literally ran back to the classroom and just start Googling, because so that just really kind of got the ball rolling. And so as I was like, trying to implement, like little steps with my students, I was starting to see like, big gains from that.

Heidi

And so because I just saw that it was so impactful, it made me really want to be more passionate in helping other teachers figure out like, how they can get those same gains for their own students.

Ciera

Absolutely. And I think now, especially with the much needed science of reading wave that is hitting teachers about time, by the way, but with the science of reading being very prevalent right now and teachers finally understanding and things clicking, and fluency is such a big piece of that connecting, you know, the phonics and phonemic awareness with the language comprehension and meaning that it's, it's a huge piece, it cannot be overlooked anymore.

Ciera

So I'm so excited to have you both today to talk to the audience about fluency and what's in the whys in the hows. And of course, we could talk for hours and days about fluency. So this is going to be a tiny little intro into the world of fluency. So hopefully, after today's session, teachers are going to walk away with you know, some new ideas, some foundational understanding.

Ciera

And you know, a great offer from you guys, because of your resources with specially for fluency are just top notch. So I cannot wait to hear what you guys have for us. So are you ready to get started?

Emily/Heidi

Yeah, let's do it!

Ciera

Well take it away. That was in unison, did you plan?

Emily

All right. So we like to start really anytime we're doing teaching, we like to ask them questions at the beginning. And the reason we do that is because the research shows that being asked a question before you learn something new actually helps you remember the things that you learned better. So it's a funny thing we do is we're going to ask you some questions.

Emily

And we just want you to think about the answers. Maybe you don't know them yet. But think about what you do know. Just start thinking right now with why does it matter if students read fluently? That's the first one. Do you want to tell the answer?

Heidi

Because it impacts reading comprehension, as Ciera already mentioned, and we'll talk more about that as we get into this.

Emily

What is the most important aspects of fluent reading? See, Think think of you know the answer to that one. What is the answer Heidi?

Heidi

It is accuracy, which sometimes makes people will confused. But we will tell you more about why in a few seconds, minutes. Yeah, main niche.

Emily

So fluency should be practiced with on grade level texts.

Heidi

So B will say always, sometimes rarely or never.

Emily

Yeah, think about that. Which one do you think is the right one?

Heidi

And the answer is sometimes it all depends on the reading level of the student. And, of course, more on that in a little bit.

Emily

So to get started, we just want to make sure we're all on the same page about what we mean when we say fluency. So fluency is a big idea. But it's actually made up of several small components. And the first component of fluency is accuracy.

Emily

And you'll notice it's the biggest Matroska doll in this graphic, and that's on purpose. It's because students can't read fluently if they can't read accurately. So it is the most important part of reading fluently. Accuracy means a student has sufficient sight word knowledge to help them with the text they're reading. And they're able to apply the word solving skills, they've learned to solve unknown words. And they have the ability to self correct. That's what we mean by accuracy. If they can do all of those.

Emily

Then we've got phrasing. And this is recognizing how to convey a complete thought with our words. So fluent readers can focus on multiple words at once, and they understand the whole message that's being presented in the text. And they read sentences in a way that sounds smooth and connected.

Emily

And then we've got expression. Expression is the way you sound when you read, right? So fluent reading this is the easiest takeaway from this is fluent reading should sound like talking. When we talk, we emphasize certain words in a sentence by the tone of our voice. And we add color and meaning to what we say by the way that we say it.

Emily

And the last component of fluency is rate. So this is the smallest doll for a reason as well, it's not the rate isn't important. But oftentimes, fluency instruction is focused solely on rate because it's the easiest one to assess, right. And that doesn't mean you shouldn't ever assess it. But it's not the most important part of teaching fluency.

Heidi

So when our kiddos are starting elementary school, there is just the tremendous amount of pressure to get those kids reading. And you know, those of us that teach early grades, definitely feel that. We need them to learn their letters, and then know the sounds that those letters make. They have to understand how to blend the sounds into words. And it's a lot of work for young students, and also their teachers.

Emily

Yes.

Heidi

And then when students can decode there's that push to help them comprehend. They need to know that words form sentences and sentences are ideas. We teach strategies and skills, we bust out the graphic organizers, the sticky notes, the highlighters, anything we can do to get them to think while they're reading.

