Wilson and Fluency

I recently made some group changes.This is not the groups first year of Wilson but have not moved beyond book 1. My district expects students in Wilson to move at a pace of about 3 books a year--making this a three commitment. In many cases by the time we get to Books 6 and 7 their needs change and no longer need to be in the program.

Wilson is a balancing act between accuracy and fluency. If you know that the student can read the word without making a mistake then you don't have them tap it but if you have doubts than you have them tap it out. But you also have to make sure they don't become overly reliant on tapping--at some point towards the end of a sub-step you have to have to cut them off. That's where this group is. They have become SO reliant on tapping that even words that they should know they can't read without tapping them. This forces them to spend way more time on a sub-step than they need to because they don't learn to trust themselves while reading.

Helping students move to becoming fluent reader at each sub-step means building in a little extra practice for them. Like a fluency games help while doing word cards or while reading sentences. I have found that students need more than just this practice. So, I give then a fluency "ticket out." It is either word card in strips of three or phrases. The set below was designed with this group in mind and focus on reading phrases in Sub-Step 1.3. I also use the Fry Phrases as well with students. It takes then a try or two get all the strips read fluently. I also break apart sub-step sentences into phrases and do the same thing with. 

Have a great week. The countdown has started to the end of the year.




Read, Write, Publish--Repeat

I work with students that have a love/hate relationship with reading. Some love it and will read anything I put in front of them but won't write about it-no matter what. Others hate reading but love writing. My students this year have learned to at respect both because they read, they write about what they read, and then they publish what they wrote. And they do it every week. We have read more and written more then we have in the past. The students know that their work gets posted on the class website for them to share with their family.

Students can choose from just typing their work in Google to using Talking Tom or using StoryBird or Haiku Deck for their work. With the exception of typing and StoryBird, they need just a day to get the work done. Which for me is great because I only have them for 30 minutes a day. So, short and sweet is a must.

StoryBird is a free web site that can be used to create and publish. They have free teacher accounts where teachers can set up student accounts. I embed the projects but you can buy the books. Haiku Deck is a free app. It is a very cleaned up and simply version of a power point. It's designed to create presentations with very few words. Students create and email their work when they are finished. It can be viewed online once you have the address but I've found it easier to embed the work. The students that have used both of these love them. They have said that Haiku is harder because they have to summarize the summarized paragraph into one or two short sentences.

Students know at the beginning of each book what they will be expected to publish. I post this information on the Learning Target.  The group has one comprehension strategy plus a high order thinking question which  will be published.



Other groups are working on mastering all the comprehension strategies such as writing summaries and making connections. My students are well versed in internet safety because I post their work on line. Make sure you do the same. Here are couple of student examples using Haiku Deck and StoryBird:







Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

My students love doing this work. Its not something extra that I have built into our week. They know that if they don't work hard during the week--publishing doesn't happen. But every Monday we start over and do it again. Reading, Write, Publish--Repeat.


Non-Fiction Texts

What is it about summarizing non-fiction text that sends everyone into a tail spin????

A group of my 5th grade students began reading a non-fiction text and had to summarize it as they went. I had them write one sentence that summed up each one or two paragraph sections. They spent to whole week grumbling about it. And the whole idea of having read it and then write about what they have read--is a new idea for them. Well-I don't know what they have done in class but this is the first book with me that they have done. But then all my students reading books write about what they read and publish they work. They have let to revolt--maybe it has something to do with the technology???

I created a couple of scaffolds for them to use. They were created with non-fiction text in mind, however the retelling and student conversation cards can be used with any text type. The student conversation cards are a way to get students to take control of the conversations about what they are reading. I use them to teach students how to have meaningful conversations about books without me having to lead the conversation. I'll have to give this one more time--they don't like talking about books on their own. But this too will come. What strategies or scaffolds do you use to help students with non-fiction text. I'd love to hear from  you.  Have a great weekend. Spring has sprung in Colorado.







About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I'm Ms. Whiteley. I teach in the beautiful Mile High state--Colorado. This is my 13th year teaching in an rural K-6 Elementary school as a Exceptional Needs Teachers. As Exceptional Needs National Board Certified Teacher, I believe that ALL students can learn and be successful. When I'm not in school, I love to take my two Italian Greyhounds hiking 14ers and reaching for the stars. Thanks for Hopping By.
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