I feel fluency and flexibility aren’t too different. Flexibility is often neglected in one’s fitness routine, and likewise, fluency can often be neglected in a teacher’s instructional routine, especially as students get older. And just like flexibility, it is easy to let fluency slip by, being there is so much to focus on in terms of the “heavier lifting” and “endurance” necessary to navigate increasingly complex texts.
Nonetheless, fluency is an important part of what it means to be a proficient reader, and as such, it’s important that we provide opportunities for our students to develop their fluency.
One meaningful way I’ve been able to do this with Chronicle is with the utilization of the video functionality. For example, on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day, my class worked on an MLK reader’s theater performance, one created by Tim Rasinski that I really like. So after repeated readings on their own and within groups, it was time for the individual groups to perform. I just tapped on the students in the group, tapped + Add Group Note, and tapped on the video icon to evoke the video capability of the iPad. I then saved the video note, which saves it to each student within the group note.
One of the things we want to do as teachers is provide meaningful and timely feedback, and some of the most powerful feedback, in any area, is being able to watch yourself. But, it wouldn’t be efficient to devote a whole other day to playing back all of the performances and having the whole class watch it, especially when you have reading assessments to administer, small groups to pull, etc. Plus, how about those students who might be a little self-conscious having the whole class watch them on video?
In order to solve this, one thing I have done is set up a reading station, propping up my iPad there. I open up the video note and call all the students in the group over. They take the script and follow along as they watch themselves (they just tap Play – see below).
Once done, each student self-assesses his or her fluency and use the analysis of themselves to set fluency goals. I created a self-assessment form that looks like this:
So, while these students are working on this, classmates are reading independently, and I’m able to meet with and do what I need to with other children. With this, students are able to self-assess their reading fluency, set goals, and form a plan on how they’ll work towards these goals to become a more fluent reader.
We would love to hear some of the great things you’re doing in your classroom to help foster fluency.