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Reimagining Some Favorite Fluency-Building Strategies

Do you ever stumble upon something that completely thrills your students AND accelerates their learning? That is exactly what happened in the situation I am sharing with you today! Those of you who follow me on social media may have already viewed the reel I shared concerning this. Today's post is for my blog friends, though!

During this particular exercise, we began with a familiar strategy for helping students identify and read new skills within a text: highlighting the target skill before reading. We do this all the time, and my students already love that part. From time to time, we will use finger lights during reading exercises, particularly when I have students who are still struggling with directionality or print awareness.

For some reason I decided to let these students use finger lights, on this day. What I didn't expect was the effect the lights would have on the highlighted portions of the text. It created a neon effect on the letters! (Note that we were using yellow highlighters; I do not know if the effect would be the same on other colors.)

When this happened, my students got so excited! They wanted to read again and again and again and... Oh, did I mention that our goal was to build fluency with our new skill??? In this moment, the motivation was natural, the reading was fun, and the repeated readings were more effective for fluency-building as a result of my students' engagement.

There's really nothing "revolutionary" about this, because we are all familiar with highlighting text to target new skills, and finger lights are commonly used tools for student engagement. The only difference, in this instance, was the combination of those two "favorites." In the end, we discovered a "wow" factor using these fluency-building strategies together.

If you give this a try, let me know what your students think!

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