Fluency | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:S1:C5:L24

Fluency

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Daily Learning Target

  • Opening A: I can find regularly spelled high-frequency words in a list of words. (RF.2.3a, RF.2.3f)
    • I can explain that single vowel letters in one-syllable words usually have short vowel sounds.
    • I can explain that vowel team spellings usually have long vowel sounds.
    • I can explain that in CVCe words, the vowel letter usually has a long vowel sound.
    • I can read second-grade words that “don’t play fair” (irregularly spelled words).
  • Work Time A: I can read a text fluently (smoothly, with expression and meaning, rereading and self-correcting when necessary). (RF.2.4)
    • I can read at an appropriate rate based on the text type.
    • I can reread when something doesn’t make sense or sound right.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during Opening A. Determine whether they can identify regularly spelled high-frequency words and explain what makes them “regularly spelled.”
  • Exit ticket (see Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher).

Agenda

Agenda

1. Opening (3–5 minutes)

A. Snap or Trap Review: “school,” “sure,” “none,” “friends,” “know,” “each,” “these,” “same,” “use,” “just,” “show”

2. Work Time (10 minutes)

A. Fluency

3. Closing and Assessment (2 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

4. Differentiated Small Group Instruction (40-45 minutes)

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Snap or Trap Word List (write the following words on index cards: “school,” “sure,” “none,” “friends,” “know,” “each,” “these,” “same,” “use,” “just,” “show”)
    • Snap or Trap T-chart
    • Interactive Word Wall
  • Enlarge the selected excerpt from the Decodable Reader: “Friends at School” (see supporting materials).
  • Write the following Rules of Fluency index cards: “smoothly,” “with expression,” “with meaning,” “just the right speed.”
  • Pre-determine partnerships for Opening A and Work Time A.
  • Gather materials for differentiated small group instruction (see Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher).

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • conversation, excerpt, expression, fluency, frequently, grapple, quotation marks (L)

Materials

  • Snap or Trap Word List (see Teaching Notes, “In Advance” above; one of each)
  • Snap or Trap T-chart (one for teacher use; see supporting materials)
  • Interactive Word Wall (one to display)
  • Enlarged selected excerpt from the Decodable Reader: “Friends at School” (one for display)
  • Rules of Fluency index cards (see Teaching Notes, “In Advance” above)
  • Individual copies of excerpt from the Decodable Reader: “Friends at School” (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Snap or Trap Review: “school,” “sure,” “none,” “friends,” “know,” “each,” “these,” “same,” “use,” “just,” “show”

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of “The Wobble”):

“It’s time to grapple baby, grapple baby, grapple baby. Grapple baby, grapple baby, grapple. Is it a snap or trap word? Think about it and back it up. Think and back it up. Is it a snap or trap word? It’s going to be hard, but think about it and make a start.”

  • Begin the Snap or Trap Review instructional practice:

1. Teacher displays the Snap or Trap Word List: “school,” “sure,” “none,” “friends,” “know,” “each,” “these,” “same,” “use,” “just,” “show” (mix of high-frequency regularly spelled words and high-frequency irregularly spelled words) and the Snap or Trap T-chart.

2. Teacher says: “We know some words are used frequently in reading and writing.”

3. Teacher asks:

“Who remembers what ‘frequently’ means?” (a lot; often)

4. Teacher reminds students that high-frequency words need to be recognized “in a snap” (instantly) to support reading all kinds of texts.

5. Teacher invites students to share with the group or with an elbow partner how knowing a word “in a snap” supports reading all kinds of text. (frees our brains up to figure out new words; more fluent because we don’t have to keep stopping for those words)

6. Teacher says: “Some words on this list are snap words, and some are trap words. Today, we are going to identify the high-frequency words on this list that are snap words.”

7. Teacher asks:

“What does it mean to be a trap word?” (Trap words are irregularly spelled. They don’t make their regular sounds. They don’t play fair. They don’t follow the rules.)

8. Teacher says: “Yes! Your job is to find the words that are high-frequency but not trap words. We will call them snap words because we can figure them out so easily, we know them in a snap!”

9. Teacher reads all words listed.

10. Teacher reads “each.”

11. Teacher says: “I notice the vowel team ‘ea.’ I know that when vowels are in a team like that, we sometimes hear the name of the first vowel. We’ll try it out to see if it makes the long ‘e’ sound. I also know that when ‘c’ and ‘h’ are together, they make the /ch/ sound. I know all the letter sound patterns in this word, and it sounds just like it’s supposed to sound. It’s a snap! The word ‘each’ goes in the Snap column.”