Heidi

But as Ciera mentioned, fluency is what connects these two processes. Comprehension depends on the connections that readers make between the text and what they know. So readers are bringing their background knowledge to the text, and then they have to pair it with the words on the page.

Heidi

As they are grouping words into meaningful phrases, there connecting thoughts, fluent reading, is the bridge between figuring out the words and then using those words to assemble an idea, right? So we get that fluency is important, but how do we teach it now? So we're going to share three powerful research based techniques that can foster children's fluency growth.

Emily

We're all about the research.

Heidi

So the most importnat and luckily, the easiest way how often Yeah, the most important the easiest way, but in this case, it is it is to teach fluency by modeling fluent reading.

Heidi

So when you are reading to your students, you are providing the model for how fluent reading should sound, because you read effortlessly you give expression, you're pausing in the right places, and hopefully you are not racing through to get to the end, in a minute, right. So keep reading to your kids often, this is so important.

Heidi

And it's important for young readers to learn that fluent reading sounds like talking. And the best way for them to learn that is by hearing you model that fluent reading. So when you are reading a text in your normal voice, you know, where did they go? She whispered. You can just pause for a moment and then say, Oh, the books that she whispered. So I'm gonna go back and read this in a whisper voice, where did they go?

Heidi

You don't have to feel like you're putting on a whole show. But really adding expression and liveliness to your reading is a powerful example for your students. And if the moment is right, you know, just point out what you're doing as a reader and why I love that.

Heidi

And then the second technique to build fluency is to teach the building blocks of fluent reading to actually teach them. So a key component of fluency is they have to be able to read the text, right? So I couldn't pull up a dissertation on astrophysics, and make it sound like I know what I'm talking about. I've seen all of the Big Bang Theory, maybe I can push through.

Heidi

But it's the same for our students, they really can't read fluently, unless they can read most of the words on the page. And by most we mean like 95 to 97% of the words on the page. So there are lots of things that we can do to help our students read more automatically. And again, luckily, we're already probably doing a lot of these things.

Heidi

Students need to be able to have the skills for decoding the words. So we're going to start with lots of phonics work, then we work in those high frequency words, and we're teaching them efficiency with word chunking. And then as they advance, we want to teach them about things like prefixes and suffixes to help them infer the meaning of those longer words.

Emily

And all of that improves their automaticity.

Heidi

So students are often unaware that there's even a difference between fluent reading and non fluent reading, unless we make the effort to specifically point that out. So we want to be clear and pointing out examples of how fluent reading should sound.

Heidi

So here's just a fun quick activity. If you have five minutes until the bell rings, you can use this to fill some time. So you just write three sentences on the board, you write the same sentence three times, but you give it a different punctuation mark each time. And then you can model how the sentence changes with different tones, depending on the punctuation.

Heidi

So I can go, I can go, I can go and having your kids read it, obviously, they get way into it. And of course, the exclamation point is the winner every time of course. But you know, you can change up the sentence make it longer put the punctuation in a different order. It's such a good learning experience, because it's stuff that they just have not internalized yet, as new readers.

Emily

And you can do it without just doing the punctuation, you can do it with changing the word in a longer sentence that you want to emphasize. So adding that intonation to certain words, and you can talk about how that changes the meaning of the sentence when you emphasize a different word in the sentence, and how that can help them become more fluent readers when they're reading themselves.

Emily

So Chris slipped and fell, Chris slipped, and fell, feels different and feels like you're saying something different than Chris slipped and fell. So that's a good example. And there's lots of different ways you can do this where the word you emphasize changes the sentence even more Is this what it was that sentence, there's this example sentence.

Heidi

I never said you stole my red hat, I think and like every word you emphasize, changes change. I never said you stole my red hat. Yeah, is different than I never said, You stole my red hat.

Emily

You know, or you stole my Red Hat. Like, it's really good, powerful example. And a fun practice as well.

Heidi

The nice thing is, you really don't need any prep, you just need a board.

Emily

And a couple minutes.

Heidi

So really, it doesn't need to take long, if you can just commit to a mini lesson of two to three minutes once a day, those frequent brief lessons go a long way toward developing fluent readers. And like we said, students cannot hit an invisible target. So we really want to teach them the components of fluent reading, besides just right, they understand rate fi, and that will help them develop all aspects of fluent reading.

