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School Newsletter by Sonia Santos

August 2015

What is Fluency? Why is Fluency important?

Web resources for poetry

A fluent reader is able to read a text at an appropriate speed, sounding expressive

(same intonation as when we usually talk), and also needs to be accurate (read
the words in the text without errors).

tion of poems with different

According to Robinson and McKenna (2008), oral reading fluency can be described as the ability to read a text, both orally and silently, with appropriate
speed, accuracy, and expression. However, fluency does not guarantee comprehension.
As Kuhn (2009) describes, fluency is actually considered by many to be a bridge
between decoding and comprehension. In lower elementary levels, students
spend most of their effort decoding the words they encounter when they read,
leaving comprehension as the second task they need to focus while reading. Once
the students have the automaticity to identify words without the need of decoding
every single word, they can focus more on comprehend the meaning of the text.
This is one of the main reasons why fluency is important and needs to be more
integrated in our curriculum.
For this reason, this year our students are getting familiar with our fluency development program mainly based in poetry. Students read a different poem every
week and do repeated readings every day until they can read with fluency and
they identify every word in the poem. This will help them by being able to identify
the same words if they encounter them in other readings, and also by increasing
their vocabulary.
In this newsletter, I will show you the steps you need to follow in order to help your
child with their fluency development at home. (a selecthemes)
(selection of poems from different poets)
(another selection of famous
(funny poems by theme)

In This Issue

What is fluency? Why

is Fluency important?

Web resources for


How to help at home.

Poetry books resources

How to encourage
lifelong reading.

Other literacy activities to do at home

How to catch your

childs interest in

Weekly Fluency steps

Day 1: Read the highlighted

vocabulary words with your
child. Read the poem to your
child one time and then ask
him to repeat after you every

Day 2: Ask your child to tell

you a sentence with two new
vocabulary words from the
poem. Read the poem to your
child and ask him to repeat
after you every verse.

Day 3: Ask your child to tell

you a sentence with two new
vocabulary words from the
poem. Invite your child to
read the poem to you three

Day 4: Invite your child to

choose his/her favorite vocabulary word and draw a picture
and write a sentence that
goes with the picture using the
new word. Invite your child
also to read the poem to you
or a family member three

Day 5: Celebrate with your

child by inviting him/her to
read it to any person he/she
wants. Color the poem with

How to help at home.

Your child is already familiar with the Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction (FORI). We have been following this program at school for
almost a year. This program provides students access to material
with rich vocabulary and students tend to enjoy the regularity of the
procedure (Kuhn, 2009).
The program rotates every five days with a new text. The procedures
at school may be different than the procedure explained in this section, because students have already had access to the initial new
vocabulary at school, and the poem has been presented to them already.
Your child will bring home a different poem every Monday. This poem has highlighted vocabulary words with the intention to review
them at home.
Your child will read the same poem at home for five days, focusing
on word recognition and vocabulary. The process at home is very
easy and you can continue using the steps provided with any other
poem of your childs choice.
On this same page, you will find the easy steps to follow at home for
FORI. Remember, your child is already familiar with the process and

Poetry Book resources

A Childs Garden of
Verses by Robert
Louis Stevenson, Tasha Tudor

The Random
House Book of Poetry for Children
by Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel

Revolting Rhymes
by Roald
Dahl, Quentin

Sad Underwear
and Other Complications: More Poems for Children
and Their Parents
by Judith
Viorst, Richard Hull

Sing a Song of
Popcorn: Every
Child's Book Of Poems by Mary
White (Editor), Beat
rice Schenk de
Regniers (Editor), Eva
Moore (Editor), Jan
Carr (Editor), Ed
Mirror Mirror: A
Book of Reverso
Poems by Marilyn
Singer, Jose

How to encourage lifelong

These are a few suggestion on how to encourage reading at home
and for a lifetime:

Read with your child. Reading a picture book, chapter book, or a

young adult book (depending on your childs age and interest) is
a powerful tool to show your child that you also enjoy reading,
and reading is important and enjoyable n life.

Reading comes in multiple formats. Invite your child to help you

write the grocery list, write notes to each other, invite your child
to begin writing a diary. Read directions from a new appliance, a
recipe, etc. Visit the library and show your child magazines, comic books, newspapers as part of the library resources for reading.

Create fun word games. Spelling on the sand, with sticks or pebbles at the park, word games like Scrabble, word train (begin the
next word with the last letter of the prior word).

Visit your local library and ask for reading logs and reading programs where children get small prices for reading a determined
number of books.

Invite your child to write his/her own picture books.

Bring a book when running errands with your child, waiting at

Other Literacy activities to do at home

Create a picture book with your child using different materials for a cool cover
(paper bags, cardboard, covering the cardboard with fabric,)

Create a play with your child from any story (Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs,
The Red Hen, Chicken Little,)

Create a book with your child about a family story.

Invite your child to write a card to a family member who lives far away or
close by. You can mail the cards to them and teach your child how to write an

Use old magazines to cut out fancy letters to create letters or picture books.

Invite your child to write recipes.

Play the news of the day. Invite your child to write as a reporter about the
news reports of the day, and present it to the family as it was real TV.

How to catch your childs interest in reading.

There are many formats and genres when it comes to reading. Dont be discourage if your child seems to not like
reading at all. He or she has not probably found the genre
or kind of book he/she really enjoys.
A good idea is visit the local library and look for reading
materials your child has not discovered yet: magazines,
newspapers, comic books, informational books about
birds, animals, food,, mystery books, funny series of
books, recipe books for kids, music or poetry books,
books about TV series or movies, sports, clothes, arts and
Once your child find the type of book he or she likes, you
can start with that and ask your librarian for help to find
more books related to the genre your child enjoys reading.

Other resources
online: (free)
Monmouth County
Public Library
A bilingual site for
families and educators
Fun online reading
Online resources
for parents
Reading and writing
Reading activities
and books