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How to Give a Fluency Assessment

Fluency, Literacy

Written by: Jess Dalrymple

Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. Fluent readers are able to read conversationally, at the same pace and tone as if they’re having a conversation. You can determine if your students are on track towards becoming fluent readers with a quick fluency assessment.

Ways to Use a Fluency Assessment

  1. Your students’ independent reading levels are determined by fluency and comprehension. You can see if the materials they’re using are on level, too easy, or too difficult with a quick fluency assessment. 
  2. You can monitor students’ reading progress. Below you will find the steps it takes to determine a student’s reading fluency and accuracy.

How to Give a Quick Fluency Assessment

  1. Select a reading passage and set a timer for 60 seconds.
  1. Listen to the student read aloud. Mark any words that were changed, skipped or caused hesitation. These are the error words. (Jot down any observations you make about the student’s expression. Remember, reading should be similar in pace and tone as a conversation.)
  1. Mark the text to indicate where the reading ended when the timer stopped.
  1. Count the words in the selection of the passage that was read. This is words per minute (WPM).
  1. Subtract the number of errors from WPM to determine the accuracy of words read.
  1. Divide the accuracy by the WPM.
  1. The resulting number is Fluency Percentage.

How to Interpret the Final Scores

  • 96-100% = The text is good for independent reading.
  • 90-95% = The text is good for guided instruction.
  • <89% = The text is too difficult. The student may be having trouble comprehending the text.
  • Note: If a student is self-correcting at a high rate, s/he is self-monitoring for understanding.

Video Demonstration

Reading Passages

If you’re in need of reading passages to practice comprehension skills and track fluency, the Lucky Little Learner Leveled Reading Passages are just the ticket!

Download 2nd Grade Reading Passages HERE

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