Emily

You can't improve as a fluent reader if you're not reading. So we want to be giving students multiple opportunities to read per day. And I hear we hear from a lot of teachers that this is a hard thing they feel like to fit in their day because of all the demands from the admin on their day.

Emily

And we just want to encourage you to push back on that and work in as many opportunities and out there's tons of different ways you can be doing in a day besides just Okay, we're gonna stop for 20 minutes and everyone get their books out. There's all these different ways that you can incorporate opportunities to read.

Emily

And it really that reading fluency develops over time, as they have many successful interactions with text. So it's vital that we as teachers ensure our students get those successful interactions. So these are just some examples of a way they may get opportunities with texts.

Heidi

But you definitely don't have to do all of that in one day.

Emily

And that's just an example of some that you might see in a day. But a little note about text difficulty. So the determining factor of what makes a reading experience successful is whether or not it's aimed at the right level of difficulty. When we talk about the levels of text difficulty, there's like three broad stage stages.

Emily

So the first one is frustration level. And this is just too hard for the reader to be able to accurately read or comprehend. This level means they require too much support to have have a successful text if they're reading at a level that's frustration level. So that means frustration level means they're reading less than 90% of the words accurately and their comprehension is not good.

Emily

So then we've got instructional level. And this is what we call the teaching level. This at this level, the reader can successfully decode 90 to 95% of the words, and they have good comprehension adequate, but they do need some support either from teachers or parents to be successful on this level.

Emily

Then we've got independent level. Texts at this level are kind of easy for a reader and no teacher or parents support is necessary to be successful on their independent level. Independent level means their the student is reading at least 95% of the words accurately, and they have strong comprehension.

Emily

For beginning readers research suggests that acceptable levels for accuracy should be closer to 97, or 98%. For like, you're really beginning readers.

Heidi

So which level we choose for an activity will depend on our goals, right? If we are teaching small groups, our goal is for students to be developing the skills they need to be independent readers. So that's when we're going to choose a text that is on an instructional level.

Heidi

But if our goal is to practice fluency, we need to choose texts at an independent level, we cannot expect fluent reading with a challenging text. So if you take an an assessment, like dibbles assessment will tell you how well a child reads a grade level text. But practicing at that level, if it is not their independent level, it is not building a fluent reader.

Emily

And I'll just share really quickly. So at my daughter's school, she, they were so focused on that end of your unit to be at this level, that they spent the whole year sending home passages at end of your level, which just like, um, was a new module. And even though as a teacher, it didn't feel right, I was like, Well, I don't want the teachers to think we're not doing our homework. So we just kept pushing through.

Emily

And she was just, I mean, barely gaining a couple of words every day on that thing. I mean, it was awful. I finally realized mid year like, we've got to stop this, this is terrible, because it really made her start to think she couldn't read that she was not a reader, because he could not be successful with this text, even with my support.

Emily

So now my young, my youngest just finished his first grade at the same school. And guess what, they're still using the same homework. And I was luckily able this year to say, hey, Teacher, we will not be completing these reading fluency passages. And here's why. But here's what we'll be doing instead, because my younger daughter also is not particularly a proficient reader yet.

Emily

And so we've been practicing at her actual level where she can be successful and feel successful and see growth. And that's what we want when we're practicing fluency. It's a different story. We're doing other things.

Ciera

Yeah, so much of being a reader is mindset. Honestly, there's, there's a big piece to that and having confidence and reading identity and having that and a lot of that comes from, like just what you said, like having that confidence and feeling true success.

Ciera

Otherwise, you're going to be creating other roadblocks that, you know, are harder to get through, you know, mindset, roadblocks are harder to get through than standard type roadblocks, like teaching phonics and fluency, etc. Like, believing it like you are a reader is a huge step. And so when you have things like situations like that, where, you know, you're basically setting students up for failure, like how horrible is that?

Emily

I know and that they're still doing it after all these years over there. I'm like, Oh, come on, guys. Okay, so we just really want to make sure we're very careful about not doing anything that is going to frustrate a growing reader and dampen their love of reading and damage their their view of themselves as a reader. So but I think everyone here already understands that we're preaching to the choir, I think.

Heidi

So what can you do to help your students fluency? Once students have developed some reading skills, like they've got some of that basic phonics understanding, and they are working with longer texts that were thinking usually around the middle of first grade level, using repeated readings is one of the best and easiest ways to boost fluency.

