Let’s talk reading fluency tracking and monitoring. It’s something that must be done, yet so many of us have a hard time keeping things together and organized.
I have a few ways in which you can make it more manageable in your classroom. Here are some simple, efficient, and strategic ways I track and monitor fluency in my classroom.
Manageable Ways to Track and Monitor Reading Fluency
Organize Fluency Data
When you are organizing your fluency data, be sure to keep things either tabbed or color coded by quarter or trimester. For me, color coding my paper really works because I am constantly shuffling them around in my binder. By having my materials color coded, I am able to easily reorder without having to really double check to make sure I did it correctly.
Systematize Fluency Procedures
I establish my partner fluency procedures at the very beginning of the year. I know my students aren’t going to do it perfectly the first time, but I get them used to the procedure first, and then I focus on graphing fluency correctly.
To start the procedure, each of my students are assigned a fluency partner. I teach them how to be a good coach by giving reading fluency strategies and hints before giving the word or phrase. If you would like to see my reading strategies, be sure to follow the link below to my reading strategy posters.
When I teach my students how to count their words, I tell them to look at the number at the end of each line, and then add to, or subtract from the number that is at the end. When I teach them how to graph, I teach them about how we count by 5’s and that is how the graph is lined up. If they go above or below a number, they can draw a line above or below and graph from there. We practice on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and write down words read right (WWR) and errors.
We only graph on our chart once each week. I always have them graph on Thursday, because Friday is never a good day for our schedule. For graphing, they need to take the words read right, and subtract the errors. After they get this number, they chart it. You will see an example of this in the picture above. All my reading comprehension passages have word counts for every passage.
As a teacher, counting and graphing seems so difficult for students to do at the beginning of the year, but after a few weeks, more and more kids will catch on, and they can even start to help each other. My students graph each week, and I have them use the same color as the color I am using for each quarter. So for instance, for first quarter, I chose blue, so they may graph with any shade of blue with a crayon or colored pencil. I will also write the targeted phonics skill on the top of their graphing sheet so I have a record of which skill was practiced and assessed each week. The key is to do this before you make your copies for them.
Here is a little rundown of how I allow my kids practice fluency with their partners.
- Partner one will read, and partner two will coach and be the time-keeper.
- Partner two will call time, and help partner one count his/her words and record on the fluency sheet.
- Partner two will give a compliment and a tip to partner one.
- After about a minute and a half, I let me kids know it should be time to switch. (This does take longer at the beginning of the year)
- Partner two will read, and partner one will coach and be the time-keeper.
- Partner one will call time, and help partner two count his/her words and record on the fluency sheet.
- Partner one will give a compliment and a tip to partner two.
- I will call time, and I will (strategically) ask one or two students to tell me what went well, and what could be improved within their partnerships.
- On Thursday, this structure looks the same, except the students will be counting their words, subtracting the errors, and graphing/charting their word count.
- On Friday, I have my kids complete the comprehension questions that accompany the reading comprehension passages.
Assess and Stay Organized
Although my students’ self assessments increase in accuracy throughout the year, I still track their fluency at the end of every week. I keep this for my records, and I do not make it a public thing. I have a simple class sheet, color coded by quarter. I will write the words read right (WWR) on the top, and any errors on the bottom. (See above.) I also write each targeted phonics skill under each week.
Record Reading Fluency Errors and Concerns
Here is the part that makes a BIG difference. I have fluency notes for each student, which is one page per quarter. If I notice any errors, discrepancies, or sight words missed, I will notate it..
Address Reading Fluency Errors
Writing and recording these errors and trends will do no good unless you address them. After looking over my notes, I will pull targeted sight word practice (see picture above) or phonics practice for each individual or group of students who need it the following week. This way, they are getting the skills and practice they need at the right time. If there is a phonics skill they need to work on, I either pull from my phonics activities, or I send them home with a wristband or a watch so they have a visual, and it also lets parents or caregivers know what they need to work on.
=So we covered ways you can organize, systematize, assess, and address fluency errors in your classroom. Hopefully you were able to take away some tips and strategies to use in your classroom. If you have any additional tips and ideas, I encourage you to leave a comment below and share your expertise! If you liked this post, be sure to share or pin it for your teacher colleagues!
Now that you have learned how to teach kids to read, you’re on your way to becoming a more efficient reading teacher!
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