A Fluency Reading Party

Let the countdown begin! Only 5 more weeks until I can live in flip flops, shorts and tank tops, drink lemonade and think about next year! (Which is what we all know teachers spend time doing over the summer.... those teacher brains don't shut off for long!)
With only 20-something days left, my kiddos are definitely becoming restless.  I'm bringing out new ideas to keep them engaged and today's reading activity hit on a couple "must-do's" for the end of the year: keep it simple and keep them moving!
Fluency practice is an important part of my second graders reading.  And what better time to practice fluency than after you've read a favorite story a few times..... and who better to practice with than, well... everyone!  It's time to have a "Fluency Reading Party!"
The prep is simple.  Choose a text that matches what you want to work on - reading dialogue with expression, phrasing, reading punctuation... make sure it's a text your students are familiar with. Type each sentence, section or however long you want it to be on a separate strip. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I did these this morning when I came in. Of course, you can add borders, graphics etc.!
I used mostly dialogue for our reading party, but I wanted everyone to have a different strip to read, so I filled in with some narration from the story.  (Sometimes I just have more than one strip of the same thing.) I made sure to include a variety of levels of difficulty, knowing that I would have to differentiate because I was doing this with my whole class.
Next, I passed out one strip to each student.  I passed them out this first time because I wanted to make sure everyone had a part they could be successful with.  We took 5 minutes to practice reading and rereading the text.  We created a quick chart of what we wanted to accomplish (comfortable rate, read the punctuation, think about WHO is talking and what is going on in the story at that time...)
Then, the party began! Students chose a partner to read with.  Their job was for each person to read their strip with good expression (the main thing we were working on), for the listener to make eye contact the whole time (THIS was hard for some of them!), and to shake hands and say, "Thank you for listening," when they were done.  Then they were off to find another partner.
After a few minutes, I rang the chime and asked a couple students to read their part outloud.  This modeled good fluency for some who still needed to hear what it sounded like, and honestly, all my kiddos LOVE to read to everyone!
I then had my students place their strips face down on a table and each person chose a different strip for Round 2.  5 minutes of practice again, and we were off!  This time they had to choose someone they had not read with before, and by the end of the time (about 20 minutes) everyone had pretty much partnered with everyone else.
This activity worked well because not only were students moving around and choosing their own partners, but they heard almost every other part being read to them, so they were familiar with it when they chose a second strip.  You could do as many rounds as you want - my kiddos were pretty much done after 3 rounds (each round lasted only about 5-6 minutes - do you realize how many different people you can read a two-line text to in that amount of time!) It was a great way to move around and it was an easy way for me to stop and listen to every child read.  And by the third time or so of reading a text, EVERY student was fluent!

Simple but effective activities such as this one are key to getting through the last few weeks of school. You can use this any time of year and it's new and fresh each time! Thanks for stopping by!
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1 comment

  1. I have some fabulous fluency cards that I've been wanting to use, and I think I'm going to modify your "reading party" and use them that way. Thanks for the great idea.
    Laughter and Consistency


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