Improving Reading Fluency with Partner Plays


It is often said that fluency is the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. I love the image that statement creates in my mind. I can picture a struggling reader take that first tentative step across the middle of the bridge by experimenting with aspects of fluency, like expression and phrasing. With each repeated reading and fluency activity, the reader reads more smoothly and expressively. Eventually, as the reader gains confidence in his or her ability to read fluently, his or her steps toward reading comprehension become more assured and certain.

The time it takes students to cross the "fluency bridge" varies significantly. Some students exhibit reading fluency almost immediately upon learning to read. Others improve steadily with regular practice. And some students struggle to acquire reading fluency. Their steps may be much smaller than their peers, but with repeated readings that target fluency, they will cross the bridge.

Luckily for us teachers, there are plenty of fluency activities to choose from: reading poetry, reading with audio recordings, choral reading, echo reading, and paired reading are just a few. Personally, my favorite is paired reading. After all, students are often begging to work with partners! Plus, if you plan your partnerships in a purposeful way so that a student who exhibits reading fluency is paired with a student who needs improvement in the area of fluency, that struggling reader will be exposed to fluent reading in a very natural way.

Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.
This photo features my Growth Mindset set of partner plays.

A few years ago, I started to create partner plays for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students I was working with. My primary purpose for creating the partner plays was to target reading fluency. When I introduced my students to the plays, I was thrilled to find out that they LOVED the scripts. They were constantly imploring me to write more and more scripts, which I did. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to add a comprehension component to each script. After students read a script, they answer the comprehension questions that accompany it.

Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.
Comprehension questions accompany each script.

Over the years, I've written nearly 100 sets of scripts! I'm including links to a small handful of scripts below, but if you'd like to see the complete list of plays available just click HERE.

CLICK ON EACH BUTTON TO PREVIEW EACH SET OF SCRIPTS!

PARTNER PLAY BUNDLES

  Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.  Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.

Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.  Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.  Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.



Each set of scripts can also be purchased individually. Click on the buttons below to preview individual sets of partner play scripts.

HOLIDAY PARTNER PLAYS




READING SKILLS PARTNER PLAYS


SCIENCE PARTNER PLAYS



READ WHAT OTHER TEACHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THESE PARTNER PLAYS!

Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.


Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.


Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.


Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.

Finally, you might want to check out my four free partner play scripts and my free fluency posters. You will find links to those items by clicking on this blog post.




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Fluency is said to be the bridge between word recognition and reading comprehension. Learn about my partner play scripts that provide a fun and engaging way to focus on reading fluency. Plus, they feature a reading comprehension component, as well! These scripts are designed to be used in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade reading classrooms.

Targeting Reading Skills with Small Group Instruction

Teachers who implement small group instruction activities understand the numerous benefits associated with working with a limited number of students. A few of the benefits include:

  • a reduced student-teacher ratio. Rather than trying to simultaneously meet the various needs of 30-some students at once, the teacher can focus on breaking down concepts based on the needs of 2-6 students.
  • targeted skill instruction. When a handful of students who are struggling with a certain skill are pulled aside, the teacher can provide in-depth instruction related to that particular skill.
  • individualized learning. When a teacher is focused on the needs of a small handful of students at one time, he or she can easily assess which aspects of a skill have been mastered, and which aspects will require additional learning opportunities and supports in order to eventually reach a level of mastery.
  • increased student engagement. In a large group setting, there will always be students who are able to mask their true understanding of a skill by "flying under the radar". However, when students are engaged in small group instruction, they are required to be actively involved in each lesson. Furthermore, students are often willing to ask more questions in order to clarify a confusing concept in a small group setting.
During my 16-year teaching career, I have often alternated between teaching large groups of students in a regular classroom setting, and teaching small groups of students in a smaller setting, often around a kidney-shaped reading table. Because of these varied experiences, I have found that very different resources are especially conducive to the very different settings. Whereas I often create PowerPoints to use in a large group setting, I use very targeted materials in small group settings.

Recently, I decided to spend a large chunk of time creating ELA resources that were specifically designed to be used in a small group setting. I named this line of resources "targeted tri-folds" because I tried very hard to zero in on isolated skills related to each topic. While creating each set, I envisioned the various students I worked with over the years, and considered the concepts they struggled with most as we covered each topic.

