Need some ideas to help your students increase their reading fluency? Below you will find 10 strategies that I have used in my classroom this year to help my students become more fluent readers. These are effective strategies that I  use in my reading, writing and poetry stations and at my teacher table during guided reading!

Fluency Strips (Moffatt Girls)

My favorite fluency strips are by the Moffatt Girls. These strips stay in my reading station for students to use during our guided reading rotations. I let students choose a "read in a funny voice" card and they practice reading the phrases. I also love using these at my teacher table during guided reading. They are great when you only have 2-3 minutes left with a group and you want to make the most of it. When I'm listening to my students read the phrases, it's a great chance for me stop them and model reading with expression. 

Find the original pin {here}.

Sight Words with Punctuation

This is a strategy I use at my teacher table during guided reading. I give each student a stack of sight word cards, markers and a blank piece of paper. Students write their sight words on the paper with punctuation at the end of the word. Once they have written 10 or so words, they practice reading those words with the proper expression to match the punctuation. Not only are they practicing reading with fluency, but they are also working on sight word recognition as well!

Read in Funny Voices

Funny voices can make anything more fun. I found this FREEBIE a few years ago by A Day in First Grade. I keep my set of funny voice cards at my reading center for students to use during their reading station time. I also like to use them in whole group and small group when we are practicing sight words to make it more fun for the kids.

Find original pin {here}.

Read to a Stuffed Animal

This is a fun idea that I was just introduced to this year. My favorite set up I have seen so far is by First Grade Blue Skies. The idea is very simple.  During reading time, students choose a stuffed animal and read their book to them. Students get practicing reading aloud, but you can control the noise a little better than a partner read by asking them to whisper read to their animal. 

Find the original pin {here}.

Whisper Phones

Another noise level friendly strategy is whisper phones. Whisper phones allow students to hear themselves when they read without raising their voice above a whisper. Plus, the kids think it is really fun! Below is a great pin on making DIY whisper phones!!

Find the original pin {here}.

Roll and Read Phrases

This is another one of my favorites from the Moffatt Girls. I keep these in my reading station during guided reading. Students roll one dice, then choose a phrase from that list to read. I keep a file jacket with about 20-25 copies in it. Students can work on a page during the reading station and when they put it back in the file jacket when they are done to help save on copies. 

Find the original pin {here}.

Sentence Cut Apart Activities

Below is a great article from Learning at the Pond on how to use a sentence cut apart activity to help students increase reading fluency. Definitely worth the read! I use this strategy at my writing station and also at my small group table during guided reading.

Find the original pin {here}.

Word Ladders

I really like to use this strategy at my small group table during guided reading. I give students a blank piece of paper and some crayons. Then I choose a phrase from the text we just read. Students will make the word ladder on their paper, then practice reading the word ladder to me or I partner them up and let the read their word ladder to a friend.

I also really like to use word ladders in my poetry station. Students can choose a stanza from a poem to make a word ladder and practice reading it to a friend.

Echo Reads

One very effective way for students to become more fluent readers is  to listen to fluent oral reading modeled by their teacher. An echo read is very simple. The teacher chooses a sentence or paragraph from the book and reads it to the student(s) with expression. The student(s) then repeat the phrase back to the teacher using the same expression. I've found that it works better if you choose a paragraph from a text that the students have already read in your small group. That way, students have already practiced decoding the book and focus more on reading that text more fluently.

Partner Reads

Partner reading, also known as paired reading, is another easy fluency strategy that is super easy to implement in the classroom. Researchers have said that in order for a student to increase fluency, they must practice listening to and reading to other readers of all kinds. What I have seen in my classroom is that students often try their hardest when they are reading to a friend because they want to impress that friend with their reading skills. The best part, students always LOVE partner reading, so you get named "the fun teacher".

For more great ideas, follow my K-2 Reading Tips, Tricks and Ideas board:

One of the funnest parts about teaching Social Studies is getting to teach about our the great state of Texas! I try to really focus on Texas during the week of Texas Independence Day (March 3rd), but it can really be done all throughout the year! I've listened some of my key teaching points below. I like having these nearby during our "Texas Week" to help make sure I'm teaching my firsties everything they need to know about Texas!

