Fluency

When you and your class read your writing out loud, you often hear things in it that you do not experience any other way.
Peter Elbow

Fluency
‡ graceful, easy to read aloud
· natural sounding ‡effective, smooth, phrasing · effective use of transitions/ conjunctions · variety in length and structure that create a pleasant rhythm

What to look for...
Rhythm, flow, natural cadence Smooth pacing WellWell-built sentences Sentence length enhances the meaning Varied sentence beginnings
Each of these bulleted items could be mini/teachable moments as students are writing.

Sentence Beginnings:

We went to the beach. We had fun. We saw seagulls. We went home.
Vary the beginnings and combine sentences :

Despite being overrun by pesky seagulls, we had fun at the beach.

Don·t say:

´At this point in time, we feel we are ready to begin to fight.µ

Say:

³Now, we¶re ready to fight.´

Make every word work hard and your sentences will be powerful, full of punch.

Key Question:

Can you FEEL the words and phrases flow together as you read it aloud?
Is the flow of writing ´rightµ for the purpose and audience?

Use Literature

A. Read literature
Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
p. 9

Remember

by Toni Morrison

Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti
Establish PURPOSE: Listen for changes in sentence length. How do the changes in sentence lengths add to the fluency of the story?

§
Like fine poetry, children¶s picture books are meant to be seen AND heard. Even adolescents like to be read to«by reading aloud I not only let kids hear the richness of the language, but I invite adolescents to read them also.
Linda Reif

Working on Writing Activities 
Choral reading  Sentence combining/embedding      Scrambled sentences Story re-writes Work on beginnings Cut the fat Sentence building

Style Stretch
If you are a visual learner, be an auditory learner for an activity.

Choral Reading
or

Reader¶s Theatre
Activity with Introducing Reader¶s Theatre Theatre.

Sentence Combining
The dog hurried across the street. The dog was attempting to avoid the car. Attempting to avoid the car, the dog hurried across the street.

Combine the sentences into one.

Sentence combining:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. I live in a house. The house is made of brick. The brick is red. The house has a garage. The garage is brown. The garage is made of wood There is a fence. The fence is high. The fence goes around the house I like the backyard. The backyard has trees. The trees have oranges. The backyard has grass. The backyard has plants. The backyard has flowers. The flowers are colorful.

Created by Dr. Beverly Chin

Cutting the Fat!
1. The stadium has ample parking space for fans· automobiles. The stadium has ample parking space.

2. There is no shortcut to learning bridge. 3. In the appendix is a complete list of references to the author·s previous works. 4. The ability to write well is essential to success in business. 5. She joined the company at a higher salary than she expected to receive when she applied for the position. 6. Let·s discuss this later.

Cutting the Fat!

Use Student Sample Papers
A. Look at and discuss rubric B. Evaluate anonymous papers
1. Read story together 2. Evaluate individually, then as small group 3. Share score with large group 4. Discuss the reasoning for the score

The Pin The roar of the Olympics, the thrill of a roller coaster, and the peacefulness of the coast, all together. They mean much more than a piece of cold metal with colors thrown on the front. Holding any one of my pins brings memories of past events. My stomach falls as I hold up a roller coaster car. I feel the warmth of the sun as an Oregon coast pin lies in my hand. I smell pine as I hold a Christmas wreath. The crowds gasp as a high jumper reaches the peak of his leap. All of that pinned onto one hat.

Dear Sir or Madam: I am writing to you in response to a matter I feel is crucial to the survival of democracy and to the continuation of Western thought. I ask, beg rather, that the brilliant individual who created the Alaska Writing Assessment topic be immortalized for all time in a US postage stamp. Perhaps you have no true comprehension of how much this soul-searching question has affected my life. I believe, in all sincerity, that this question managed to awake in my deadened young mind the infinite wonder of the universe. To even the smallest of minds, this question is one of awesome

scope and emotional depth. Dear friends, who should be on a postage stamp? This ancient question raises bewilderment and reverence. What are childish questions like, ´What is reality?µ and ´What is the good?µ compared with ´Who should be on a postage stamp?µ There are many irrelevant issues in modern America such as the democratic ideals of natural rights, racial equality, and morality. Most people would have chosen a question dealing with these silly issues, or something like genetic ethics, abortion, or education. This man, however, has managed to cut off all the fat of modern America

and get to the bone: postage stamps. He should be honored, adored even. He has opened the hearts and minds of Alaskan youth with one questions: Who should be on a postage stamp? Postage stamps are the perfect representation of the American mind. They are so vital to existence! Obviously, the faces on stamps affect our nation tremendously. You, my friends, control this vital artery of the American mainstream. You hold the power to put faces on stamps, and one man deserves it. With his timeless question concerning stamps, he has proved himself worthy of being on one. I

ask you to reward this genius, this saint, this great teacher. My friends, the man who created the Alaskan Writing Assessment Topic should be honored forever on a US postage stamp. Thank you for your time.

Writein Will
One day there was a seven year old boy called Will. He loved to write. In his life he has made ten great books. They read them every day in school. But there was a kid who hated Will. He was called Eric. He decided to make bigger stories than Will, using 14 pages of his draft book. Now that for Will was a problem. So, to get things back to normal he used whole draft books. The war began. Will used 5 draft books. Eric used 10. Will used so many because he was behind that he used 100 draft books. Eric only used 20 draft books. Will patted Eric on the shoulder and said Eric I wish we were friends. The war stopped. They became friends.

One of the hardest tasks of the writer is to read what is on the page, not what the writer hoped would be on the page.
Donald Murray

To reinforce sentence fluency...

You could say...
Á I read this aloud and I love the sound of it! Á You seem to know what a sentence is-good for you! Á You have a long sentence, then a short one-I like that. Á Your sentences begin in different ways-that¶s great. Á I like this phrase-After a while-it helps me understand when things happened.

Fluency
Do you: Read aloud to students? Read often from a variety of sources(all genres)? Encourage students to read their own work? Check beginning sentences for variety? Show students how to vary sentence length? Then you·re teaching fluency!

Table talk: how are you are teaching fluency or planning to?

Fluency
‡In what ways are you currently teaching Sentence Fluency? ‡How might you use Sentence Fluency in your teaching? ‡What is the importance of using fluency in your content area?

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