Fun with Fluency

The emergent reader stage is very fun for me as a parent and as a past educator.  I enjoy watching kids as decoding becomes easier and reading begins to transition from being work into something students choose to do for enjoyment.   This is when fluency comes in to play!  Students at this stage can now move beyond basic alphabetic principles and begin focusing on other parts of reading such as accuracy, speed, and expressive reading.

Readers’ Theater is a fun way to incorporate fluency practice in the classroom.  A favorite series of mine is the Readers’ Theater: How to put on a Production books by Looking Glass Library.  (division of ABDO Publishing)  Each book has an entertaining script that includes color coding for character cues and easy-to-read font.  Students can simply read aloud the script from their seats in the classroom or use the adapted readers’ theater tips to create their own full production.  These tips include information regarding set design, stage set-up and costume & prop suggestions.

The most recent set of books in this series includes six titles based loosely on holidays:

Fettuccine and Four-leaf Clovers     Ghosts and Gummy Worms     Groundhogs and Guinea Pigs

Medals and Memorials     Pickles and Parks      Turkeys and Takeout

When focusing on expressive language, paired reading can be another wonderful way to enhance fluency.  The Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems are perfect for paired reading as the text is made up of conversations between two friends.  Students can choose their character and take turns reading and experimenting with expression.  Mo’s creative use of font, punctuation, and illustration will open the door for great conversations with students as they read through the dialogue.  Adding homemade puppets or masks can be a great addition to a reading center to help students channel their inner “Gerald” or “Piggie”.

The latest books in the Elephant and Piggie series are:


In, I Really Like Slop, Piggie tries to get Gerald to try her very favorite dish – slop!  Gerald is apprehensive but hates to say no to his best buddy.  He eventually caves and his reaction is sure to send readers into a fit of giggles!

I Will Take a Nap begins with a very sleepy and a bit cranky Gerald.  Will Piggie help Gerald fall asleep or make naptime more difficult?

Reader’s Theater: How to Put on a Production books:

Fettuccine and Four-Leaf Clovers by Nancy K Wallace. 9781624021121. 2015.  Gr 3-5

Ghosts and Gummy Worms by Nancy K Wallace. 9781624021138. 2015. Gr 3-5

Groundhogs and Guinea Pigs by Nancy K Wallace. 9781624021145. 2015. Gr 3-5

Medals and Memorials by Nancy K Wallace. 9781624021152. 2015. Gr 3-5

Pickles and Parks by Nancy K Wallace. 9781624021169. 2015. Gr 3-5

Turkey and Takeout by Nancy K Wallace. 9781624021176. 2015. Gr 3-5

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