Fluency is an essential component of foundational reading skills. Classworks Reading passages provide an opportunity for students to build fluency through small group or one-on-one instruction. Students have the option to use read-aloud support that models intonation and fluency. Text-dependent questions build comprehension, and open-ended written responses build higher-order thinking skills.
Structure of the Intervention Sessions
Classworks recommends 60-90 minutes is set aside during each school week for a student’s intensive reading intervention.
This time is divided between learning discrete skills independently (75%) through Individualized Learning Paths (ILPs) and time spent developing reading fluency (25%) with the Reading Passages. For example: In a 60 minute per week intervention, students, using devices, work on ILPs independently for 45 minutes and practice fluency for 15 minutes during small group or one on one with teacher facilitation. If school schedules don’t allow a full hour at a time, this can bookmark up in different proportions throughout the week.
What is Fluency
Think of fluency as the ability to read conversationally. If something is read out loud, it should be the same pace and tone as if you’re having a conversation. Fluency is developed using Classworks reading passages. Students work with teachers to facilitate deep reading of the passages, and answer text-dependent questions to build comprehension and fluency.
Selecting the Fluency Passages for Your Small Group:
Organize your small groups by level so that students are working on the same passages as a group. All work can be completed on the computer. If technology access is at a premium, the reading passages can also be completed offline.
Fluency assignments consist of 12 passages. Work on one passage per week for 12 weeks. Teachers facilitate multiple read throughs of the passage each week in a close read format. Begin with the Fluency assignment closest to student performance level. Use the fluency version of each passage to assess student reading rates.
Assess student reading rate by using the Fluency version to create a running record for each passage. This simple exercise can determine reading fluency, word recognition.
Select a reading passage and set a timer for 60 seconds.
Read aloud. Mark any words that were changed, skipped, or caused hesitation — ERRORS. (Remember, reading should be the same pace and tone as a conversation.)
Mark the spot in the passage when the timer stops.
Count the words in the selection of the passage that was read. Subtract the ERRORS from RUNNING WORDS to determine ACCURACY of words read. This is words per minute (WPM).
Note the words per minute on the Timed Reading Chart after the students have had multiple interactions with the passage.
Fluency Standards Table
When measuring students’ fluency, using research-based fluency targets is recommended. Here are suggested targets from some of the leading researchers in the field, Tim Rasinski and Jan Hasbrouck and Gerald Tindal.
Use the rate recommendations from the table to help determine if students are making progress toward or nearing grade-level standards for oral reading fluency. Consider moving students into the next fluency level when students are achieving within the 50th percentile norm or above.
Best Practices for Building Fluency
Check student fluency at least once a week or more depending on student needs. For best results, coordinate the passage used for the running record to the passage used in the lesson for that week. To increase accuracy, share results with students and have them evaluate the reading to set goals and next steps.
Multiple read-throughs of the same passage build student confidence and give opportunities for students to practice expression. The Classworks Close Read Teacher Guide offers a variety of ways to accomplish this. A fluency exercise is included each day for practice.