Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Falling Into...FLUENCY!

My first year teaching I felt a little overwhelmed by all of the sight words my students were expected to memorize. We used the FRY word list and had to test throughout the year to see which words they were learning. So of course, I sent home flash cards. And begged families to practice them at home. Some did, others didn't. Over time many of my students were able to memorize the words on the cards, but I noticed that often didn't transfer over to seeing the same words in text. I kept trying to explain in my best kid friendly terms that fluent readers need to know their sight words so they could read without sounding like a robot. That these words were found in ALL the books and ALL the sentences we read. But time and time again they would learn the word on their list, then see it in real writing and not know what it said or meant. So I started typing the words into sentences and placing them in a binder in the library. The sentences were silly and seasonal. When we studied pumpkins for example, out came the pumpkin sentence sheet. I started using them as a warm ups and/or to conclude guided reading groups.  Now, the words had a context. They wanted to be able to read the sentences in group. So then I thought, why not put the sentences ON the flash card. It couldn't hurt right? That is how Flash Fluency came to be.


This week, we began using my Autumn Flash Fluency set as we've been reading about apples. This was a quick {less than ten minutes} introduction to the apple cards, which also happen to be the first ten Fry sight words. I had my kids sit in a circle and pick a card. Then, everyone read their cards with an elbow buddy. (This is good for any sweeties who don't know their word or words because there is a great chance the person sitting next to them can help them out. This helps them feel successful in the group setting.) Finally, we take turns around the circle reading our cards out loud. Once we went all the way around the circle the cards went back in the middle and each child grabbed a new card. My kids said this was a fun game so we did it four times. After that I collected the cards and told them we would revisit this activity in guided reading groups the next day. A few of the kids asked if they could read the cards when we weren't in guided reading.

And then I told them - Yes, yes you can!! :)

I hole punched a laminated a set of cards and put them on these little metal rings. They go in a basket near the library and students are allowed to read them as an, "I'm Done, now what!?" activity. I also allow students to read them together in the mornings when they finish their morning work and during read to self time.


I still have copies of the typed sentences to put with the cards. Students can read these fluency pages which have all the sentences from each set of cards on a themed sheet. I have a colored version that I laminate on card stock and keep in the classroom, and a black and white version that I send home with students to practice at home. I also let parents know about the flash cards in our weekly newsletter. I let them know that I'm happy to send home a set of cards {black and white to save ink} for them to cut out and practice at home, if they request them.


My original Flash Fluency set did not include all the fun clip art or the modern fonts. I just didn't have them when I first started teaching. However, this past year I have accumulated more than my fair share and I have found that the variety of images on each card makes them more engaging! Now my students will say things to me like, "I can read all the apple cards!" They are excited to move on to a new set and see what the new pictures will be.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FLASH-FLUENCY-Fall-Fluency-884272

If flash fluency sounds like something you think your class would enjoy too, you can it even further in my TPT Shop. It includes ten themed sets and covers the first 100 Fry Words. I will also be putting together a Winter set and a Spring set, but these ones will keep us busy through November! Yay!!

**UPDATE: An entire Flash Fluency Bundle is now available**

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FLASH-FLUENCY-Fluency-Bundle-1403997

Keep Calm and Flash On!! :)

8 comments:

  1. I like the look of these! I've had the same problem with kids learning the sight words in isolation and then not being able to read them in a story. I've put it in my wishlist. : )
    Kelly
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks amazing! Definitely going into my cart.
    Sarah
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks AMAZING! I really like the the words in sentences. It's so important for the students to be able to recognize the words in context.

    This set is absolutely going on my wish list.

    Cindy
    Granny Goes to School

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  4. I just love this packet! I can't wait to purchase Winter and Spring.

    ReplyDelete