Maddie's Story: Assessing Fluency

Maddie FluencyOver the last few lessons, I have started to consider how much longer Maddie will need ongoing tutoring sessions.

Marie Clay says that, “Children who successfully complete early literacy interventions like Reading Recovery should operate in reading and writing in ways that put them on track for being silent readers with self-extending processing systems during the net two years of school. With good classroom instruction and moderate personal motivation that should be achievable.” (p. 53, Literacy Lessons, Part One).

Here is a list of things I am considering:

• How does Maddie’s reading sound? Is it phrased and fluent with familiar reading? On new text?

• Can Maddie detect errors for herself? Can she correct those errors?

• Can Maddie search for more information (by rereading, taking words apart, or thinking about the story) in order to solve unknown words?

• Is Maddie independent in her writing? Does she have a variety of resources to get to new words? Can she monitor and edit her efforts?

Today, I had Maddie look at some new reading while I reflected on her fluency.

Listen to Maddie read two new books. I think her fluency has improved recently. When she first began working with me, her reading was slow and she used very little intonation. While she is not the most expressive reader, she sounds good and her expressive reading shows the she has a strong understanding of the story. Her pace is still somewhat slow, but she is able to integrate problem solving along the way. Here are two examples from Level 14/H books. In both texts she slows down to problem solve, but then picks the pace back up again. 


You can use this fluency rubric to assess Maddie’s fluency as well as your own students’ fluency.

Fluency Rubric

(You can find more assessment materials at our Pawprints Resource Center.)

Michèle Dufresne is author of many Pioneer Valley Books  early readers (including the Bella and Rosie series), Word Solvers (Heinemann), and an early literacy and literacy intervention consultant.

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