From Phonics to Fluency (Using the Bible to Develop Fluency Skills in Beginning Readers and Writers)

I spent years developing fluency lessons for junior high students struggling to read out loud. I applied those same principles to my tutoring sessions and in teaching my own little people to read. One of the ways I applied it was through the use of this notebook. I've spent the last year using it for my 1st grader and on multiple volunteers. All were successful, which is why I feel confident sharing this product with you. I believe in the following reading and writing process: begin by building a solid phonemic foundation where readers learn the multiple sounds associated with each letter and letter blends, from there teach fluency while learning basic grammar rules, move from fluency to comprehension and six-trait writing skills, and comprehension tools to critical/analytic reading and writing. This notebook develops a master of phonics to a fluent reader by focusing on:

  1. Accuracy

  2. Appropriate Rate

  3. Voice Inflection

Each day of the week is designed to focus on these aspects while working on vocabulary and sentence development. The best part about implementing this into your day (homeschool or not) is that it takes 20-30 minutes to make Bible literacy a priority in your readers life.

Our Example:

She decorated her notebook with the objective statement on the cover so we could begin each day by reading it. That way the end goal was at the front and center of our mind!


What I learned: Hindsight I wish I would've let her pick a primary composition notebook (duh) because the "wide ruled notebook" just did not provide wide enough spaces for a 1st grader to write and a primary composition notebook typically provides a place to draw a picture, which is an important aspect to consider for early writers.


For the first week you establish procedures and go through an overview of the Psalms so that there is some background knowledge they have to build upon. Once those procedures are established you refer to those procedures each week as you go through one Psalm (which you read at least five times from Monday to Friday).

Haha, can you tell the notebook was well used?


What I'll share next are a couple pages that show completed work, which I hope will give you a general idea of what skills your reader and writer will gain by implementing this activity in your day! If you do it every day during this school year you will read every Psalm through fluently and could implement these strategies with other portions of the Bible. (We obviously broke up the longer Psalms - like Psalm 119 - into more reasonable chunks for a 1st grader.)


After each week there is a Teacher Evaluation and a Student Self-Evaluation to assess how a student is progressing through each skill as well as posters that help a student remember what an appropriate rate sounds like, what to do with your voice when you hit certain punctuation, and what an accurate reader sounds like. We referred to each of these posters daily (which my daughter helped me create!).

I am beyond excited to share this product with you! Because I believe it is effective. AND the Bible is the best resource to use to develop fluency and comprehension skills - as they learn to read fluently, they learn about God. Win. Win.


If you are interested in purchasing this product visit my Teachers Pay Teachers page. And if you find success with it, will you please rate it and leave a comment? No matter what, I'd love to hear from you! If your reader is still struggling with fluency, please do not hesitate to contact me. My job is to give readers and writers the tools they need for learning success!



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© 2019 Rebecca Lowery, M.Ed.

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