ExpressYourself
 
  Growing Independence and Fluency
                        Christi Keith


Rationale:  In order for a student to progress to a good reader he/she must become both independent and fluent.  This lesson focuses on fluency. "Fluency means reading faster, smoother, more expressively, or more quietly with the goal of reading silently.  Fluent reading approaches the speed of speech." (Murray)  In this lesson the students will be required to read and reread Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge until they become fluent.  We will be focusing on expression; however, the rereading of the text will help to build automaticity as well.  This lesson will help students to accomplish three goals.  First as students reread familiar text they will build their level of automaticity and thus expressive reading level as well.  Second, through this rereading and building of automaticity, students will learn the importance of reading with expression.  Third, students will build their fluency level.

Materials:  Dry erase board/ chalkboard, A copy of Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge for each student, checklist for buddy reading (attached), pencils or other writing utensils for each student.

Procedure:
1. Begin by reviewing cross checking.  Remind students that if they see a word that they do not recognize, that it is helpful to go back and reread the sentence for clues.  Model this concept for the students:  Pick a sentence from the book and choose a word to ãmiss.ä  Read the sentence and leave out the ãmissedä word.  Go back and read the sentence to help find the word.
2.   After crosschecking has been reviewed, the class will begin to discuss fluency.
3. Today we are going to talk about reading with fluency.  Does anyone know what fluency means?  Well, fluency is when we try to read like we talk.  We talk with expression and this is how we want to read too!
4. Does anyone know what expression means?  If I said I like to hear people read with expression, what would you say expression meant?  As the students answer combine or reword some of their answers to generate the following:  expression is when we change the volume, speed and tone of our voice as we read.
5. Write this definition on the board and under the definition make three columns labeled speed, volume and tone.  This will help the students break down the definition and see three components to reading with expression/fluency.
6. Does anyone know what volume means?  If I said turn the volume of the television down what would volume mean in that sentence?  Good, volume in that sentence means how loud or quiet something is.  So, volume when we read is the same way.  We can change the volume that we use to read.  Okay, everyone listen to me and see if you can notice the different volumes I use to talk.  Say ãstopä whispering, with a normal voice and very loudly.  Did anyone notice the differences in how I said stop?  Good we can show what we are feeling by how loud our voices are.
7. Does anyone know what speed means?  Once again use the students definitions to piece together a viable definition for the class.  Speed is how quickly or slowly something is read.  Now I am going to read a sentence to you·T---today·I·am·g÷g÷going·to·school.  Did that sentence sound funny to anyone?  Good, it should have!  We should always try to read the way that we talk.  We donât talk with big spaces between each word and we donât sound out every word as we go either.  Now I am going to read the sentence to you in a different way and you tell me what you think.  Read the sentence very fast.  Could you even understand what I said?  Probably not because I went so fast.  We donât want to read like that either.  We usually want to read like this·read the sentence at a normal pace.  There are times that we slow down and speed up.  Sometimes this change can show different feelings.  If we were scared, excited, or nervous we might talk fast.  So just as we sometimes talk faster or slower there are times that we read faster and slower than normal.
8. Does anyone know what tone means?  Tone is the sound of our voice when we read.  Can you ever tell that your mom or dad is angry with you just by the way their voice sounds?  Well, that is what tone is the way our voice shows different feelings.  Using the example sentence (Today I am going to school) give examples of different tones and ask the students to guess what you were feeling as you read.  Tell them that we also use different tones to show what the characters in books are feeling as we read.
9. Give each student a copy of Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge.  Ask the students to listen as you read the first page.  Read the page in a monotonous voice and at a slow pace. Does anyone like the story so far?  I didnât think so!  Nobody talks like that, so we shouldnât read like that either.  Now I am going to read like I would talk.  I am going to change the volume, speed and tone I use as I read.  Pay attention and raise your hand when you notice a time that I change tone, volume or speed.
10. When you are done reading call on different students and make sure your definition was clear to all of the students according to their observances of your reading.
11.  Have the students get in groups of two.  First, I want everyone to flip through the pages and tell me what they notice about the story.  Well, I noticed that there are a lot of different people talking so this will give us a good opportunity to change how we read.  Remember to read as you would talk.  I want each buddy of the group to read through the story two times on their own.  This will help us to automatically read the words after and we can spend time concentrating on reading with expression.  Next I want each buddy to get a copy of the checklist (attached) and read over it.  When you have both read over the checklist I want one person in the group to go first and read the story very expressively.  Their buddy needs to make checkmarks on the sheet to tell whether or not the story was read with expression.  Both buddies will read and fill out a checklist.  When you are done raise your hand and I will call on you for you to come and read to me!  It would be  a good idea to reread the story while you are waiting to read to me to help you know when to change your volume, tone or speed!

Assessment:  Take up the checklists for a participation grade and also to notice where the students exhibited an understanding of reading with expression and where you might need to go back.  Next each student will read to the teacher and the teacher, using the same checklist as the students, will notice whether or not the child reads with expression.  This will also allow the teacher to re-explain any concept that the student may not have yet mastered.

References:
Fox, Mem.  Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge.  Kane/Miller Book Publishers.  1991
Hill, Tonya.  "Beeing" Expressive Growing Independence and Fluency.  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/hillgf.html
Murray, Bruce.  "Developing Reading Fluency."  The Reading Genie. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/fluency.html

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Expression Checklist
Your Name ___________________________________________________________________________
ãBeeingä Expressive Checklist
First Readerâs Name _____________________________
 

   None                                Some                            A lot
Changes Volume
Changes Speed
Changes Tone
Reads well with Partner
What did the reader do REALLY well? ___________________________________________________________________________
What does the reader need to work on? ___________________________________________________________________________
 

Expression Checklist
Second Readerâs Name ___________________________
 
 

   None                                  Some                           A lot
Changes Volume
Changes Speed
Changes Tone
Reads well with Partner
What did the reader do REALLY well? ___________________________________________________________________________
What does the reader need to work on? ___________________________________________________________________________