Trading Spaces Tuesday with Reading Toward the Stars

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Hi, it's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars!  I am so excited to hang out at my friend Carla's blog for Trading Spaces Tuesday! Carla and I met through our classes as we both were working on our Masters.  Today she is over at Jessica's blog Literacy Spark talking about activities to teach nonfiction text structures, and Jessica is over at my blog talking about helping students make inferences.

I love teaching fluency and spend a few minutes ever day working with my student groups on some type of fluency skill.  This is such an essential skill for helping students become stronger readers.  One of my favorite memories from my summer clinic before getting my Master's was doing Reader's Theater with several other students.  The students really enjoyed them.

One of the books we had to read was Good-bye Round Robin: 25 Effective Oral Reading Strategies, and it was perfect for giving us some great ideas for helping with fluency.
A fun way for students to practice fluency, especially prosody and pitch, is through readers' theater.  These are simple to use and allow students a chance to practice and then perform in front of their peers and other adults.  I always invite other classrooms to my classroom for our performances.

Reader's Theater can be as simple as students just reading off of the script or as elaborate with students creating some props for the play.  I have done it both ways.  The students love doing them either way, and all that really matters is that they are getting practice with reading.

When practicing in the classroom, we use these fun microphones I got from The Dollar Tree.  They love using these to read because it makes them sound funny and inflect their voices.
I send the scripts home with them to practice, which they find fun.  I can always tell if they practiced because they get better every day.  Once we have run through the script a few times, we get up and practice together.  This script allowed us to use masks to help show who the character is.

Then after practicing and being fluent, we perform for others in the school ~ the highlight of the week!

Reader's Theater scripts are super easy to make and easy to come by!  There are many great books with fun scripts in them, but you can make them or get them free from the Internet as well.  To make your own script, you need a book with a great deal of dialogue or a good fairy tale. Then you use the dialogue to create the script.  So simple that even kids can do it!

There are also many websites that have free reader's theater scripts ready to print and use.  Here are a few of my favorites that I have used.
Students love reader's theater and don't realize they are learning so much as they read the scripts.  It is a win-win for everyone!

Thank you, Carla, for letting me be a part of your day today!  Stop on by my blog, Reading Toward the Stars, to find out what Jessica has to say about helping students make inferences.

Thanks for sharing such great advice Andrea.  My students love to use Reader's Theater in small group, and I find it's easy to bring in other reading skills too depending on the story.  If you have fluency ideas that have worked well, please feel free to share.  I am giving a Fluency workshop at my school on Thursday, and I plan to include that information in a follow up blog post, so stay tuned. 

In other news...guess what readers??  It's time to celebrate at Teachers Pay Teachers!  I will be running a sale in conjunction with Teachers Pay Teachers making all of my products 28% off.  Do I hear "Yeah!!!"  Here's a cute little flyer from my friend Jessica at Hanging out in First.  


  1. I am really trying to spend more time on fluency this year. My biggest hurdle is getting students to read words on the page EXACTLY as they are. Mine will insert words that make sense and do not change meaning, but it is not what is printed on the page. I always forget I can send the reading material home the night before a student will read to the group at school. I do that with kids who struggle, but I need to be doing it with all of the kids! Thanks, Caitlin (

    1. Thanks for dropping by Caitlin. I am just getting ready to do a parent workshop on Thursday and am going to post my handouts, video clip and materials...hopefully tomorrow. (need to write it up yet. :-) Perhaps you'll get a few ideas there too. Partner poems are another similar activity to reader's theater you might try too.


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