The Importance of Using Fluency Folders in the Classroom
Reading fluency is an important skill for all students, even children just learning the alphabet and letter sounds. Fluency is the ability of students to read texts effortlessly without having to pause. Speed, accuracy, and proper pronunciation are the three key components of reading fluency. Several types of reading skills go into developing fluency in young readers. These include phonics, word recognition, and confidence. My favorite way to work on my students’ fluency in the classroom is with phonics-based fluency folders!
What is a fluency folder?
A fluency folder is an all-in-one place for students to work on their fluency and reading skills! I love keeping things organized in the classroom, and since teaching reading involves a ton of moving parts, fluency folders make it easy to group each students’ fluency materials.
Why is fluency practice important to use in the classroom?
If you are following a “Science of Reading” method of instruction, you’re probably well aware of why phonics-based fluency is so important for beginning readers. Phonics-based fluency practice helps beginning readers prepare to read any kind of text that is set in front of them. Instead of using context clues or photos to break down a text, phonics-based fluency gives young readers the ability to read without meaningful hints. Lots of phonics practice is also important for dyslexic children or those with other reading difficulties, as they can often get by on context clues and other tip-offs.
Phonics-based fluency folders are a great way to tailor fluency practice to each of your students’ needs. You, parents, and students themselves can track their progress throughout the year to ensure each child stays on track and improves where needed. Plus, they can encourage students to practice fluency on their own time! I love using these Phonics-Based Fluency Folders with my students.
How can I use fluency folders with my class?
There are several great uses for fluency folders in kindergarten, first grade, and even second grade. No matter what level your students are at, here are some great ways to incorporate them into your classroom routine:
- Beginning of the year check-in — During your back to school assessments, it’s important to get a feel for where your students’ reading abilities are at. Some of the pages in my Fluency Folder Packet work great for fluency assessments at the start of the year.
- Differentiated fluency folders — It’s pretty rare for every student to be on the exact same reading level. After assessing your students, choose the Fluency Folder pages that each student needs to practice their skills. Then, you can print them out and create differentiated folders for your class to meet each student where they are at!
- Centers — You can place a whole fluency folder or individual pages at a fluency/phonics/word work station during centers. Since there is a ton of practice to choose from, you can select new pages for every center time!
- Small group practice — Fluency folders are great for targeted fluency practice with students who are struggling. Simply group students by fluency level and assign fluency practice pages to give them the practice they need.
- Whole group practice — As your phonics-based fluency lessons progress through the year, you can bring in pages from students’ fluency folders to complete as a class. This makes it easy to let students’ folders follow along with your phonics scope and sequence.
- Send home for extra practice — As teachers, we all know how important it is to get in extra reading practice whenever possible. Fluency folders are great for extra reading practice at home with a resource that students already have. Simply assign pages out of the folder for students’ to complete at home. You could have parents assess their work or have students self-assess.
If you have yet to try fluency folders with your class, this is your sign to start! Fluency folders are a great way to hone your students’ phonics-based fluency skills and set them up to become the best readers they can be. If you’re looking for a good resource to get started, these Phonics-Based Fluency Folder pages are loaded with amazing material to help every student become an expert in fluency — and an A+ reader!
Hi, Jodi! I totally agree with your point. Fluency is so important in first grade! I have never heard of a “fluency folder” before, but after reading your blog, I can definitely see how I could use these in my classroom to help my students keep up with all of their fluency-related materials.