Tag Archives: Daily Fluency

My Paperless Classroom Journey: Digital Resources

25 Jan

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In my last “My Paperless Classroom Journey” post, I introduced a wonderful app for going paperless in your classroom – Notability. I provided an overview of the app features and a general summary of how I integrate the app into my RTI instruction. Now, it’s time to dig deeper into the content! (Did you miss Part I about getting started with Notability? Go back and read it HERE!) 

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Notability is a note-taking app that allows you to take notes, annotate PDFs and photos, collect student work, and capture voice recordings. It’s the perfect app for practicing literacy skills and a fabulous digital alternative for paper-and-pencil activities.

As you can imagine, downloading and setting up the app is just half the battle. Implementing the app into your instruction effectively is the other half. Sure, your students can just use the app as a notepad; but that’s like buying a Smartphone and only using it to make phone calls. Don’t ignore the amazing features it has to offer!

As I mentioned in my last post, the PDF annotation feature is the element I use the most. Of course, in order to annotate PDFs, I need quality PDF files that are accessible and ready to use. Enter, my digital resource toolbox… Dropbox.

So, where do I get the PDFs that fill my Dropbox? 

Most of what I use comes from my own creations, but my collection of PDFs definitely includes some valuable resources from other websites, programs, and other educators. My Dropbox holds a nice balance of new materials I developed for this purpose and materials I already had in the classroom. Not everything I had was ready-to-go, so it took some time in the beginning to convert files and “go paperless.”

NOTE: The PDFs I upload to Notability are for personal use in my classroom, and I do NOT share the files publicly. Depending on the product license, and the “terms of use” for particular resources, you need to be careful about how you manage and store your files. You tread a fine-line with uploading files to digital folders and importing the files onto your devices. It is my recommendation to read the “terms of use” first and to look into the copyright policies of resources. Be especially cautious with how you use school-purchased materials and programs, and definitely do not share your files. (Sorry… necessary disclaimer!)

That being said, it’s easy to create PDFs to use with Notability. Any word processing document can be converted into a PDF, and you can easily scan or take pictures of documents that you’ve created, as well. You can upload non-PDF files, but formatting can sometimes become an issue.  A PDF is a common file type and much easier to work with!

A Sample of PDF Resources

For those of you just getting started and looking for ideas, below is a sample of free and paid resources that my students interact with using Notability. Some of the resources are ones I created, some I purchased with my own money (i.e., TpT resources), and some of the items were purchased by my district (i.e., Reading A-Z, Toolkit Texts, etc.). I wanted the list to reflect the actual digital resources I use day-to-day, not just my MsJordanReads products (although, I do use those products a lot!).

COMPREHENSION

Non-Fiction Articles — Actively reading non-fiction is a great way to kick-start PDF annotation. I upload ReadWorks articles (free), Toolkit Texts (paid), and Reading A-Z skill passages (subscription) for my comprehension students to close read, mark, and highlight! One Stop Teacher Shop also has a great list of FREE resources for Non-fiction texts.

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Finding Text Evidence —  My students love finding and highlighting text evidence using Notability. When I discovered Luckeyfrog’s Super Text Detectives resources, I knew they would be perfect for practicing this skill. I took the plunge and purchased the whole spring bundle (LOVE it). Now I have to go back and buy the other bundles for next year! The passages are short and perfect for my RTI comprehension groups. The students use the highlighter tool with the different color options to find the text evidence. (Check the resource out here!)

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Graphic Organizers — For FREE comprehension graphic organizers, check out FCRR, ReadWriteThink, and TeacherVision. You can also create your own graphic organizers (using Microsoft Word or any word processing program) and convert to a PDF to annotate.

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FLUENCY

Daily Fluency — Many of my fluency students complete a Daily Fluency page each day for fluency practice! There are 20 pages for each month and two levels of difficulty in the series – Beginner & Intermediate. (Check out a sample here!)

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Daily Phonics — Some of my decoding/phonics students complete a Daily Phonics page each day to practice breaking apart words and identifying phonics patterns! They use a stylus pen for these activity pages. After trying out a whole bunch, I decided to purchase a group set of Musemee Notier Prime stylus pens for my classroom. (Check them out through my affiliate link.) Just like Daily Fluency, there are 20 pages for each month. (Check out a sample here!)

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Fluency Booster Pages — My fluency students complete Daily Fluency Booster Packs to reinforce specific fluency skills! These are great follow-ups to my Daily Fluency warm-up pages and help students practice one fluency component at a time: Accuracy, Pace, Phrasing, and Expression!

