Fluency Idol

Fluency Idol
Posted on 05/10/2018
reading poem

After reading an article about a research-based method to increase fluency, Ms. Beaton implemented a fun, authentic program with her students called Fluency Idol, right after winter break.  The already positive results are helping to accomplish one of this year’s Fairview School building goals, to have 80% of students be fluent with words correct per minute, meshing with the State’s Benchmarks.

Every week, students get to pick out a poem of their choice from a list in their binders.  They take the poem home to practice throughout the week and sometimes practice during the school day too.  “While practicing, they are working on reading smoothly, appropriate rate, volume, expression, accuracy and things like that,” explained Ms. Beaton.  On Fridays, several students get randomly picked, and they perform their poem for the class.  Ms. Beaton has a microphone, and she plays the American Idol theme song while she announces the contestants.  “They’ve really enjoyed it, and it has been a fun way for them to practice and perform for an authentic audience.”

With the building goal in mind, it is exciting for Ms. Beaton to see that every student has attained huge growth toward the benchmark, and second-grader Cooper agreed that he likes the opportunity, saying, “I like getting to share in front of your friends, and they can be proud of you.”  Cooper takes his poem home and practices reading it throughout the week.  He sometimes performs it in front of his parents too, and he believes the process has helped him read more efficiently, faster, and more smoothly.

Ms. Beaton said, “I’ve seen a lot of kids not just improve in their rate, but also their ability to read with expression, and to be more accurate.  They really like it and are excited and want to be picked to perform, and their overall confidence to be able to speak in front of their peers has been greatly improved too.”  While Ms. Beaton is the only teacher currently implementing Fluency Idol, the other Fairview teachers are interested in seeing the results, offering the potential to expand the program in the future. 

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