Heidi

multi year study published in:

Emily

So repeated readings improve reading fluency and comprehension, not only on the passages with which students previously use the strategy, but also with new passages. So that's what they that's what we want to see they can apply the skills they learn to more passages in the future.

Heidi

So that the same study highlighted several instructional components that were found to be essential for the success of repeated readings. And the first is that they are adult led, adult led repeated readings led to greater gains significantly greater gains than pure led repeated readings.

Heidi

So this finding indicates that adults and not you know, your peers should implement repeated readings. So it is great to have classroom reading buddies, but you really can't let that be your sole means of practicing fluency, right?

Heidi

And then also, right, remember that our students can't hit a target that they can't see. So it's important to set a purpose for their repeated reading practice. This study found that when students are cued to focus on either speed, or comprehension before they begin reading, their rates in both areas actually increase.

Heidi

So before reading, they're gonna say, you know, let's see if we can read this many words this time, or let's see if we can read to find out this, you know, what Billy's dog's name was or whatever, right? But the study says that the greatest improvements are seen when students are cued to focus on comprehension alone, or on both fluency and comprehension together. So the kids rates were increasing, even though they weren't focused on rate, even with more of a comprehension focus is still benefiting rate. Yeah.

Heidi

And then the last component is that when students finished their repeated reading, they got feedback. So point out what your students do well, with specific examples related to that goal that they were given before reading, offer tips for further practice on another reread, and making students aware of this skill that they are already demonstrating, are going to help them remember to use that skill in the future.

Heidi

So if you can say, Oh, I loved how you gave this character expression, when you read what he was saying. Like, it's going to remind them to be like, oh, I want to add that the next time I'm reading, so they can continue to use the things that they're already doing well.

Emily

Yeah, it makes them aware of it.

Heidi

So if this sounds like something you would like to see with for your students, you can outsource this, right? We want repeated reading to be adult lead. But that doesn't mean it has to be you lead, or lead a parent, parent volunteers or your classroom aides can be trained on what fluent reading sounds like?=. It's not that tricky. Yeah.

Heidi

You know, they can listen to students and they can give feedback might also want to consider sending home some fluency homework, it's a great opportunity for parents to learn about fluent reading, and give students that support that they need from adults.

Emily

That's our favorite way to do it. If you have enough parents support at home, that's our favorite way to do it, because then it's totally outsourced.

Heidi

One thing just to know about time readings, there is no research supporting reading rate tracking of beginning readers, and we're talking like our very, very first readers, right. So a good guideline is to wait until around the middle of first grade, before tracking rate, and we're talking about the middle of first grade ability. Yeah, reading level.

Heidi

So you might have a third or fourth grader who's reading, you know, as a beginning, first grader, we're still not going to track them, even though they're an older grade. Yeah, we got to be the middle of first grade ability level before you start tracking, right.

Emily

If you want to track words per minute, and then there's the whole question of should you track it on a graph or not? And the reason we put this slide in here is because we used to be anti graph, we used to say, no, no, no, no, that makes them too obsess with their reading rate, you should not be graphing it.

Emily

But we've actually come around on this. So you can celebrate students words per minute growth, and put the appropriate emphasis on the other parts of reading fluency. So you really can do both. As long as this isn't the only thing you talk about when you're doing reading fluency practice, you can do both.

Emily

And we do find that a lot of kids are really motivated by this. It seemed like oh, wow, look how much I improved in a week. So as for struggling readers, sometimes this is a great way to motivate them.

Emily

So what should they read for these repeated readings? So you can practice fluency by rereading familiar books, as long as they're on their independent level, you can do Reader's Theater scripts, those are great for practicing fluency. And they have built in practice right in there.

Emily

They could read student newspapers, if you get this classic news or something like that, as long as it's on their level, they can reread those joke books are like our secret weapon to building fluency.

Heidi

Because humor relies on phrasing and expression and timing. You're working in all of those important fluency skills in a way that's so motivating for kids.

Emily

And they want to say over and over again to get good at it. So it's actually like a really great way especially with like a reluctant reader. And then obviously, short poems are a great way to practice rereading too.

Heidi

Really any text that can be read independently is good for fluency practice. But if you're really looking for more targeted practice level passages are an excellent resource. But it is important to be selective. If you have looked at reading passages on the internet at all, you know that not all passages are created equal, some are truly terrible.