What We Learn About Our State

Facts About The Lone Star Flag:
              Adopted by the Republic of Texas in 1839
              The colors symbolize courage (red), purity (white), and loyalty (blue)
              The 16th Legislature revised civil statues in 1879 but failed to include an official state flag leaving the Lone Star Flag the de facto flag until 1933 when the when the 43rd Legislature reinstated the Lone Star Flag as the official state flag
(Source: TEKS Resource System)

Texas State Symbols:
              State Seal: can only be used by the Governor of Texas
              State Flag: called The Lone Star Flag
              The Alamo: Spanish mission leading to Texas' Independence
              State Flower: bluebonnet
              State Tree: pecan tree
              State Bird: mockingbird
              State Large Animal: longhorn
              State Small Animal: armadillo
              State Fabric: cotton
(Source: TEKS Resource System)

Responsibilities of State Public Officials:
              provide leadership to keep the state functioning properly
              facilitate teamwork among other officials and citizens
              maintain fiscal responsibility (budget, etc.)
              address the concerns of the community
              maintain order
              provide security
              manage conflict
(Source: TEKS Resource System)

Facts about Sam Houston:
              Military leader who played a crucial role in the Battle of San Jacinto by defeating Mexico and thus acquire independence for Texas
              Served as first president of the Republic of Texas
              Served as U.S. Senator from Texas after Texas joined the United States
              Served as Governor of Texas and influenced legislation at the state and national level
(Source: TEKS Resource System)

Students should be able to:
              1.4A  Locate places using the four cardinal directions.
              1.4B Describe the location of self and objects relative to other locations in the classroom and school.
              1.5B Locate Texas and community on a map.

Students should be able to identify anthems and mottoes of Texas.
              Definition of a motto:  short expression of guiding principle
              Official Motto of Texas: Friendship
              Unofficial Mottos of Texas: Don't Mess with Texas and Remember the Alamo
              Official Anthem of Texas: Texas, Our Texas
              Unofficial Anthems of Texas: Yellow Rose of Texas and Deep in the Heart of Texas
(Source: TEKS Resource System)

Grab this {FREEBIE} by downloading the Teachers Pay Teachers Preview file!

Grab my full All About Texas unit on sale now through the end of March!

Read Alouds for Teaching about Texas

Click the images above to find these read alouds on Amazon!

Pinterest Picks!

Looking for fun and crafts and other freebies for teaching about Texas? Follow my Pinterest board below!

Looking for a new trick to add to your behavior management bag of tricks? Every teacher knows that you need PLENTY of tricks, because once the novelty of one wears off, you need another to quickly implement and keep your students on their toes.

I was lucky enough to attend the SDE Texas First Grade conference in January and one of my favorite sessions was by Cara Carroll of the First Grade Parade on this very subject. I took away TONS of great ideas, but the first one I tried out was the "Smart Cookie" board.

How It Works

Simple. Your class works to earn compliments as a team. For each compliment they earn, you put a cookie on the cookie sheet. Once the class receives all eight cookies, they receive a reward. I planned ours during the week we studied Laura Numeroff. We had lots of different activities that went with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, so our reward was a cookie graphing activity at the end of the week. Students graphed if they liked oreos or chocolate chip cookies better. Then they got to eat whichever cookie they had picked. Another great time of year to do this would be the 50th, 100th or 150th day of school week when you are talking about being "smart cookies".

How To Make It

Step 1: Get a Cookie Sheet
You probably already have some kind of magnetic board or cookie sheet at school, but if not you can buy them for $1 or less at Wal-Mart or the Dollar Tree.

Step 2: Free Printables 
Laminate for durability, then add magnets to the back for easy attachment.

Get the FREEBIE {here}!

Stay tuned for my next behavior management project with puzzle pieces and follow my Behavior Management board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

What are some of your best behavior management tricks?

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