Fluency in the Classroom

by Hollie Griffith

on February 1, 2017

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One of my main goals as a first grade teacher is to develop fluent readers. Readers who love to read. Readers who can pick up a book and read for enjoyment! Readers who feel confident.

I’m going to share with you a few ways that I focus on reading fluency in my classroom…

1.Phonics Posters…

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I know these posters aren’t fancy… But, My kiddos LOVE finding words in their books and throughout the classroom that relate to our phonics patterns of the week.  They get to use a… Wait for it… MARKER…  to add words to the posters. We look through the words each day and make sure they are under the correct spelling pattern. We just cross out the words that are written in the wrong spot.  Our posters are usually a hot mess by Friday. But, my kids are engaged, having fun, and learning to read/write words with various spelling patterns.

2. Sight Word Notebooks

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Managing sight word instruction can be such a pain!! I love these notebooks because I no longer have to make sight word cards AND all of my students can master their sight words at their own pace. Students read their sight word notebook multiple times daily. As they master a list, they move on to the next. I sign and list the date each time they master a list of words. Everything is documented and I can easily manage individual instruction.

3. Phonics Brochures

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Last week we worked on those tricky long o vowel teams. These brochures were PERFECT for guided reading groups! It may seem silly, but turning a worksheet into a brochure adds a lot of excitement to little ones. Add Kwik Stix and my kids were BEGGING for groups!! 🙂

I love these activities because each brochure focuses on a different phonics skill. Students get to use pictures to practice reading words with the phonics pattern, then they get to read a silly passage that focuses on the phonics pattern in the context of reading for comprehension.  It’s a WIN WIN! Each passage also includes a fun word work activity!

These are the steps…

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I have a new student who is learning English… He knows his letters and sounds… Is beginning to blend words… I pulled out my CVC Word Family Phonics Brochures and it was a hit. AGAIN, it might have been the new Kwik Stix…. If you don’t use these quick paint sticks in your classroom, you should get on Amazon right now!! 🙂

*If you don’t want the entire bundle and you on only need the cvc word families… You can find that HERE.

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I used the easier option… The unit also includes a harder version for those kinders who are reading a little more fluently or for beginning firsties.

3. Phonics Cards

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I love using these cards during guided reading groups.  These were perfect last month when we were learning blends.  I held up a card and my small groups of kiddos had to say the blend quickly and automatically. Last week, while we were learning long o spelling patterns, I spread all of the long o cards across my small group table. I said a word aloud, and my kiddos had to smack the spelling card. The first person to touch the card was the winner.  The winner called out the next word!  I really love these cards because they are small, perfect to have in my guided reading tub, and they provide quick practice to review different spelling patterns. These little cards are included in my Fluency Passages Bundle. But, you could easily make your own!  They don’t have to be fancy!

4. Working With Words Activities

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I love these word work activities because they are easy to prep and FUN. My kiddos get to find, sort, build, and unscramble words within each phonics pattern. These activities are perfect at a word work station. I let my kiddos complete these activities independently when they are not in a guided reading group.

5. Fluency Passages and Phrases

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These phrases are perfect for guided reading groups because they provide great fluency practice and I can easily listen to my students whisper read and help them as needed. My kiddos read the phrases over and over! Each time they read a phrase they use a marker or Kwik Stix to check each box. I always check the last box once they have mastered all of the phrases on the page.

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The passages that are included in the Fluency Bundle are perfect for kiddos of all reading levels! I used this passage with my higher reading groups.  They had to underline all of the long o words.  Then, they went back to the passage to color code each long o spelling pattern. While my high group of students are fluent readers, they still need practice learning to apply the patterns in their writing.

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My Fluency Passages and Phrases are my go to resource for guided reading groups because I can always find something for the different needs of all my students!

And there you have it…. My go to resources for guided reading groups and developing confident readers in my classroom.


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