Emily

And that is not to say that only ours are good, that is not the point we want to make. But they are not all created equal. So we want to make sure you look selectively at what's available.

Heidi

Right? It needs to be worth your money and worth your kids rereading. So look for passages that match your students phonics abilities, but also look for passages that are brief, if you are going longer than a pages too long for fluency practice. Look for stuff that is engaging, and that is going to foster some comprehension as decodable texts and become more popular. They are everywhere right now. And some of them.

Emily

Oh, they're so bad. Like they're, they're fitting in so many, you know, CVC words, that it almost sounds like you're reading nonsense, you know, and we don't want that, especially for practicing fluency.

Heidi

Yeah, that's not helping them improve their fluency skills, their phonics skills, or their comprehension skills. So just be careful. You know, really just make sure if you are looking at a passage, just ask yourself, If I had to read this three times, can I get what I want?

Emily

Yeah, yeah, very true. So don't get overwhelmed with all these ideas that we just shared with you. Doing anything is better than doing nothing when it comes to incorporating fluency into your teaching. Don't get so caught up with doing everything with the perfect system, which we are the poster girls have this problem.

Emily

So that's why we can tell you Don't be like us, where you wait to even do anything, because you haven't got the perfect system yet. Doing anything is better than nothing. And Done is better than perfect. So just remember, good, better, best, maybe at some point, you'll get to best but doing something is good. And that's enough, and it's a good place to start.

Ciera

Oh my gosh, well, this has just been truly amazing. I think I learned some new things. I think fluency has always just been unfortunately one of those pieces that gets left out. And I love that metaphor you had the beginning there of the bridge, like it truly is the bridge that connects both of those worlds. Like if you don't talk about the bridge, you can't get from one side to the other.

Ciera

So thank you for everything that you just shared. That was absolutely amazing. I know you already answered so many of the questions that were pre submitted from the audience. So I know they're, you know, already thinking, Oh, God, thank you so much.

Ciera

But I do have a few questions that I think having not answered yet. So are you okay, taking some time to go through a few of those?

Emily/Heidi

Yeah, sure.

Ciera

Okay, so first question is, Will fluency come naturally after students learn to read? And do it often?

Heidi

I think for some kids, yes. Like your natural readers who have probably grown up in a literacy rich environment, probably can pick it up on their own. And so we think, Oh, great, we taught that kid perfectly. Maybe they just came with that. Yeah.

Heidi

But for most of your kids, the answer is going to be no, because this is a target. Like we said, it's an invisible target, they aren't even aware that this is something they should be doing. Right. So as we make them aware of what fluent reading is, and then those different components rate being the least important, but the things that good readers do, right.

Heidi

Good readers add expression, good readers make their reading sound like talking, all of those things are the things that are going to help them internalize what fluent reading sounds like. And then we're going to be practicing activities to give them the skills to put those ideas into practice.

Ciera

Absolutely. Is that okay if I share an activity that I did that I like, loved when I was back in the classroom? So I created I think I based it off of a an anchor chart that I found from teaching with a Mountain View, she has like this anchor chart about fluency that went viral years and years ago, like it's, you know, out there forever.

Ciera

But I created this student friendly rubric based on like the different components of fluency. And what I did was I created a station where I recorded myself have like three or four different recordings reading like this basic paragraph. And I obviously made errors in the different in the different categories.

Ciera

So in one of them, like I read an expression and another one I read like super fast or super slow and like, I basically showed them what fluent reading wasn't, and then one of them was perfect. And so they had to in the activity or in the station, they had to listen to me reading and then use the rubric to grade me on like, what I did right and what I did wrong and then then they had to explain why.

Ciera

And it was one of my favorite activities to do at the beginning of the year and it was so easy to like create, you know, and it was fun off, you know, to record myself as well. But then it transferred after they got to do it to me, then they knew when they did partner reading, they knew what to listen for what was good, what was bad and why. And it was also it turned into a great, I think we didn't have as mini lessons as well before they turned into stations, obviously.

Ciera

But overall, the whole practice of doing this made them aware. And I think that's one of the points you're making, like fluency has to be something that they have to be aware of, in order to practice it. So once you know, I made the recordings, and we did a few as a class as mini lessons and then they didn't mass, you know, stations.

