Introducing Fluency | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA G2:S1:C2:L9

Introducing Fluency

You are here:

Daily Learning Targets

  • 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. Introducing Snap or Trap Review: Regularly Spelled Words: "on," "with," "was," "had," "make," "be," "live," "walk," "two," "new," "play"

2. Work Time (10 minutes)

A. Unpacking the Lyrics to the Fluency Transition Song

B. Introducing 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: "on," "with," "was," "had," "make," "be," "live," "walk," "two," "new," "play")
    • Snap or Trap T-chart
    • Interactive Word Wall
  • Enlarge a copy of "The Fluency Song" (see supporting materials).
  • Enlarge the selected excerpt from the Decodable Reader: "Sam Rides the Subway Train" (see supporting materials).
  • Write the following Rules of Fluency on index cards: "smoothly," "with expression," "with meaning," "just the right speed."
  • Gather materials for differentiated small group instruction (see Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher).

Vocabulary

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

  • excerpt, expression, fluency, frequently, grapple, phrase (L)

Materials

  • Snap or Trap Word List (see Teaching Notes, "In advance," on the previous page; one of each)
  • Snap or Trap T-chart (one for teacher use; see supporting materials)
  • Interactive Word Wall (one to display)
  • Enlarged "The Fluency Song" (one to display)
  • Enlarged selected excerpt from the Decodable Reader: "Sam Rides the Subway Train" (one to display)
  • Rules of Fluency index cards (see Teaching Notes, "In advance," on the previous page)
  • Copies of "The Fluency Song" (one per student; optional)
  • Copies of excerpt from the Decodable Reader: "Sam Rides the Subway Train" (one per student; optional)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing Snap or Trap Review: Regularly Spelled Words: "on," "with," "was," "had," "make," "be," "live," "walk," "two," "new," "play"

  • Introduce the Snap or Trap Review instructional practice:

1. Teacher displays the Snap or Trap Word List: "on," "with," "was," "had," "make," "be," "live," "walk," "two," "new," "play" (a 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:

"What does 'frequently' mean?" (a lot)

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 trap us. 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 the words listed.

10. Teacher reads: "play."

11. Teacher says: "I notice the 'ay' makes the long "a" sound. I know all the letter sounds in this word, and it sounds just like it's supposed to sound! It's a snap! The word 'play' goes in the Snap column."

12. Teacher puts the "play" card in the Snap column on the 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: "make" is a snap word.)

14. Teacher says: "Great!

15. Teacher asks:

"Why do you think it's a snap word?" (Example: because the magic "e" makes the "a" say its name.)

16. Teacher says: "Yes! 'make' is a snap word because it follows an easily decodable pattern: The magic 'e' makes the 'a' say its name. It belongs in the Snap column."

17. Teacher adds the snap word to the Snap column on the T-chart.

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

  • Notice that an answer key is not provided to explicate which words are 'snap' or 'trap.' Encourage students to grapple. The power is in the practice of students understanding and articulating their word analyses and reasoning. Because teachers are present during this conversation, professional judgment may be used to guide and correct students as needed.
  • Encourage students to read high-frequency words as whole words and to analyze these words after reading them.
  • Consider color-coding snap and trap words to visually remind students of the difference between them.
  • Consider using the word "irregular" and explaining how the base word "regular" has the prefix "ir," which means "not," thereby altering the meaning of the base word.
  • To deepen analysis in step 11, 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 an 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."
  • The word "live" can be pronounced with either a short or long "i" sound. Support students to analyze the pattern as written (magic "e," resulting in the long "i" sound), explaining that to know when to read it with the short "i" sound requires seeing it in the context of a sentence. Example:
    • "He used to live next door."

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking the Lyrics to the Fluency Transition Song

  • Begin the Unpacking the Lyrics to the Fluency Transition Song activity:

1. Teacher writes the title on the board and reads it aloud: "The Fluency Song."

2. Teacher explains that this song is a call-and-response song and will become a transition song that will help students understand what fluency means while also practicing fluency at the same time.

3. Teacher says: "Before we look at the lyrics of the transition song, please turn to an elbow partner and finish this sentence starter: 'To me, reading fluently means _____.'"

4. Students discuss the prompt with an elbow partner.

5. Teacher invites two or three students to share.

6. Teacher displays the Enlarged "The Fluency Song."

7. Teacher reads the first three sentences: "Can you read this fluently? Smoothly, with expression, please? Can you read this fluently with expression and with meaning?"

8. Teacher says: "The first sentence in this song is a question. It is asking if we can read something fluently. In other words, can we read it in a way that is fluent?"

9. Teacher reads the second and third lines aloud and says: "These lines help us understand what reading fluently means."

10. Teacher underlines the word "smoothly."

11. Teacher reads the word and asks one or more of the following questions:

"What does this mean to you?" (in a smooth way, not choppy)

"What does it make you think of?" (flowing water, gliding)

12. Teacher reads the second sentence again, and asks:

"What else does this sentence tell us about reading fluently?" (with expression, with meaning)

13. Teacher underlines the words "with expression" and "with meaning."

14. Teacher repeats step 11, first to define "with expression" and then again to define "with meaning."

15. Teacher says: "So far, this teaches us three important rules of fluency. When we are reading fluently, we are reading smoothly, with expression, and with meaning."

16. Teacher reads the next set of lines: "Yes, we'll read it fluently. Not too fast or slow. We'll read at just the right speed."

17. Teacher asks:

"What does this part of the song tell us about reading fluently?" (you don't read too fast or slow; just the right speed)

18. Teacher reads the last set of lines: "So now we'll read this fluently. Think about how smooth it will be."

19. Teacher invites students to read the lyrics to the song fluently as a call-and-response song.

  • Consider recording students' ideas about fluent reading on an anchor chart to be regularly reviewed.
  • Consider providing students with their own copies of the song.

B. Introducing Fluency

  • 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."

  • Introduce the Fluency instructional practice:

1. Teacher displays enlarged selected excerpt from the Decodable Reader: "Sam Rides the Subway Train."

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 while  the excerpt is being read.

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 invites students to think about the meaning of the selected text.

11. Teacher asks:

"What is happening here in this excerpt?" (Sam is repeating the instructions to Dad.)

"What do we know about Sam's feelings based on this excerpt?" (He is still a little afraid, but he is determined to be brave.)

12. Teacher points to the index card labeled "with meaning" and says: "Reading this fluently includes making it match the meaning or feeling of the words. Sam is a little afraid still, but he's determined to be brave. So we need to read this in a way that communicates how he is feeling."

13. Teacher invites one or two student volunteers to come up and read the excerpt in a way that communicates the meaning (how Sam is feeling).

14. Teacher should remind students of the elements of fluent reading (smoothly, with expression, with meaning, and at just the right speed).

15. If time allows, consider inviting one or two students to come up and read the excerpt to the group. When they are done, the teacher can invite students to name one star (something the student did well relative to the elements of fluency) and one step (something relative to fluency the student may need to work 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 individual copies of the excerpt for students to follow along.

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 the 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 8. Guide students to review the spelling patterns and then guide them to practice reading them fluently.
    • Students work with page 6 in the Decodable Reader: "Sam Rides the Subway Train" (from Lesson 7).
    • 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 8 (optional)
    • Highlighters (one per student)
    • Copies of Decodable Reader: "Sam Rides the Subway Train" from Lesson 7

Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Students complete exit ticket:
    • Students reread the Engagement Text: "New Subway Train Stop Opens," 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 Word 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 Subway Train Stop Opens" (from Lesson 7)
    • Paper and writing utensils

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up