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Each topic contains four separate booklets, as shown below:
Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension


CLICK ON EACH INDIVIDUAL SKILL TO VIEW THE MATCHING SET OF TARGETED TRI-FOLDS!

 

READ WHAT TEACHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THESE TRI-FOLDS!

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension



Exploring Compound Sentences

You might think I'm crazy, but I actually enjoy teaching about compound and complex sentences! I recently wrote a blog post that focuses on complex sentences at my collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots. (You can read that post by clicking HERE.) Therefore, I decided to write a related blog post, but concentrate on compound sentences!

An Anchor Chart

Compound Sentences Anchor Chart! This blog post also features a FREE printable where students write their own compound sentences.

When I use this anchor chart, I stress two things: the FANBOYS acronym and the use of the comma. Especially when working with older students, I point out that a comma is only used when a coordinating conjunction joins together two independent clauses. No comma is needed when a coordinating conjunction simply joins too words or two phrases. For example:

Max washed and dried all of the dishes.
I want to play soccer or kickball.  
She invited everyone to the party but me.
Grace is confident yet humble.
(No comma is needed because words are being joined, not independent clauses.)


Mom is making me clean my closet and organize my drawers.
Set the books on the table or on the bookshelf.
Joe is extremely talented yet somewhat arrogant.
(No comma is needed because phrases are being joined, not independent clauses.)


A FREE Activity

After going through the anchor chart, you can have students write their own compound sentences on this fan. If you want, you can have students make a craftivity out of it. After students write their sentences and you check them over, they can color the fans, cut them out, and glue them to a sheet of construction paper. Another option is to have students cut out the fans and glue it into an interactive language notebook. To download these free printables, click HERE. 

FREE Coordinating Conjunctions Craftivity- Help students remember the coordinating conjunctions by using the FANBOYS acronym. FREE Compound Sentences Craftivity- Help students remember the coordinating conjunctions by using the FANBOYS acronym.
                                 Front of Project                         Back of Project

If you are looking for additional resources for teaching about compound and complex sentences to your upper elementary students, feel free to check out the following resource. I have placed my bundle image here, but all of these items are also available for individual purchase in my TpT store.


Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Activities- a PowerPoint, task cards, a game, a craftivity, and more!

Thanks for stopping by!

Deb

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Punctuating Titles: An Anchor Chart and a FREEBIE

Do you teach students how to punctuate titles? It's a 5th grade standard (L.5.2.d), but in the past, I definitely touched on the more common rules (books, chapters, poems, songs, magazines, & articles) when I taught fourth grade, as well.

Today I am going to show you the anchor chart I created to address this standard. Before class, I will create the base of the anchor chart- a simple T-chart. I will be creating most of the anchor chart during class with students. (I used clip art images that are free on TPT, just in case you want to replicate this anchor chart. To obtain the pie clip art, visit Kari Bolt's store. To download the free computer and pencil clip art, visit Tim van de Vall's store.)
Punctuating Titles Anchor Chart | Part of a free lesson that includes a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.

Once class begins, I will ask my students to help me fill in the anchor chart. First, I will tell my students that when it comes to punctuating titles, there is a guiding question they can ask themselves that will help them punctuate the majority of titles: Is this a WHOLE literary work, or is this a PART of a literary work? I'll explain that whole, complete literary works are underlined, while partial literary works are placed inside quotation marks. Next, I'll list associated pairs (book and chapter, for example), and I'll have students tell me in which column each literary piece should be written.
Punctuating Titles Anchor Chart | Part of a free lesson that includes a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.

After we've listed all of the titles that follow the whole vs. parts guideline, I will tell my students that there are a few items that need to be added to the column of titles that need to be underlined. After switching to a green marker, I will add the additional four items to the bottom of that column. Likewise, I will add a couple items to the bottom of the quotation mark list. These items written in green don't really follow the whole vs. parts rule, and simply need to be memorized.

To complete the anchor chart, I will tell my students that there is one more important rule they need to remember, and it's related to the two images at the bottom of the anchor chart. After allowing 1 or 2 students to make a guess, I will jot the final rule on the anchor chart. When the anchor chart is complete, it will look like this:
Punctuating Titles Anchor Chart | Part of a free lesson that includes a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.