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Fluency Passages — I use Fluency A-Z passages (subscription only), but you can really use any short reading passage for fluency practice. Students record their voice, mark their errors, calculate their wpm, and graph their progress for two different readings of the same passage (cold/hot). Students can record their progress on fluency graphs to track progress throughout the year. For RTI, the students work with me for this “fluency coaching” intervention, but you could easily have the students work in partners in your classroom.

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Fluency Speed Drills — Students can read lists of words, phrases or sentences multiple times to build fluency. They mark errors and mark how far they read on a list using the annotating tools. They can also record their progress on fluency graphs!

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Fluency Practice Pages — I’m obsessed with The Moffatt Girls’  I Can Read! NO PREP products. They’re fabulous, and I use them with many of my fluency/decoding groups. I recently purchased the bundle of all 3 sets and the activities are perfect for extra fluency practice! You will still need dice and printed spinners, but students can complete activity pages digitally on the iPad. (Check out the resource here!)

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PHONICS

Phonics Word Sorts — As an alternative to word sorts that they have to cut and sort, students can color-code and sort words into the different categories. I have some of my decoding/phonics groups complete Color & Sort Activity Pages to reinforce specific phonics skills.

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Phonics Word Hunts — Students can use PDF texts to hunt for specific phonics spelling & sound patterns. My students love going on word hunts in my partner poetry series (“The Winter Escape” is shown below!). I have them highlight specific patterns using the highlighting tool and then record the words on a word hunting graphic organizer. You can use the graphic organizers with real books too!

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The list above is just a sample of PDF resources to use with Notability. It does not reflect the other ways I practice annotating texts with my students (there is still a place for sticky notes and paper!), and it does not reflect the other ways I use the app (e.g., voice recording, notepad for word work/writing, web quests, etc.). Working with PDFs is a great way to start using Notability, but there are plenty of other ways to use the app throughout the day. (That may be an additional blog post… perhaps Part III?) 🙂

Also, please note that Notability is just a small part of my instruction and only for some of my groups. There are other apps that I integrate into my teaching and there are still plenty of interventions I use that are completely iPad-free. There are days where we don’t even touch technology! I strongly believe it’s all about a balance.

It may be a while (if ever) before I’m 100% digital, and as the year continues, I definitely will continue my journey toward a more paperless classroom. I hope to follow-up and share more of my experiences soon. In the mean time, though, I would love to hear what resources you have in your digital toolbox! Comment below or email me your suggestions (msjordanreads@gmail.com). Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts on going paperless, as well!

Happy (Paperless) Teaching

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***This post contains affiliate links. Click HERE to learn what that means!

A Winter Fluency Freebie

1 Dec

Last week, I watched as parts of Buffalo, N.Y. were buried with over SEVEN feet of snow (yikes!). Living just 15 miles north of the crazy snow band, I felt extremely lucky — lucky to not have to shovel out from all that snow, and even luckier to be part of such a wonderful city of “good neighbors.” The community came together to overcome this “Snowvember” event, spotlighting many moments of strength, courage, and perseverance. It was a timely reminder, heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, of the importance of giving back and sharing!

With December arriving today, I am ready to jump into a month of crazy holiday preparations and parties. To help kick-off this wonderfully busy season, I’m offering a new winter-themed FREEBIE. This set of 24 task cards is similar to my FREE fall-themed set and is perfect for reinforcing fluency in your classroom!

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 (Download by clicking HERE or on the image above!)

Have students complete the fluency task cards for morning bell-work, Daily 5, literacy centers, or as take-home task card sets. All you have to do is print, laminate, and cut! You can even use as a PDF and display using a SMARTboard or projector.

If you like these task cards, check out my other Daily Fluency Task Card sets. My beginner-level set has been a huge hit, and I just uploaded my newest Daily Fluency Task Card set for upper-level readers. Grab both sets for differentiating your fluency practice!

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Happy December & Happy Teaching! 

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A Harvest-Themed Fluency Freebie

2 Oct


Fall is my favorite time of year, and I love sharing my love of fall with my students!

To help you focus on fluency in your classroom, I’m sharing my brand-new Daily Fluency Task Cards — Fall FreebieThese task cards are perfect for reinforcing fluency skills in the classroom. Students will love the different activities focusing on pace, phrasing, expression and attention to punctuation. There is a total of 24 fall-themed fluency task cards that you can use for the months of October/November. I hope your students enjoy them as much as my students do! 🙂

(NOTE: The resource I’m sharing is an off-shoot of my new Daily Fluency Task Card series. Read more about this series in my blog post here!)

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Read posts from all of your favorite teaching blogs all in one spot!