12. Teacher puts the “each” card in the Snap column of the Snap or Trap T-chart.

13. Teacher asks:

“Can anyone see any other ‘snap’ words? Even if you’re not sure, grapple with it until you come up with a possible answer.” (Example: “use” is a snap word.)

14. Teacher asks:

“Great! Why do you think it’s a snap word?” (Example: because the magic “e” makes the “u” say its name)

15. Teacher says: “Yes! ‘use’ is a snap word because it follows an easily decodable pattern and the magic ‘e’ makes the ‘u; say its name. It belongs in the Snap column.”

16. Teacher adds the second snap word to the T-chart.

17. Teacher repeats steps 10–16 with the remaining snap words (“these,” “same,” “just,” “show”).

18. Students and teacher read snap words. When finished, words are placed on the Interactive Word Wall.

  • Encourage students to grapple with their knowledge of letter sounds to decide if a high-frequency word is a snap or trap word.
  • Encourage students to read high-frequency words as a whole word and analyze the word after reading it.
  • Consider color-coding snap and trap words to visually remind students of the difference between them.
  • To deepen analysis in step 12, consider asking students to identify the number of syllables in each word and the vowel sound(s) they hear. Because these are regularly spelled words, they provide opportunity for students to consider the relationship between the spelling pattern and the vowel sound. Example:
    • If the word is “here,” students explain that the long “e” sound is shown via the magic “e.” This not only supports the goal of automaticity with spelling patterns but also reinforces the understanding that these words are “regularly spelled.”

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Fluency

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of “The Muffin Man”):

Teacher: “Can you read this fluently? Smoothly, with expression, please. Can you read it smoothly with expression and with meaning?”

Students: “Yes, we’ll read it fluently. Not too fast and not too slow. Yes, we’ll read it fluently at just the right speed.”

All together: “So now we’ll read this fluently. Think about how smooth it will be. Now we’ll read this fluently at just the right speed.”

  • Begin the Fluency instructional practice:

1. Teacher displays enlarged selected excerpt from the Decodable Reader: “Friends at School.”

2. Teacher explains that this is an “excerpt” from the Decodable Reader.

3. Teacher displays the Rules of Fluency index cards (“smoothly,” “with expression,” “with meaning,” and “just the right speed”) on the board and reads them aloud.

4. Teacher reminds students that these are four important rules of fluency that were mentioned in the song and invites them to think about these elements as they listen as the teacher reads the excerpt.

5. Teacher reads the excerpt word by word in a monotone, skipping over punctuation, with little to no expression.

6. Teacher invites students to turn to an elbow partner to share what they noticed about how he or she read the excerpt.

7. Teacher invites two or three student volunteers to share what they noticed (examples: sounded word by word, sounded too slow or too fast, sounded “boring”), prompting them to name specific examples in the text (i.e., naming a place where it was word by word, where punctuation was skipped).

8. Teacher asks:

“Does anyone have any suggestions for how I could make this more fluent?” (Responses will vary. Examples: stop at the periods, pause at the comma, make it sound like talking when Sam is speaking, say groups of words together.)

9. Teacher reads the excerpt again, incorporating students’ suggestions.

10. Teacher points to the cards that say “with expression” and “with meaning” and invites students to think about what is happening in the excerpt he or she reads.

11. Teacher asks:

What is happening here in this excerpt?” (Dad and Sam are having a conversation at breakfast about the first day of school.)

“What do we know about Sam’s feelings based on this excerpt?” (The text says he is “unsure” whether he is ready for the first day of school; that means he is not sure. He is worried he may not have any friends in class.)

12. Teacher points again to the cards labeled “with expression” and “with meaning” and says: “Reading this fluently includes making it sound like a conversation and making it match the meaning or feeling of the words. Sam seems unsure, but Dad seems pretty confident. He tells him ‘You will meet new friends!’”

13. Teacher invites two student volunteers to come up. One student will act as Sam and one will act as Dad.

14. Teacher explains that he or she will read the words outside of the quotation marks, and that when the volunteers for “Sam” and “Dad” read their parts of the text, they will need to read with expression (like talking) and with meaning (reflecting the feeling of the character).

15. Teacher and student volunteers read the enlarged excerpt.

16. Teacher invites the rest of the group to name where they heard “expression” and “meaning.”

17. Teacher distributes individual copies of excerpt from the Decodable Reader: “Friends at School.”

18. Teacher pairs students up and invites them to:

      • First read the entire excerpt a few times to themselves, practicing the rules of fluency on their own.
      • Then they should choose one partner to be “Sam” and one to be “Dad” and read just the lines in quotation marks with expression and meaning.
      • Then they can trade parts.

