Improve reading speed and accuracy with repeated readings of Fluency Practice Passages. Students orally read
passages designed for one-minute readings several times with appropriate expression and smoothness to
increase reading rate, resulting in improved focus on comprehension. View our Fluency Standards Table for additional information
about recommended reading rates.
Fluency is a key foundational skill that helps students read complex text with greater
understanding. When students read with accuracy and expression at an appropriate reading rate,
their fluency supports their comprehension. Repeated reading practice with short passages
improves word recognition and automaticity.
How to Use Fluency Practice Passages
Passages are provided from Levels F to Z and are original fiction or nonfiction text that can be used
for one-on-one reading, independent timed reading, or partner timed reading.
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.
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 words per
minute and reading time on a chart or graph.
Paired Readings: One partner times the other partner reading a passage. At
the end of one minute, the partner with the timer says, "Stop" and circles the last word
read. This partner then marks the number of words read on
the table at the bottom of the page. After several readings the partners
then switch roles.
Timed Reading Procedures
You 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
(the 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 accounted for 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:
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:
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.
Timed Reading Scoring
Write the student's goal rate in the box provided.
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 (WPM) rate. Write this in the chart at the bottom, along with the
date of the reading.
Count the number of errors (slashes). Record the number in the "Errors" line for the read.
Subtract the number of errors from the total number of words read to find the words correct per minute (WCPM).
Divide the words correct per minute (WCPM) by the words per minute (WPM) and multiply this result by 100. This is the
student's Accuracy/Reading Rate percentage.
Record this number in the box.
After about four to six readings, students should reach the target words correct-per-minute (WCPM) standard for their grade
level with an Accuracy/Reading Rate of 90 to 95 percent.