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**NOTE: This post was originally part of a Harvest Blog Hop with The Reading Crew. Feel free to go back and check out the first stop in the blog hop or head on over to the next blog in the hop sequence, Literacy Loving Gals, to collect additional freebies!

 

Happy Teaching! 

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Daily Fluency Task Cards

22 Sep

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With the school year under way and my RTI intervention groups going full force, I’m excited to announce the launch of my newest product series… Daily Fluency Task Cards!

I just laminated and put together my own classroom set of task cards, and I can’t wait to start using them with my students this week! For the past year, I’ve been using the Daily Fluency Activity Packs (Beginner & Intermediate) with my targeted RTI fluency groups. Students complete these daily activity pages as a 5-minute warm-up while they wait for their intervention group to start. I am still using these activity packets this year for RTI, but I wanted additional task activities that I could send with my students to reinforce fluency in the classroom and at home.

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Daily Fluency Task Cards are the perfect supplement to any classroom reading program and would be perfect for independent practice. Each task card allows students to “dig deeper” into fluency and focuses on specific fluency skills. Use the cards as part of your Daily 5 rotations, RTI interventions, small group instruction/guided reading, and even as informal assessments of fluency skills.

For those of you familiar with my Daily Fluency Activity Packs, these fluency task cards are a modified version of the resource. (Not familiar? Read more about this product series here!) The big difference is that the task cards feature one task per card, as opposed to five tasks per page. The categories are the same, but the content is new!

The Daily Fluency Task Card activities are quick, and you can customize which tasks the students complete. Differentiate your sets of tasks cards to fit your students needs!

Introducing Fluency

Before using my Daily Fluency Activity Packs or these Daily Fluency Task Cards, I would highly recommend teaching a unit on fluency. For many students it may be a review, but it’s important for them to be able to identify the different parts of fluency. Consider setting up a Fluency Boot Camp in your classroom to introduce fluency and the different components. You can also download my FREE “What is Fluency?” reference sheet to support your fluency lessons.

The Daily Fluency Task Cards resource include fluency posters that can be used to review the components. Display the posters in your classroom or print them out for student fluency folders. You can even print four to a page (using “Print Preferences”) to create a one-page student reference! (Beginner & Upper levels available!)

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Integrating Fluency Task Cards

There are 116 task cards (29 different tasks) included in each resource.

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The first five tasks are dedicated to reviewing the major parts of fluency: Pace, Phrasing, Expression, and attention to Punctuation.

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The remaining 24 tasks reinforce these fluency components. The variety of tasks provides students with the opportunity to practice specific fluency skills in a fun and engaging way. Pick and choose which to include in your sets, or use them all!

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Getting Started

The prep for these task cards is simple! There are two versions of this resource – light gray background (as seen in preview pictures) and white background (not shown but for teachers who wish to save ink!). Both are included in the .Zip file. All you have to do is print the version of your choice and then laminate, cut, and sort. You can sort the cards by set (i.e., A, B, C, D), one task card per activity in each set. Or you can sort them by target area (i.e., Pace, Phrasing, Expression, Punctuation). You can include ALL the cards or just pick and choose the task cards you want your students to complete.

I like to use key rings to organize my different sets. I hang the task cards around my classroom for students to have easy access. Plus, it keeps the cards together!

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If you don’t wish to use key rings, you can also organize the task cards with envelopes, baskets, or index card organizers.

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Task Card Management

To help manage Daily Fluency Task Cards as an activity or literacy center in your classroom, encourage students to record which task cards they’ve completed. Not only does it ensure that students eventually work through all the tasks, but it also provides a level of accountability. Use the log if you’re using custom sets or having students choose the cards at random. Use the checklist if they’re working through a specific set.

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Using the Task Cards

There is a “Directions” task card that can be included with each task card set. Directions for each activity are also listed on the task cards themselves. Be sure to read the directions and model each activity with your students so that they may complete the tasks independently. You can introduce them ALL at once or introduce one a day/week.

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Once your students have practiced each of the activities, they should able to work in partners or independently to complete the tasks. Task Cards are the perfect tool to add to your classroom reading “toolbox!”

What fluency resources do you use? How do you reinforce fluency in the classroom? Please comment & share! 🙂

Grab This Product!

Are you interested in purchasing this resource? Check it out in my TpT store by clicking HERE or the image below!

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 NOTE: I will be creating additional Beginner and Upper level fluency task card collections! As soon as they’re done they will be listed in the “Daily Fluency Task Cards” category in my TpT store.

Enter the MsJordanReads Task Card Giveaway!

