Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ways to Make Fluency Fun

I’ve really been brainstorming ways to make working on fluency more fun lately.
Just having students reread a passage over and over again is sooooo boring for kids.
A couple of weeks ago, I made this 5 Step Fluency packet.
I loved it so much that I made a 5 StepFluency for Beginning Readers and a 5 Step Fluency for Advanced Readers packet.
These packets are such a fun way for students to practice their fluency skills.  They love to be able to reread the passages in their special voices.
Since it's such a fun activity, I had a chance today to sit down and make these Fluency Voice Sticks.

The students pull a stick out of the container to see which voice they will be using to reread.  These can be used with any passage or book.  Fluency Voice Sticks can be used in a whole group or small group setting.  They would also work well for an independent reading center.
I made these into Fluency Voice Cards as well.  These give you another option of hooking the cards to a metal ring, or allowing the students to just pull a card from a box to see what voice they will use.

I also thought it would be fun to make some Fluency Voice Spinners.  The students spin a voice to see how to reread their passage or story.

I placed all of these ideas into a new packet that you can check out by clicking on the picture below.
What are your favorite ways to practice fluency?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up

What a Weekend!

Two weekends ago, I went to French Lick for an AMAZING bloggers meet up!
It was definitely a whirlwind of a weekend, and I missed out on a lot of the activities that were planned, but for good reason.
On Saturday morning, my girls had their state gymnastics meet in Franklin, Indiana.

So, we drove to Franklin on Friday night since they were competing early Saturday morning.
After the meet, we hopped in the car, and headed to French Lick. 
They were a little tired.

We FINALLY made it to French Lick, which took longer than expected due to road construction and flooding.

I missed out on the luncheon, and the awesome “teacher gift exchange,” but you can read about those on other blogs. 

I cannot even begin to tell you how organized and wonderful this meet up was…all thanks to Holly Ehle and Brittany Banister.  They worked their tails off to not only put it all together, but to get some VERY GENEROUS and FABULOUS sponsors.

ALL of us received some AWESOME teacher swag:
A Teacher Planner from  Erin Condren  
A bag from Vera Bradley
Markers, stickers, and pens from Scentos!
Goodies from Go Noodle!

That evening, we had a PJ Party sponsored by Teachers Pay Teachers and Go Noodle!  SO MUCH FUN!

Of course, the BEST part about the weekend was the AMAZINGLY TALENTED, SWEET, and INSPIRATIONAL teachers that I was honored to spend time with.  I absolutely LOVE that through blogging, I am able to call these people from all over the country, my friends.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the buffet, and then my family and I spent the rest of the day hanging out at the French Lick Hotel and West Baden.
It was a beautiful day for ice cream…but according to my girls, everyday is a great day for ice cream.

If you weren’t able to make it, you can still WIN a Bag of Teacher Swag by entering using the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can read about every else's weekend by clicking on the links below.

Monday, March 16, 2015

My First Stitch Fix & a GIVEAWAY

After reading all about Stitch Fix from my friend, Maria at Kindercraze, I knew I had to try it.  Well, that was about a year ago... and about a year ago, I found out I was pregnant.  Knowing that I would soon be in maternity clothes, I had to put my trial of Stitch Fix on hold.  {This would no longer be the case though!  Stitch Fix now offers maternity!  You mean I wouldn't have had to wear the same 4 shirts over and over again during my pregnancy?}
So, now it was finally time to try it.  I headed back over to Stitch Fix and completed my Style Profile.  I also started loading up my Pinterest boards with clothing styles that I liked, so my Stitch Fix stylist could see my style and get some ideas.
I was so excited when my box arrived.
 The styling card is so helpful because it gives you some ideas for how to wear each of your items and what to pair them with.  Note to self...I desperately need to go shoe shopping!!
So, what was in my first fix?

1.  Cecily Crew Neck Sweater
I have to be honest, when I first saw it in my box, I wasn't impressed.  I mean, seriously, a boring gray sweater.  It's almost Spring and I'm sick of gray.  However, the more I looked at it and tried it with different things, the more I liked it.  I actually really like gray, and it was a great fit and super comfortable.  It was a perfect piece to add to my closet.
2. Arturo Fleece Jacket
This was really comfortable, but not flattering.  It was too big on me, and I am not in need of any more jackets right now.  Like I said earlier, it is almost Spring.  I want to be thinking about packing away my outerwear, not adding to the coat closet. ;)
3. Emily Lightweight Chevron Infinity Scarf
4. Connely Skinny Jean
I am a sucker for scarves.  I LOVE them, and this one was no different.  However, I just couldn't see spending $28 on a scarf that I can get cheaper somewhere else.
The black skinny jeans were the biggest surprise.  I don't do skinny jeans well.  They are always too long on me and they never seem to fit right.  These were perfect!!  They are more expensive than I would normally spend on a pair of pants, but they are seriously a perfect fit.
I tried them out with flats and a shirt that I already had.  The pants are definitely a keeper.
5. Kasia Tie Waist Dress
My last item was this dress.  I liked the color and the material, but I felt like it was too short for me.  I just didn't feel perfectly comfortable in this dress.  {Hello pasty, white legs that need some sunshine.}
I tried it with some black capri leggings as well.
Not bad, but not worth $68 to me. decision time.
Cecily Crew Neck Sweater - Keep
Arturo Fleece Jacket - Return
Emily Lightweight Chevron Infinity Scarf - Return

Connely Skinny Jean - Keep
Kasia Tie Waist Dress - Return
Want to try Stitch Fix?
Head on over to Stitch Fix and fill out your Style Profile.  Each fix will cost you a $20 styling fee, but if you choose to purchase an item from your fix, your styling fee is deducted from the cost of your clothes.  If you purchase all 5 items, you get them all at 25% off.  I'd love for you to use my referral code, and head on over.
Want to win a $20 Stitch Fix Gift Card?
Enter using the Rafflecopter below and then head on over to Kindercraze and ENTER HER GIVEAWAY as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 2, 2015

5 Step Fluency

I am always looking for ways to make fluency a little more fun for my students.  It is such an important skill for readers to develop because it is truly the bridge to comprehension.  When students don't have to put all of their effort into decoding the words they are reading, they can focus on comprehending what they are reading instead.
I came up with an idea called 5 Step Fluency.  These five steps could really be done with any passage, but I created a packet that includes everything you need.
The 5 Step Fluency approach includes:
1. Read It & Mark It - This is a cold read of the passage.  Give the student the passage and set a timer for 1 minute.  {For faster readers, you could give them 30 seconds instead.}  Have the student place a mark after the last word they read.
2.  Read at Your Own Pace - The second reading allows the student to read the entire passage at their own pace.  Do not time the student during this reading.
3.  Highlight Word Work - The third time going into the passage, the student will be focusing on a particular word work skill.  This truly is just another way for the student to reread the passage again, but for a different purpose.   Each passage in the packet includes a Word Work skill for the student to work on. 
4.  Silly Read - This is a fun way for students to reread the passage.  Students will be rereading like monsters, grandmas, pirates, and more.
5.  Read It & Mark It - This is exactly like the first step, but this time the students have now read the passage four times.  They will try to beat their score from the first read.

This packet includes 45 original passages.  I have included 3 different levels {15 of each} in the packet. 
You can check out the packet by clicking on the picture below.

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