Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fluency

Fluency

     Fluency is a hot button issue these days with so much emphasis being placed on fluency test scores. Universal screenings are being required by many states, my state of Maine included, and quick and fast is the name of the game. Some of the big names in this testing frenzy are Dibels and Aimsweb. Sound familiar? Well if they are, then you know that the fluency test is usually a one minute cold read of a passage based solely on word count per minute. We do know that fluency and comprehension have a correlation but sometimes we are placing a lot of emphasis on this one test. 
The Common Core Reading Standards also include fluency. The Foundational skills include fluency and the K-5 standard for fluency is as follows:
         "Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
 
     So, teachers and coaches, let's put some fun into this practice! Have you heard of Voki?
If not, then listen up!  Voki is an online technology tool that allows students to create an animated character or avatar and record themselves reading a poem or short passage. But of course before they can create this character, they must practice it for expression, phrasing, fluidity and pacing. Hmm - those sound suspiciously like fluency skills, don't they?
     But students will want to practice and there will be total engagement and buy-in because Voki is so much fun. In addition, Voki gives you the option of emailing their recording to parents, friends and family members as well as embedding it into a website or blog. 



     As a literacy coach, I gave students several funny poems to choose from and then gave them two copies - one to practice at home and one to practice at school. Once they felt they were ready to record, they got to choose the character  they felt was the best choice to read their poem. Now we are at the point where the small group of students I work with, will listen and critique them. We will develop a rubric together and then re-record after the students decide how they can improve their first attempts.

 
So I'm not sure why the rest of my posts won't follow under this one but make sure you click on "older posts" or you won't get to see my really cool book recommendations with a comment from one of the authors. They don't show up in the archives either!
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