IMG_8376My 4th graders have been doing some different work than what I’ve been doing with my other grade levels.  I just started working with 4th grade this semester and just a couple of weeks ago.  When I looked at the reason they weren’t accelerating in their learning within the classroom when looking at their reading tests, it was because of their fluency.

We have been doing some work on fluency.  We’ve been going over tricky word parts/patterns to decode more quickly.  We’ve been going over trickier words we don’t often come across.  We’ve also been practicing how to be more fluent and phrased readers and heeding punctuation.

And it hasn’t been easy.  This has been a struggle with some of these kiddos for a couple of years.  Today when I had them come to group they were feeling a little deflated.  “This is so hard.  When will it get easy?  I’m never going to get better.”  I stopped them right there.  We weren’t going to talk negative about ourselves in my room.  At. All.  We had to use the power of positive thinking.  I made them right then and there say, “I’m awesome.  I’m a great reader.  I have the ability to read phrased and fluently and heed punctuation.  I will rock this.”

I timed them again on their current reading passage and they all shaved almost a full minute (one of them shaved a minute and a half off) and increased their words per minute by 25-50 WPM which is AWESOME.  They were beaming from ear to ear and I couldn’t have been more proud.  Their accuracy also shot through the roof.  One of them went from 88% accuracy to 99% accuracy.

We always graph our progress.  When I showed them their growth over the week they were so proud of themselves.  Today they ALL had personal bests as well.

I pulled out my Staples Easy Button and they all pushed it after we talked about their progress.  When we put our minds to something and we work hard then what was once difficult is now easy (or easier!)