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Instruction for Fluent Reading

  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Put theory to practice with the following instructional sample resources from Building Fluency: Lessons and Strategies for Reading Success, by Wiley Blevins and Scholastic’s Fluency Formula.

 

Step One: Give an Oral Fluency Assessment (OFA) to all students.
At the beginning, middle, and end of each school year, listen to students read aloud three grade-level Benchmark Passages for one minute each. As students read, mark any words read incorrectly. At the end of one minute, mark the last word read aloud. The Fluency Formula Assessment makes it easy to calculate the fluency score, measured in words read correctly per minute (WCPM). The WCPM score can be reported to meet state and local requirements.

Step Two: Interpret students' OFA scores.
Use the Oral Fluency Assessment Calculator from Scholastic Red

How to Interpret and Use the Fluency Norms from Building Fluency: Lessons and Strategies for Reading Success, by Wiley Blevins

The norms are listed as percentile scores. For example, a percentile score of 65 means that 65% of students received fluency scores equal to or lower than the number indicated. Generally, students reading at the 59th percentile will have good comprehension of grade-level texts. Therefore, a fourth-grade student reading at 118 Words Read Per Minute (WCPM) (50th percentile) would be expected to have a least adequate comprehension of grade-level text at the end of the year. A fourth grader who reads 143 WCPM (75th percentile) would be expected to have excellent comprehension of grade-level text at the end of the year. Those reading a 92 WCPM (25th percentile) would, however, be expected to have difficulty comprehending grade-level text.

Step Three: Tailor instruction.
See lesson plans and resources in the "Instruction and Intervention" section below.

For in-depth fluency instruction, see the Fluency Formula Kits.

Step Four: Monitor progress.
Try using the following monitoring tools for students struggling with reading fluency.

Research reference: LaPray, M. and R. Ross. "The Graded Word List: Quick Gauge of Reading Ability." Journal of Reading, Vol. 12, No. 4. 1969.

Learn about the Progress Monitoring Passages from The Fluency Formula Assessment to use as indicators of student progress.

Instruction and Intervention

See the Scholastic Fluency Library for targeted reading practice.

The library includes:

- High-interest fiction and nonfiction books motivate your students to read and re-read.
- Carefully leveled text ensures students build automatic word recognition.
- Quick, easy-to-read format maximizes students' independent and at-home reading time.

Six Ways to Develop Fluency from Building Fluency: Lessons and Strategies for Reading Success, by Wiley Blevins. (Rasinski, T. "Developing Syntactic Sensitivity in Reading Through Phrase-Cued Texts." Intervention in School and Clinic, Vol. 29, NO. 3, January 1994.)

 

Here are six things you can do to develop your students' fluency.
1. Model fluent reading.
2. Provide direct instruction and feedback.
3. Provide reader support (choral reading and reading while listening).
4. Use repeated readings of one text.
5. Cue phrase boundaries in text.
Example: In the summer / I like / to swim / at the beach.
6. Provide students with easy reading materials

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  • Subjects:
    Assessment, Reading Assessment, Reading Fluency, Early Reading, Teacher Tips and Strategies, Teacher Training and Continuing Education
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