Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fluency Lesson

Today my students each put together two small booklets about school. They highlighted all of the end punctuation (. ! ?) and the commas. We later had a lesson on reading with fluency, which means reading "smooth and straight" with no "bumps and lumps."
One very important thing a reader does to accomplish reading a text fluently is to pay attention to the end punctuation and the commas. The author puts them there for the reader. I modeled reading part of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, without any attention to punctuation. The students quickly noticed that without any punctuation the reader couldn't breathe correctly, it was very fast, and hard to understand. I then modeled reading with too much punctuation at incorrect points. They noticed the choppiness of the text and, again, the increased difficulty in understanding.
To emphasize the end punctuation and commas I set up a "snapping beat" system. Any end punctuation gets two snaps/beats and a comma gets only one snap/beat.
Following the pattern of modeling and then group practicing, we read half of Carle's book and also the two little booklets they created inputting the snapping beats as the text required.
Students are expected to learn to read the two little books fluently, with attention to punctuation, by Friday. This means that they should be doing repeated readings of these short texts at home. Students can also use this strategy while reading their regular books.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Miss Young,

When I went onto your blog, I saw a picture of your cat. I have a cat named Fo or sometimes we call him, Fody. He is named after a vanilla and orange milkshake from a restuarant in Atlanta. He is orange and white and old.

See you tomorrow,