Thursday, November 02, 2006


Do you you test for fluency? I don't. I have never liked fluency testing. I feel that as long as the child can read and understand what they read, it is fine. I understand the theories behind fluency but I personally opt to not push it in my classroom.

I have been forced to revisit the subject of fluency. Last year, my daughter started fluency testing in school. She was given kudos on her report card last year for being able to read 196 words per minute. 196 - that is just too many words! It just doesn't sound normal to me. It actually worries me. This year, fluency is also a big deal. Sabi just finished practicing her fluency passage with me. She had to try and beat her time of 149 wpm in 5 tries. Listening to her read was horrible. It was a race to her. The words were all strung together and it did not sound like natural speech. Surprisingly, she retained comprehension on the passage. Thankfully she does not transfer this method of reading in any other area except for when she is practicing her fluency passages.

Tell me teachers: What do you think about this topic???


Anonymous said...

My second grade colleagues and I evaluate rate and fluency differently. Rate is speed, fluency is pacing and expression. Rate is secondary to fluency. I look for flow, pausing at periods, expression and natural voice when I evaluate fluency. I'm surprised that teachers take speed so seriously unless a child reads so slowly that it interferes with meaning. T-h-a-t-'-s r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-! If a child is a solid reader at his/her level, I don't mark down for rate when that's the only problem. --Teragram

Dree said...

Wow... thanks anonymous. I was just about to get on here and talk about how fluency is all about tone and expression and flow and responding to prosodic cues... but you already said it! I can see I'm not needed here. :)

MsAbcMom said...

I agree with both of you. I hate to hear Sabi read like she is running for her life, especially when I know that she can read at grade level and read for meaning at the same level. It is terrible to listen to and to watch!

GUSTAVO said...

We use Open Court at my school and fluency is a very important part of the program. Not sure why. It's kinda funny doing 1-minute fluency reads with the kids...they're speeding through passages like crazy. Anyhow, I have no clue why they do it.