A winner will be chosen September 28th (and it could be YOU!). Click HERE or the image below to enter this Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Congratulations to Heather S. — You are the winner!!

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Follow my store or follow me on Facebook for updates!

Happy Teaching!

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Kindergarten Fluency Folders

25 Feb

Kindergarten Fluency Folders

Hey, Kindergarten teachers… this one’s for YOU!

If you’re a follower of my blog or TpT store, you know that many of my fluency resources are geared toward elementary students grades 2-5. After a few requests, I decided to go forth and create some early literacy materials for K/1!

One of my fabulous blog readers specifically requested a Daily Fluency product for her Kindergarteners. I agreed to help, and after some back-and-forth discussion in regard to format and what would be most helpful to include, I developed a resource with ready-to-print materials for creating your own year-long Kindergarten Fluency Folders.

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This resource offers 60 lists of letters, sounds, and words to use with your students. The materials will help your students build fluency with letter identification, letter-sound relationships, sight words, short vowel word families, and some basic phrases, sentences, and passages. Graphs are included for students to track their fluency progress, as well as flash cards for students to practice each of the list items. Use the folders in the classroom or send them home each night (parent letters & directions are included).

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The focus of these folders is speed and accuracy, which obviously isn’t all that fluency is, but this product will help your students build the foundation for later fluency development. Without automatic recognition of letters, sounds, and words, students will have difficulty reading for meaning. Focusing on phrasing, expression, and punctuation is the next step after using these folders (and don’t worry… your voices have been heard! I’m working on a K/1 version of my Fluency Boot Camp!).

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A thumbnail preview of all the pages is available on the product page if you’d like to check out more of what’s inside! Here’s the link to my Kindergarten Fluency Folder product on TpT!

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**NOTE: This was created with Kindergarten students in mind, but the materials would benefit struggling readers in 1st grade, too! Perfect for remedial RTI instruction!**

Download a few SAMPLE pages HERE!

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Happy Teaching!

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Back-to-School: News, Updates, and a TpT Sale!

17 Aug

News & Updates! 

I’m disappointed to say summer is almost over… and this is the first time I’m getting on my blog to post anything new (sigh). I have a good excuse though — I GOT MARRIED! Here’s a little sneak peek of our perfect day: Canalside Yes, I’m officially a Mrs. now! 🙂 And of course, that begs the question… will I be changing my blog/store name, MsJordanReads? Nope. I’ll be changing my real name, but keeping everything else MsJordanReads.

So, between my 101 DIY wedding projects, the wedding itself, and then an extended honeymoon, I can pretty much say the wedding took over my summer. Not complaining, but it leaves me with a growing list of unchecked items on my blog and teacher store “to do” lists. Now that I’m back to reality though, I’m starting to prioritize and get back into the “teacher groove.” I’ve already created a few new items for my TpT store (check them out below!), and I have a blog giveaway in the works!

(SPOILER ALERT: Since my “Teacher Appreciation” giveaway from Dansko last May was such a huge hit, I’ll be hosting another one this upcoming week. Winners will be chosen on Saturday, August 24th! Check back Monday, or subscribe to this blog, to find out more about how you can win a pair of VERY comfy black boots for the fall. You’re going to love them!)

“Back to School” Annual Sale

It’s that time of year! The annual Teachers Pay Teachers “Back-to-School” sale is back! Here’s your chance to get all those resources you’ve had your eye on and have been waiting to put in your cart. I know I can’t wait to purchase a TON of new things for this upcoming school year.

BTS TpT Sale 2013_MeredithAnderson(Thank you to Meredith Anderson for the great banner!)

All the items in my store will be 20% off August 18th and August 19th. Use Promo Code BTS13 during the 2-day sale for an additional 10% off my already discounted prices (essentially, giving you a 28% discount). You don’t want to miss out on these great prices!

Below are a few of my newest products. My biggest goal this month was to complete the remaining “Daily Fluency” packets (beginner & intermediate levels) for the year. I’m not sure how, but I managed to pull it off in time for this week’s sale! If you don’t know what “Daily Fluency” is, check them out! The monthly packets are PERFECT for implementing independent fluency practice in your classroom each day. The activities included are Common Core aligned (RF.4) and reinforce all the components of oral reading fluency.

Primary “Daily Fluency” (K-3)

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Intermediate “Daily Fluency” (3-5)

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If you love the individual packets and are interested in setting up a year-long fluency practice routine with your students, consider my “Daily Fluency” Bundles! Both the primary and Intermediate packets are available as 12-month bundles. The bundle gives you two months free, but if you purchase the bundle during the TpT sale, it will be like getting FOUR months free!