If you don't have time to make the anchor chart, you might want to consider purchasing my Punctuating Titles PowerPoint. Slides 4 through 16 take the students through a similar part vs. whole exercise. It also makes the same point about italicizing instead of underlining when you are using a keyboard. Furthermore, it concludes with 17 practice sentences.
Punctuating Titles PowerPoint! This PowerPoint teaches students when to underline, when to italicize, and when to use quotation mark. It includes a companion handout!

Whether you choose to use the anchor chart or the PowerPoint, be sure to download this FREE PRINTABLE by clicking on the image below! I plan to use it as a quick exit ticket. This sorting activity will allow you to check for understanding.
Punctuating Titles FREEBIE- Grab this sorting activity that can be used as an exit ticket! Students differentiate between when to underline/italicize titles, and when to put titles in quotation marks.

Thanks for stopping by! 



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Punctuating Titles Free Lesson| This lesson includes an anchor chart idea and a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.


An Adverbs Read Aloud and FREE Activity!

Hello! It's my turn to write today's blog post at Upper Elementary Snapshots, my collaborative blog. I blogged about my experience helping my daughter grasp the concept of adverbs. That blog post features an adverbs anchor chart and free follow-up activity, so I encourage you to take a moment to hop over there and check it out! (At the bottom of this post, you'll find a link that will transport you directly to the blog post containing the anchor chart.)

Before you check it out, though, I have one additional adverbs activity that I want to share with you. When I was researching adverbs, I found this AMAZING picture book that focuses on adjectives and adverbs! I don't know about you, but I love reading picture books to upper elementary students, especially when they help me target a specific skill in an engaging way! (Full disclosure: This blog post contains an Amazon affiliate link.)

The Book Introduction

The book I found is called The Big Problem (and the Squirrel Who Eventually Solved It): Understanding Adjectives and Adverbs by Nancy Loewen.
Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

It is somewhat hard to see in these photographs, but the author used a red font on every single adjective in the book, and a green font for each adverb.
Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!


HOW I INTEND TO USE THE BOOK IN A GRAMMAR LESSON!

This book presents the perfect opportunity to help students understand why an adverb is an adverb. The adverbs are already identified, leaving plenty of time to analyze each sentence and determine which word is being modified by each adverb, and how it is modifying the other word.

I recommend printing the two printables (shown below) back-to-back, so that it's on one sheet of paper, and then handing out a sheet to each student. 
Adverbs recording charts! Use these charts along with a read aloud book with plenty of adverbs.

I intend to use the document camera to project the book so that every student can read the pages along with me (silently) as I read them aloud. At the end of each page, identify the adverbs, one at a time, and have your students name the chart to which the adverb belongs. To do this, they must identify which word is being modified by the given adverb, and whether that word is a verb, adjective, or other adverb. If the word is a verb, they must also determine how that adverb is modifying the given verb. 

When you have finished the book, your  students' papers should look like this: 
Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

Teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences by reading the book The Big Problem by Nancy Loewen. This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!
One of the things I love about this book and activity is that it shows that many adverbs do not end in -ly! Also, students are required to truly analyze the use of each adverb in the sentence! Furthermore, this book can also be used to identify adjectives... but that's another blog post! :)

If you happen to be looking for a few more ready-to-go adverb resources to use in your classroom, feel free to check out my TpT store. The image below shows the materials I created for teaching students about adverbs. If you click on the image, you'll be taken to the bundle in my store. From there, you can also check out each individual adverb resource, as well.



Have a great day!



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Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

Teaching about Story Conflict

Whether students know it or not, chances are good that they already have a basic understanding of story conflict. After all, you can't accurately discuss a book's plot without describing the conflict happening within a book. However, naming the various types of conflict might be new to your students. Today I'm going to share some ideas with you for teaching your students about the types of conflicts in literature. (Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post.)

AN ANCHOR CHART

Let's begin with an anchor chart! I am a huge fan of anchor charts, so I created a conflict anchor chart that you can share with your students. As you can see, I color-coded it to help students focus on the fact that three of the conflicts are external, and only one type is internal. Also, I chose to use the image of the angry girl to stress that conflicts in stories are rather unpleasant, especially at the point at which the conflict is revealed. Interestingly, my daughters (a 7th grader and a 5th grader) watched me design parts of this anchor chart, and they both asked me (at different times) why I used the image of a girl who was angry. I explained my thought process, but they both told me that they didn't care for my image choice. I'd be curious to know... what's your opinion on the image? If nothing else, one benefit is that it ignited a great discussion about story conflict that we wouldn't have otherwise had.

