We all know that reading and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, or cookies and milk. Students who are strong in one area tend to have a good handle on the other. Ask most writers for advice and read often is on the top of most lists. Tonight I am also thinking about the importance of fluency for our growing readers. As I reflect on my students’ strengths and areas of need, it seems that the students who struggle to communicate their written message also have significant weaknesses in fluency. Neither comes easily to these learners. One of the girls copied an article titled: “Fluency- “The Forgotten Reading Strategy” for us to peruse…some good ideas and reminders.
I like to use poetry often throughout the year so the students are comfortable with poems and are actually quite fond of reading and writing short pieces. Poetry is a popular genre with young writers. Poems are like those short quilting projects that offer a quick turn-around time and almost instant gratification. They are wonderful little treasures that are sometimes forgotten. Poems are volunteer fluency mentors ready and willing to lend a hand. So I am going to dig out my overflowing folder of poems that I have snipped, copied, or typed and select some favorites to share. I also need to visit one of my favorite poetry blogs, http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com/ to read about the week's poetry stretch. This poetry feature is often appropriate to use with young writers and a fun way to play with words. There is much more to think about, but for now "Cheers to good books, poetry, and mentor texts."