Primary “Daily Fluency” Bundle (K-3) 

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Intermediate “Daily Fluency” Bundle (3-5)

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Happy Teaching! 

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Exercise Your Mind and Fluency!

24 Nov

So you completed the Fluency Boot Camp… now what? 

Fluency is a reading skill that requires maintenance and practice, especially for students who struggle with fluency.  After explicitly modeling and teaching the components of oral reading fluency, be sure to schedule time for practice and reinforcement throughout the school year.

Fluency Reinforcement Activities

It is important for students to practice their fluency skills on a regular basis! Reinforce the components of fluency through weekly/monthly activities, or “Daily Fluency” activities.

Some activities I recommend are: 

  • Weekly Poetry (model/echo/choral read)
  • Readers Theater
  • Fluency Passages (charting wpm progress each week)
  • Fluency Speed Drills (using lists of words, phrases, or sentences)
  • Phrase-Cued Passages (or passages where students mark their OWN phrases using scoop lines or phrase marks)

NOTE: Resources for all these activities can be found on my Fluency Boot Camp blog post. Even though I use the activities during the 1-Week Boot Camp, many of the activities can be modified, repeated, and revisited throughout the year.

NEW! NEW! NEW! 

My newest favorite resource I’ve found are these printable Dolch Sight Word Sentences by School Sparks. Each week I introduce a new sentence list (levels go from Pre-Primer to 3rd Grade) and I have my students draw in the scoop lines. They then read them each day, following the scoops with their fingers, to build up their automatic phrasing and reading rate. These are also great for developing automaticity with sight words! (If you like those, you’ll also like the Noun sentences that are available for printing if you scroll toward the bottom.)

Exercise Your Mind & Fluency

Perhaps you want to do more than integrate poetry or readers theater into your ELA block once a month, or perhaps you’re looking for a daily practice for some of your students beyond sporadic speed drills? Use this poster below to remind students that just like physical exercise, DAILY mental exercise is JUST as important.

This past month, I started something new with my students called “Daily Fluency.”  This is a follow-up to my Fluency Boot Camp, and every day the students complete a “Daily Fluency” Activity sheet that incorporates reading pace, phrasing, expression, attention punctuation, and a “Fast Finisher” extra! These activities take about 5 minutes total to complete and act as great “warm-ups” for getting my group started. At the beginning of each month, I model (or re-model) each task, including the “Fast Finisher” extras. We usually complete one sheet together, especially in the first few months! The students have a menu in their folders as a reminder of the activity expectations:

Students complete these activities using whisper phones or with partners. The goal is for them to be able to complete them independently, but the first few days I’m always around to offer coaching or support. The students pick up on the tasks quickly and soon you’ll hear them practicing fluency on their own!

I try to incorporate comprehensive “Daily Fluency” activities consistently with my fluency groups every day, but sometimes I’ll supplement with other warm-up activities before we get started with our planned RtI interventions. I use a lot of poetry, speed drills, and readers theater, so sometimes I’ll let them practice those as a warm-up. On those days though, I’ll send the “Daily Fluency” sheet home with the students in their fluency take-home bags.

As far as resource management goes, my RtI students who do “Daily Fluency” each have their own “Daily Fluency” Folders to collect all their daily activity pages, goal sheets, reflections, and rubrics. They have a separate folder for fluency passages and other Fluency Boot Camp activities we revisit throughout the year.

Remember… you should only use these AFTER your students are 100% familiar with the four major components of fluency… after modeling each explicitly AND practicing them together in depth.

Download a Sample!

If you’re interested in incorporating “Daily Fluency” into your classroom, check out the sample shared below. An activity menu is included, as well as a printable folder label and two activity pages (one from each month).

NOTE: This sample is appropriate for students in grades 1 and 2, though I use it with my struggling 3rd graders as well. (Depending on your student population, you could use it for your high-flyer Kindergarteners, too!)

(Download your FREE 4 page sample by clicking here or the image below!)

Check out the COMPLETE Daily Fluency Activity Pack for the months of November & December. Packets for each month will be available soon! 

Check out the COMPLETE Upper-Elementary Daily Fluency Activity Pack for the months of January & February. Packets for each month at this level will be available soon, too! 

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

I’m offering 20% off at my Teachers Pay Teachers store Monday 11/26 & Tuesday 11/27, in addition to the 10% off from TpT! (Use Promo Code CMT12)

I’m offering 25% off at my Teachers Notebook store Saturday 11/24 – Monday 11/26, in addition to the 10% off from TN! (The discount will be applied automatically – no coupon code needed!)

Happy Teaching

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