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Teaching Tip: Using the Book Bag to Increase Phrased and Fluent Reading

Teaching Tip: Using the Book Bag to Increase Phrased and Fluent Reading

Rereading books plays an important role in helping students consolidate new learning and build fluency. The first time a student reads a book, they may have quite a few challenges to work out. Sorting through these challenges can take time and will often slow down beginning readers.

It is very important for students to reread books. Rereading helps students increase the speed of their reading but, most importantly, supports building a strong processing system. Rereading helps students see and recognize words faster and encourages grouping words together. Many students are better able to use intonation and gather a deeper understanding of the text as they reread. You may even see your readers correcting things they missed in the previous reading.

The Literacy Footprints guided reading lessons are based on Jan Richardson’s framework found in The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading. On Day 2 of the Literacy Footprints lessons, students reread the book they read the day before. Then we encourage teachers to have students place their books into a book box for rereading during independent or partner reading time and to take home their books in a book bag for rereading at home. These multiple readings of their instructional books support increased fluency. 

The Literacy Footprints Digital Book Bag has been set up to take on the remote role of the book box and book bags used in the classroom. Once the student reads a book for the first time, it automatically moves to the book bag. The book stays in the book bag until the student reads it two more times (three times total), and then it moves to the student’s bookshelf. For the second reading, you may elect to take a running record to monitor the student’s progress; have the student open up the book in the book bag and read it to you. Then have the student read the book again to themselves or a family member. I have found that students really like the idea of getting that book to move along from book bag to bookshelf. 

For more on how to use the Digital Book Bag, watch this video