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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.