Today I'm thinking about fluency.
On standardized tests, the passages are typically very long. This is a challenge for kids--not only because of reading ability, but because of maturity levels and attention spans. Fluency and stamina are important for success.
One thing that third graders (and all kids, really) hate is to have to do something more than once. In writing, it's the revising they hate the most. At first, repeated readings of the same passage get the same blank stares. "But we already read that!"
So, I like to go ahead and explain what fluency is and why/how we practice it. One super fun way is to begin with a high-interest passage and add a treat. I call this fluency lesson, "Let's Get it Poppin'"! But there are lots of other slogans that would work, like "Fluency Rocks." The basis for the lesson is a reading passage based on the candy Pop Rocks. At Dollar Tree, I purchase bags with 22 individual packets of "popping candy" for only $1. What a deal! I pass the candy out when we start to read.
The kids LOVE it and want to do it again and again. I sometimes give out Pop Rocks later in the year when the enthusiasm has waned somewhat.
The PPT I use, including the passage are absolutely free on my Teacher's Notebook store and you can click here to download: Fluency: Let's Get it Poppin!
Have fun with this. Hope you and your students have a rockin' time with repeated readings and become amazingly fluent by the end of the year.