Fluency Passages

Fluency refers to a student's speed, smoothness, and ease of oral reading. Fluent readers read more quickly and can skip decoding in favor of comprehension. In addition, fluent readers enjoy reading more than students who read haltingly. Reading A-Z's Fluency Assessment Passages help students practice oral fluency and accuracy. They are also used to evaluate a student's reading fluency. 

Fluency Practice
Reading Rate and Accuracy Assessment

Fluency Practice
Reading A-Z's Fluency Assessment Passages take only a minute, so students can practice any time.

  • 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 smoothness and expression.
  • Timed Total Reading: Have a student start a stopwatch as she or he begins the passage, and stop it at the end. The student can record the reading time on a chart. Reading time will drop as the student repeats the reading. You can also calculate the words per minute and record it on the bottom of the passage.
  • Paired Readings: One partner starts the stopwatch when the reader begins the passage. At the end of one minute, the partner says “Stop” and circles the last word the reader read. The partner then marks the number of words read on the words-per-minute chart at the bottom. Partners then switch.

Reading Rate and Accuracy Assessment

  • Two copies of the passage—one for the student and one for the instructor
  • Stopwatch
  • Pencil
  • 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 that do not hold up the student's time. 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.

Follow along word by word with your pencil. Slash ( / ) through any words the student misses. 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
  • If a student self-corrects a mistake, the word is scored as correct.

Count the total words in the student's reading 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. Then, count the number of errors (slashes). Record this number in the "errors" box under 1 if this is the first reading, 2 if it is the second reading, and so on. Subtract the number of errors from the total number of words to find the number of correct words. Divide the number of correct words by the total words read and multiply this result by 100. This is the student's accuracy percentage. Record this number in the box. After about six readings, students should meet the target words per minute at about 90 to 95 percent accuracy.

Total words read: 60
Number of errors: 6

Number of correct words:
60 – 6 = 54

Accuracy percentage:
54/60 = .9

.9 x 100 = 90%