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First Graders, Fluency and FUN!

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Keywords: reading, fluency, listening to reading, recording reading
Subject(s): Reading
Grade 1
School: Willow River Elementary School, Hudson, WI
Planned By: Lisa Plackner
Original Author: Lisa Plackner, Hudson
ENDURING UNDERSTANDING: Good readers read fluently. Fluency means that they read just like they talk, smoothly, in small phrases, and with expression.

SEPTEMBER: In the fall, I will take a baseline recording (USING THE OLMPUS PROFESSIONAL DIGITAL VOICE RECORDER) of the students reading a story. I will not prompt them or correct them as they read. The purpose will be to give them a starting point so that they can compare it to the reading they record in May.

OCTOBER: During our language arts lessons, teach them step by step how reading sounds when it is fluent. Possible "Learning Targets" could be
1. Readers read with a smooth style....not like a robot.
*Read a short story or sentence two different ways: smoothly, choppy
*Ask them to determine which way is easier to listen to?

2. Readers think about the meaning of the sentence or story.
*Read a short story but leave key words out. Have them determine the
missing words by looking at the information within. This will help
them when they try to figure out words they do not know.

3. Readers "chunk" text to make it sound smooth.
*Show them short phrases such as: all day long, a new house, a
little bit, peanut butter & jelly, etc.
*Model reading them smoothly and with expression.

4. Readers use clues in the text to help with expression.
*Show them sentences such as: "I'll be outside," shouted Dan.
or "Don't make a sound," she whispered.
*Model reading them the way the character would (paying attention to the
words shouted and whispered).

5. Readers use a storyteller's voice while reading.
*Play recorded stories USING STUDENT MP3 PLAYERS (hooked up to
*Play recorded stories from Robert Munsch's website (popular
children's author and story teller)

NOVEMBER-MAY: Continue reinforcing the importance of reading fluently by:
*modeling fluency and expression during my read alouds
*having students listen to fluent reading several times per week using the
STUDENT MP3 players. I plan to download many different types of
examples of fluent reading....books, stories, songs.
*teaching students to listen to their reading partners read aloud and give
*recording each student reading a book at least once per month using THE
download their recordings onto the MP3 players so we all can enjoy their
*meeting with each student individually each week to listen to their reading and
help them set personal reading goals (based on their recordings and
feedback from their reading partners)

JUNE: As a cumulative project to share with parents at our end-of-the-year celebration....
*make a collection of the books that were recorded and put them in a folder along
with a CD copy of all of the stories they recorded onto the MP3 player.
*make a powerpoint of original stories that the students will write (in April). The
powerpoint will include a picture drawn about the story AND using THE
COMPUTER MICROPHONE they will record themselves reading the story
they wrote (working on reading with fluency and expression like we've
practiced all year long).

The reason I am asking for the Olympus recorder is so that I do not have to individually record stories onto each MP3 player. It would be much easier to record just once then download onto each MP3 player.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Although my primary goal is to increase reading fluency, this idea could easily carry into writing (see lesson plans for idea) and technology. I can also find non-fiction stories that can support our social studies and science curriculums as well.
The cumulative projects at the end-of-the-year celebration will make for wonderful memories from the year. My hope is that the students will listen to their stories with their families and celebrate their growth throughout the year!
Materials: MP3 Players, Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones
Other Items: 1 Computer Microphone, $21.99 each, total of $21.99
6 Student MP3 Player and Recorder, $156.99 each, total of $941.94
1 Olympus Professional Digital Voice Recorder, $199.99 each, total of $199.99