Ciera

And then eventually they got to give when they are doing partner reading, you know, they can whip out the same rubric and they were able to grade each other or give feedback, not grade, give feedback to each other. It just, it made fluency become a part of our world. And that was one of my favorite activities that we did as a class. So I thought I just wanted to share that.

Emily

I love that idea.

Heidi

That's such a good way to scaffold that release of responsibility of like we're all in this together. And then they get to grade their teacher.

Ciera

Who doesn't love to tell their teacher, they did something wrong. I mean. Okay, next question. When students practice automaticity lists, and this is a specific question for a specific type of resource. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna go back and repeat this question.

Ciera

When students practice automaticity lists in benchmark advance, little to no growth is happening, what needs to be done? So maybe explain first what benchmark advance is. So for people who don't use it, maybe they use something similar, and they're seeing the same, technically no results, and then maybe explain why this is happening.

Heidi

I have not used benchmark advance myself. But just looking around a little bit, it looks like this activity is just kind of maybe list of high frequency words that the kids are meant to read, I think in a timed, like, how many words they can accurately read in a certain amount of time. And then the expectation is that that is transferring to fluent readings, some magical. I don't know what the method.

Heidi

Yeah, I'm not surprised that this teacher isn't seeing fluency growth from this activity, because I don't think it's teaching fluency. So yes, we want kids to be able to read high frequency words automatically. But I think I don't know that drilling like a list is doing that.

Heidi

I think the research that we're now becoming more prevalent would show that you know, that it'd be much more useful to work on things like sound mapping, and like talking about the tricky parts of the words and like helping kids make that you know, sound spelling correlation and the rains that would teach high frequency words and that would have carryover to your fluency because obviously, that would improve your accuracy.

Heidi

If you are forced to use the program that you don't have a say in, you know, to have to do not get in trouble, right. But yet, I wouldn't put any more weight into it than that.

Emily

Yes. And look for other ways to supplement your fluency instruction.

Ciera

Okay, one more question. This is a big one. And I know you probably get asked this all the time. How do you fit fluency into your schedule?

Heidi

Yeah, this is actually the top question we get is like, I just don't have time for this. So again, like fluency does not have to be big to be impactful, like your fluency lessons can be very brief and targeted, and still have give your kids a lot of room for growth. Yeah.

Emily

So you can, you can make those small mini lessons every day. And it doesn't have to be our mini lessons. But those ones that we showed with your example sentences, you can turn that into one of your transitions during the day where you're working on that, while you're all putting things away and coming to the rug.

Emily

Like you can fit it into those tiny minutes of time really easily, it actually makes a really powerful transition to do things like that. So that's a great way to fit them in.

Heidi

Yeah or adding it in as your opener to your phonics lesson for the day or your language lesson for the day or adding in some fluency practice. If you're doing small groups, you know, like, you can just find little pockets to tuck it in making us a center station where they're, you know, listening, and reading fluency or doing some kind of partner reading.

Emily

And also, if you can outsource anything, if you do have aides or parent volunteers that can come and do those repeated readings with your students so that it doesn't have to take up a lot of the classroom time. It can be just a few minutes in the hall with the helper.

Heidi

Yeah, so I think like for me, I found fluency is easier to teach, like, finding little places to plug in small pieces than it was to have a fluency block in my day. Yeah. And maybe

Emily

Yeah. And maybe more effective that way, too.

Ciera

Yeah, I really do. I do think it's more effective. You know, it's kind of like when you teach comprehension, like, yeah, you can have a comprehension lesson, but it should be embedded in in all of the different aspects. Right? of you literacy block. I think fluency should be the exact same.

Ciera

Well, I think we've gone through a lot in this short amount of time, but like I said, the beginning we could talk for days and days about fluency clearly. Absolutely. So I encourage teachers who are watching this who have other questions or want more information on fluency to you know, push for more fluency PD in their schools.

Ciera

You know, there are a lot of great webinars and things out there, you can find that have current science or reading research that backing them. So find some of those. If you need help, you can of course, reach out to myself or Heidi or Emily, and we'll be happy to find some for you.

Ciera

Well, thank you, ladies, again, so much for being here. I know my audience is jumping for joy, knowing that they're getting fluency focus. I think you've covered so many great nuggets, and gave us a lot of tactical actionable ideas that we can use right away. Thank you again. Ladies.

Emily/Heidi

Thank you so much. This has been so fun. Thank you. Awesome. Bye, everyone.

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