Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First-grade Fluency Fanatics :)

Yes, we are First-grade Fluency Fanatics!We've been working on two new things that I am really excited about to improve fluency. For those of you who are not teachers, fluency is how smoothly a student reads. In testing, it translates into how many words per minute they can read.

The first thing that we've introduced this week in my class are our fluency boxes (I finally found a total of 24 containers between the 4 Dollar Trees I visited)! Inside our fluency boxes, we have a baggy for nonsense words, a baggy for sight words, a baggy for sight word phrases, and a baggy for reading passages. Each Monday the students add five more flash cards of each to their baggies, with the exception of the passage, which is only one per week. The boxes also contain a "whisper phone" which Kevin made for me over the summer out of PVC pipe. The kids are so excited about the boxes and seem to be working very well with them! Here are some pictures of our fluency boxes in action:

The next thing that I am SUPER excited about is something I am doing with my leveled intervention group. I named it "Fluency Friends." I have the "medium" readers in first grade, so for 40 minutes each day the 18 kids from all 3 classes come to me for on-level instruction. I decided to try to do a program with them in which they read a passage to a partner while their partner marks their own laminated copy of the passage with their miscues (words skipped or read incorrectly). The kids read for 1 minute (my timer ticks down on the overhead) and then the partner draws a line where they stopped reading at the end of the minute. Then the words read correctly are counted and recorded on a somewhat kid-friendly table that I made for each student. In case you didn't know, this is A LOT for six year olds to handle. I was worried that it was going to be too much for them, but they are bright kids so I decided to give it a shot. After only two days of practice, they are PROS! They enjoy "being the teacher," and it gives me an idea of who is making progress throughout each week and each passage without me having to sit down with each one to monitor. My teacher friends, if you want the documents I made please comment to let me know. I highly reccommend the program! Here's a really cute video of Fluency Friends:


In other news, I have a funny kid story today. I walked into my classroom after herding children back into their own classrooms following Intervention, and I heard this extremely SERIOUS conversation happening on the rug:

N: "I wish God was here."
Other kids: "Why?"
N: "Because then he could teach me Kung-Fu."

This was NOT a joke - the kid was serious. The funniest part is that the other kids didn't even laugh. They simply pondered the thought for a minute and then nodded their heads in agreement.

I guess the bible says that God can do all things, right? Ask and it will be given unto you... but Kung-Fu? I guess if you're 6 years old and you hear that God is mighty and strong, it means He can do Kung-Fu. Oh, to have the innocence of a child...

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