Voice Recording (pictured left)

Voice recording imgUsing voice recording software (that comes on most PCs), a microphone and headphones, students read and record a passage in a book for one minute. Then they listen to it with headphones and record again. They do this 3X and save the best one for the teacher to use as an assessment. It is amazing the reaction when they hear themselves read, and it really helps students improve! This is also a great way for students and parents to see reading improvement over semesters.


Narrative Poetry Weekly Plan (using Guided Reading groups):

Week 21-22 Narrative Poetry- Highwayman

Highwayman -Power Point

Student Learning Objectives (for Guided Reading groups (self-checkingI WILL” STATEMENTS:

LA Guided Reading – Student Objectives


Reading-Flush bookReading and writing go together. However, I will say that I have found success in my own classes by trying a few things. One of the best ways to get reading fluency scores to improve is for students to read more! If they read books at home on their reading level weekly and consistently, the reading scores go up and so does their writing, amazing correlation, isn’t it? I am talking about 4-6th grade students reading a novel at their reading level (they choose, but I check it) 30 minutes per night minimum for 5 days per week and parents need to sign the form, their reading magically improves! It is quite amazing! In order for it to work, the books in the library have a lot to do with it and they need to be high-interest books. I always created my own library of high-interest books on all different Lexile levels using Scholastic.

Why do students LOVE to be on the floor?

Why do students LOVE to be on the floor?

The more books the students order, the more books I got for free for my classroom! It’s a win-win situation! I am also a big fan of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) as well as giving students time to read as a self-selected reward for finishing their work.

The classroom library can also be used to create literature circle groups! In my experience, literature circle groups increase standardized test scores in reading comprehension (and they are a great alternative to boring, repetitive worksheets – for more on this please read the article, A Year Without Worksheets). Students self-select a book and choose their own topics and discussion questions. There are tons of resources out there for creating literature circle groups. Here is one excellent literature circle guide by Scholastic on the book, Holes.

Book Report Projects (using cereal boxes)

Students self-selected which type/style of report from a shoebox filled with the character’s special remembrances, to a travel brochure depicting the characters and setting of the book, to a cereal box with the student’s version of the book cover. Freedom to be creative!

My other strategy that has worked really well for increased comprehension scores is reading a story out loud together (whole class/pairs/etc.) and discussing it while providing specific visual and ELL strategies. These strategies are great and they work for all students, not just ELL students, such as student-created vocabulary/picture cards, acting out parts of the story, order of events and graphic story mapping.

Story board illustrated and drawn by student

Story board illustrated and drawn by student

Vocabulary Power Point (visual/ELL) – Island of Blue Dolphins

Amazing website with more Power Points and resources that go with the Reading Street Curriculum:

I also think that weekly buddy reading to younger students helps to develop confidence in readers as well as positive role-modeling.

Alejandro buddy reading

ESL student buddy reading