19. Students practice reading fluently with their partner.

20. If time allows, consider inviting a pair of students to come up and read Sam and Dad’s conversation to the group. When they are done, consider inviting students to name one star (positive comment naming a rule of fluency that was evident) and one step (a rule of fluency that wasn’t evident or could be worked on).

  • The word “excerpt” may be unfamiliar to many students. Consider modeling this vocabulary by extending one hand, palm up, and explaining that this represents the whole text in the Decodable Reader. With the other hand, model pulling out a “piece” of the text. This “piece” is the “excerpt.”
  • Consider providing the entire Decodable Reader (from Lesson 22) for students to use when partnering up and practicing fluent reading.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning

  • Emphasize that successful learners take responsibility for their own learning. Invite students to reflect on ways they took responsibility for their learning during whole group instruction or how they plan to take responsibility during differentiated small group instruction.
  • Invite a volunteer to share. Afterward, invite any students who did something similar to indicate that in an interactive way (example: give a thumbs-up).
  • For students who need additional support organizing their ideas: Provide sentence frames. Examples:
    • “When I read the excerpt I thought about _____, and I _____.”
    • “After I got feedback about _____ from _____, I read the excerpt again and made it sound _____.”

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: Teacher works with students in the Partial Alphabetic and Full Alphabetic groups. If possible, teacher should also meet with the Consolidated Alphabetic group at least once per week.

Note: Groups not working with the teacher at a given time should be engaged in purposeful independent rotation work. Refer to the Independent and Small Group Work Guidance document for more details (see K–2 Skills Resource Manual).

Partial Alphabetic:

  • Students complete exit ticket:
    • Students work with an excerpt from a decodable text using patterns they are working on. (Consider using the Assessment Conversion chart to identify an appropriate Grade 1 cycle and use the Decodable Reader from that cycle).
    • Students use a highlighter to find and highlight punctuation in the text (examples: periods, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks).
    • Teacher guides students to understand what the identified punctuation communicates to us as readers (examples: a period tells us to stop for a moment, quotation marks tell us to make it sound like someone is talking).
    • Teacher follows the process outlined in the whole group lesson work time to practice fluency with this text.
  • Use the Assessment Conversion chart to determine appropriate Grade 1 lessons and Activity Bank ideas to use in daily small group instruction.
  • Check in with Accountable Independent Reading.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Highlighters (one per student)
    • Copies of a prior Decodable Reader (using patterns students are working with)

Full Alphabetic:

  • Students complete exit ticket:
    • Consider beginning with the silly sentences produced by students in the Consolidated Alphabetic group during Lesson 23. Guide students to review the spelling pattern and then guide them to practice reading them fluently.
    • Students work with pages 3 and 4 in the Decodable Reader: “Friends at School” (from Lesson 22).
    • Students use a highlighter to find and highlight punctuation in the text (examples: periods, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks, commas).
    • Teacher guides students to understand what the identified punctuation communicates to us as readers (examples: a period tells us to stop for a moment, quotation marks tell us to make it sound like someone is talking).
    • Teacher follows the process outlined in the whole group lesson work time to practice fluency with this text.
  • Check in with Accountable Independent Reading.
  • See Activity Bank resources for Readers Theater options.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Silly sentences produced during differentiated small group work time from Lesson 23 (optional)
    • Highlighters (one per student)
    • Copies of Decodable Reader: “Friends at School” from Lesson 22

Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Students complete exit ticket:
    • Students reread the Engagement Text: “New Principal and New School Year at Sunnyside Elementary,” focusing on fluency.
    • Then they become television reporters and write a script to show what they would say.
    • Finally, they practice reading the script and conduct a Readers Theater.
    • This can be done individually or with a partner.
    • Look over the scripts with student(s). Analyze parts that are fluent and provide feedback for fluency as needed. Listen to Readers Theater performances and provide feedback.
  • Use leveled readers for fluency practice. (Refer to the Independent and Small Group Work Guidance document for guidance; see K–2 Skills Resource Manual).
  • Check in with Accountable Independent Reading.
  • See Activity Bank resources for Readers Theater options.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Individual copies of the Engagement Text: “New Principal and New School Year at Sunnyside Elementary” (from Lesson 22)
    • Paper and writing utensils

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