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From Floundering with Flaws to Flawlessly Fluent

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Keywords: poetry, fluency, Flip Video
Subject(s): Drama, English/Language Arts, Reading
Grade K
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Kirkersville Elementary School, Kirkersville, OH
Planned By: Pam Krasinski
Original Author: Pam Krasinski, Kirkersville
Objective: Students will read on-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

This lesson will take place over several days.

Teachers will present to the class a poem from the book, You Read to Me, Iíll Read to You ( an interactive poem where children read parts of a poem individually and together).

After reading the poem, explain that before school, the teachers practiced the poem over and over. Ask students why they think the teachers practiced.

Explain that when people can read a poem or story really well, that means that they are fluent. (Write: Fluent on the board). Explain that there are three important parts of fluency. The first part of being fluent means that readers need to know all of the words. (Write: Words) Discuss how the poem would sound if the teachers had mispronounced some of the words.
Tell students that a second part of being a fluent reader is that the speed is correct. (Write: Speed) Ask students what it means to have the correct speed. Ask if being fluent means to read as fast as possible? Explain that how fast we read depends on what we are reading. Give examples of reading scary words and stretching the words out. Give examples of reading exciting parts and reading very fast.
Tell students that the last part of reading fluently is reading with expression. (Write: Expression) Give examples from the poem read of reading without expression, then reading with expression. Ask students what they heard.

Ask the students if they think it would be fun to invite parents or grandparents to a tea at the end of the year and at the tea we would all watch videos of the class reading some poems like the one just read. Ask students what they would need to do to get ready for the tea.

Tell students that we are going to begin practicing reading some poems. Tell them that they are going to make videos of themselves reading so that they will be able to see how rereading and practicing the poems makes people better readers. Explain that when they are reading their poem fluently, we will make a final video that we will show to people at our tea.

Pair a good reader with a poorer reader. Have pairs of students choose a poem to practice. Have students begin by making sure they can read all of the words accurately. They will work with their partner to help them with unknown words and may also work with a teacher. When all words are known, they will be ready for their first taping. Different pairs of students will tape each other as they read.

When students feel they have mastered the poem for correct speed (after discussing their reading with their peers and the teacher), they will be ready for their second taping.

When students have mastered reading their poem with expression, they are ready for their final taping.

Each pair of students will likely reach mastery at different times. As each is ready for the next level, show the video tapes to demonstrate progress made.

The culminating activity will be the Parent/Grandparent Tea where students will be able to sit with their guests and enjoy snacks and the videos that they have made. They will also explain to their guest the process involved in becoming such fluent readers.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Other Reader's Theater productions could be taped using content area poems and reading using the same format.
Videos can be sent to other classrooms for viewing pleasure.
Materials: Short Throw Projectors, Flip Video