Fluency ~ A Piece Of Cake?
|The cake my dear daughter made for Easter dinner!|
We are an RTII school. In January, all our students were DIBELS tested. After the testing, our principal met with every teacher in the school. She showed us the results of our students. Then she informed us that we had to make a plan and actively work towards moving ALL the students in our class to Tier 1, the core group. Luckily, half my students made core, but that still left 9 students to move - with some of them needing to move 2 tiers :(
Now I needed to stop and think very carefully about how I was using every minute of my day ~ what to keep, what to delete and what to add.
What To Keep
* I kept my read aloud time. This takes awhile because we really take our time and dive totally into the stories. I feel the time invested here is well spent since it carries over into their own reading.
*Guided Reading had to stay. I meet with each of my three groups every day.
*RTII Time is required, no discussion allowed here.
*Spelling is used as phonics time to show how sounds work in words. This is a very short mini lesson each day with written homework.
*Lunch and Specialist
What To Delete Or Cut Back On
*I almost completely deleted recess. This wasn't too bad because our weather was awful all winter and no one really wanted to go outside. If Spring ever finds PA we will head out to play again.
*Math time was cut a bit short. It will have to be shored up in the fourth quarter.
*Oh no ~ direct instruction of writing took a big hit. This was a hard one for me, as writing was my concentration during the second quarter and my students were beginning to make good progress.
*Anthology time was shortened, but not eliminated. I like the skills taught and many of the stories are very good. The little readers that go with our program worked well as one of the guided reading books each week. The sight words and vocabulary words are appropriate.
*Science and Social Studies had to be integrated into read alouds and reading passages.
What To AddHere's where I needed to gather new resources. Well I entered giveaways, crossed my fingers, got lucky and won some high quality materials. Then off I went to shop in my new favorite store TPT.
*Each day now began differently for my students. My 6 students needing the most assistance were identified. They now know to enter the classroom, hang up their things, and quickly meet me at the guided reading table. There I use Sight Word Fluency Passages by Miss DeCarbo they are available here. These are amazing short passages that practice important sight words. They are presented similarly to how students will see them when DIBELS testing. While this group is reading with me my other students are sitting around the room reading in pairs. I was lucky to win Amy Marshall's March Fluency Practice available here. They practice reading to each other the poems, plays and short passages. I give them opportunities to read to the class. The March Practice was so good I have purchased the April Practice to use again this month. This only takes 15 to 20 minutes. Then we continue our morning as we used to with lunch count, etc. After which we enjoy a good story together.
*When returning to their seats, our next addition, is Jodi's Common Core Differentiated Morning Work available here. There is a page for every day of the month. On one side of each page are practice problems for ELA and math (sneaking some math in here.) The other side of the page has a word of the day. It is used in a sentence and then a paragraph. We practice reading these together and sometimes in pairs. At first these pages took a long time. Now my students whip right through them.
*Later in the day we complete one of Jodi's Spring Fluency Pages from the packet available here. This was a big purchase for me, but it has provided me with an extra fluency page for every day until the end of the year. I like that there is a theme for each week. Sometimes this can double as Science or Social Studies depending on the theme.
*The last TPT products that I use to improve fluency come from Sarah Paul. Her things are fabulous! They hit Common Core very well. I can give my students very appropriate work that they can complete while I am working with guided reading groups. Sarah's materials are available here.
Thanks to all for providing me with such high quality materials!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I first found each of these sellers by winning one of their packets in a giveaway or by trying one of their freebies :)
Well we won't DIBELS test again until May, but my DRA scores have jumped tremendously :) I am confident my students will do well in May. All but one of my students are now reading on grade level, with the majority reading well above first grade! I was very fearful of cutting back on writing instruction, but their writing has continued to improve - no loss here. What did take a slight dip was math. I will be sure to be careful about doing a great job teaching math our last quarter.