Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. Children should be fluent readers whether they are reading out loud or silently. You will know if your child struggles in the area of fluency if they read choppy (like a robot) and if they frequently stop to sound out words. A child that has a deficit in fluency most likely has a deficit in the area of phonics.
Fluency is essential, especially for children who are in upper grades. If your child has difficulty in the area of fluency, they will struggle to meet the demand of what is expected of them from the curriculum.
There are many ways that you can assist your child in the area of fluency. Please find a few suggestions below:
- Remind your child to track the words with his/her finger while he/she is reading. This will help them keep their place in the text.
- Model reading to them. This gives them an example of how reading sounds.
- Read selected passages over and over again.
- Allow them to read word lists, short phrases, or short passages.
- Read passages on their level.
- Work with them in the area of phonics and help them decode words. This is a separate area they need to work on.
- Start timing their reading.
- If possible, use books on tape and allow the child to follow along in a book.
- Be patient with your child. The more you practice, the more fluent they will become.
Click here to find an updated (2017) Fluency Norm Chart. The chart shows the percentile and fluency rate by grade level. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the information.
How to find the fluency rate for your child.
Let them read a passage for one minute. Subtract the number of errors, and that will calculate their fluency score.
Set the timer for 60 seconds. Total number of words read – Errors = Words read correctly (fluency score)
John read 35 words in 60 seconds with 5 errors. His fluency score is 30 wpm.
Here are a couple of websites I use to determine a student’s fluency rate:
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.