Fluency Teaching Tips
Reading A-Z's Fluency Passages are designed for a one-minute read, allowing students to do several readings of each passage to improve reading rate and accuracy.
- One-on-One: Read the Fluency Assessment Passage to the student so she or he can hear fluent reading. Have the student read the passage. If the student gets stuck on a word, read the word and have her or him repeat it. Repeated one-on-one readings will increase speed, accuracy, smoothness and expression.
- Independent Timed Reading: Have a student start a stopwatch as she or he begins a passage, and stop it at the end of the passage. The student can record the reading time on a chart or graph. Reading time will drop as the student repeats the reading. You can also calculate the words read per minute and record it on the bottom of the passage.
- Paired Readings: One partner times the other partner reading a passage. At the end of one minute, the partner says "Stop" and circles the last word the reader has read. The partner then marks the number of words read on the words-per-minute chart at the bottom of the page. After several readings the partners then switch roles.
Procedures for Timed ReadingsYou will need:
- Two copies of the assessment passageone for the student and one for the instructor
- Stopwatch or clock
- Clipboard (so students will not see what you are writing)
Administer a one-minute reading, starting the stopwatch when the student begins the first word of the passage (student will not read titles). Tell the student that if she or he has trouble (struggling for more than 3 to 5 seconds), you will say the word so she or he can keep reading. After one minute, say "Stop," stop the stopwatch, and circle the last word read.
During the reading, resist the urge to correct mistakes. Mistakes and self-correction will be counted in the score. If the student has extreme difficulty, stop the test. Reassure the student that she or he will redo the assessment after further reading practice. You should select a lower level passage for the next assessment.
Follow along on your copy word by word with your pencil. Make a slash ( / ) through any words the student misses or cannot read without help. Mark a dash above words skipped. Errors include:
- Skipped words
- Mispronounced words
- Word substitutions, including incorrect forms of the word
- Words in the wrong order; both or all words are counted as wrong
- Struggling that lasts for 3 to 5 seconds, or more
The following are not considered misses:
- Added words
- Varying pronunciation due to accent, dialect, or speech impediment
- Repetitions in which the wording is correct
- Self-correcting a mistake; the word is scored as correct.
- Count the total words the student reads in one minute using the words-per-line totals listed in the margin. This is the student's words-per-minute reading rate. Mark this on the chart at the bottom, along with the date of the reading.
- Count the number of errors (slashes). Record the number in the "errors" box under 1 if this is the first reading, 2 if it is the second reading, and so on.li
- Subtract the number of errors from the total number of words read to find the number of correct words read.li
- Divide the number of correct words by the total words read and multiply this result by 100. This is the student's accuracy percentage.li
- Record this number in the box.
After about four to six readings, students should reach the target words-per-minute standard for their grade level with an accuracy rate of 90 to 95 percent.
Total words read: 60
Number of errors: 6
Number of correct words:
60 6 = 54
54/60 = .9
.9 x 100 = 90%