Here’s one way a teacher I know helps kids stay motivated with fluency. She’d got a bulletin board (not huge) with a star for every student. Each star has the student’s classroom number on it (not their name- for privacy reasons, and so she can use it the following year). All the start are laminated after she writes the number on it. About once or twice a month, she updates each kid’s star to show their current words per minute rate. She’s noticed that this really motivates some kids and it’s an easy way to show her class that fluency is important.
This idea could easily be adapted for home school kids. Laminate a shape and put it on your fridge. I guess there’s no real way to keep it anonymous, since your kids can probably figure out whose star is whose… But it’s still a good way to show that you as the parent value fluency.
Here’s a great way to get more use out of those leveled reader books you use for a week and then have to put back in the box until next year… and make an easy center for your students! After you’ve gone through the books with your guided reading groups and are moving on to the next set of books, place the ones you’ve already used in a box or plastic shoe box. Also include a bunch of timers for kids to use while they do a 1 minute timing. If your kids are on various levels, make a list of which kids use which books (for example, list kids who use the books with the red tab, green tab, etc.). Include copies of some basic story graphic organizers. Here’s what kids do for the center:
1. Whisper read the entire book. They should have seen it last week, so it won’t be killer. If you have those plastic PVC pipe phones, use them for this step too.
2. Fill out a graphic organizer about the book.
3. Turn to the first page of the book and start the timer counting down from 1 minute. When the timer stops, have them use a paper clip to mark where they finished. Have them do it a second time to see if they can get farther the second time.
So here’s the overall supplies list for the center:
leveled readers from last week (and current list of kids’ levels)