Types of Conflict Anchor Chart
Would you like to replicate this anchor chart? Grab the image for free at Chirp Graphic's TpT store!

IDENTIFYING EXAMPLES OF CONFLICT IN LITERATURE

Analyzing published books and identifying each book's primary conflict is essential for students learning about literary conflict. Therefore, I sat down and compiled a few examples of books that can be matched to each type of conflict. (Keep in mind, however, that some of these books have more than one type of conflict within its overall plot.) The images below show my suggestions for each type of conflict.

Person vs. Person Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies- Siblings Evan and Jessie begin a lemonade stand war, both vowing to earn more money than the other.
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk- Annabelle's life is pretty quiet until Betty Glengarry moves into town. At first, Betty only bullies Annabelle, but soon Betty targets a World War I veteran, as well. When Annabelle sees how Betty treats Toby, she can't remain silent any longer.
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein- Kyle Keely is racing to win Mr. Lemoncello's game. In order to win, though, he must beat his conniving archnemesis, Charles Chillington.


Person vs. Nature Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen- Brian Robeson finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness after he is the lone survivor following a plane crash. He must figure out a way to survive until help arrives.
  • Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina by Rodman Philbrick- Zane is visiting relatives in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. He is separated from his family, but meets a young girl and an elderly musician. The three work together to survive the disaster.
  • Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman- Dan and his friend Arthur must first survive the tornado ripping their town into shreds, and afterward they must make their way through the rubble to find their family members.


Person vs. Self Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • Ida B by Katherine Hannigan- When Ida's mom is diagnosed with cancer, she is no longer able to homeschool Ida, and Ida has to start attending "mind-numbing" school. Ida feeling betrayed as she struggles to accept the changes happening in her life. 
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt- Ally is good at math and art, but she has always struggled with reading. She behaves negatively at times to mask her reading difficulty. Things start to finally turn around for Ally when she meets a supportive teacher along with two classmates who have some struggles of their own.
  • The Only Game by Mike Lupica- Jack is the best pitcher on his 7th grade baseball team. However, he quits after the first practice of the season. He blames himself for an earlier tragedy involving his older brother. Everyone in town thinks baseball is what Jack needs to help him move on, but Jack doesn't agree.


Person vs. Society Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock- The year is 1969, and Sarah's best friend is Ruby Lee. The trouble is that Ruby Lee is black and Sarah is white. The school is set to be integrated next year, and the first African American teacher has been hired. Tension is high as Sarah tries to navigate through the complex issues of her rural Southern town.
  • A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen- Greta used to live with her entire family in East Berlin, but her family is split apart when the Berlin Wall is erected overnight, while her father and brother are visiting West Berlin. Greta can't help but dream of freedom in the West, even though those types of thoughts are forbidden. Years pass, and Greta is resentful. She is thinking about risking her life in order to live a life of freedom.
  • Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix- This is the author's final book in the Shadow Children series. In this book, Luke accidentally sets off a rebellion that results in the overthrow of the government. The people are finally free, but there are still plenty of questions.


AN ACTIVITY IDEA

You may choose to use the list I've provided in a number of ways, but this is the activity I would do because it keeps everyone engaged. I would write the numbers 1 through 4 on sticky notes, and then place each sticky note on one quadrant of the anchor chart (1 in Person vs. Person, 2 in Person vs. Nature, etc.) Then I would tell my students that I'm going to show them a book and read a brief summary. As they are listening to the summary, they need to determine the type of conflict that is being revealed. After I've finished reading the summary, I'd allow students a moment to turn to a partner to discuss their answer. Then, when I say "Reveal your answer", students hold up the number of fingers that correspond with their chosen answer.



If you are looking for additional resources for teaching conflict to your upper elementary students, feel free to check out the following resource. I have placed my bundle image here, but all of these items are also available for individual purchase in my TpT store.
Types of Conflict Resources- a PowerPoint, task cards, posters, a craftivity, partner plays, and more!


Thanks for stopping by today! 

                                           



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Teaching Story Conflict: This blog post includes an anchor chart idea plus several published examples of each of the four main types of story conflict.