Why is Fluency Important?
Have you ever asked yourself one or more of these questions?
Is fluency really important? Does my child need to be able to read fluently? How many words per minute should my child be reading? How many words per minute can my child read now? How can I find out what my child's fluency rate is if I don't know? How can I help my child at home increase their fluency? These are the most common questions parents have when their child's teacher mentions fluency.
Have you ever been to a parent/teacher conference and the teacher mentioned your child's fluency rate? Or maybe she mentioned that your child struggles with fluency and you had no idea what she was talking about?
Let me first tell you that fluency is an important part of learning how to read because it helps with reading comprehension. When a child can not read fluently, oftentimes they are focused on trying to sound out (decode) words and they aren't able to pay attention to the meaning of the words. When a child can read fluently without having to slow down to sound out (decode) words, it makes it easier for the child to comprehend (understand) as they read.
Most people define fluency as the ability to read with speed (rate), accuracy, and expression. It is also includes understanding what you have read (COMPREHENSION). The main purpose of building fluency is for a child to be able to understand what they have read. The ultimate goal of reading is to understand what you read, so yes, fluency is important.
So now you know fluency is important, but how do you know if your child is reading fluently for his/her age?
How many correct words per minute should your child be reading?
The following fluency goals are based on how many words a child reads correctly in one minute (using an on-grade-level passage) at the end of each grade level. Accuracy is determined by how many words the child reads correctly compared to the total number of words the child read in a minute.
|Grade Level||Correctly Read Words Per Minute||Accuracy|
|First Grade||47 - 66||90% - 96%|
|Second Grade||87 - 103||97% - 98%|
|Third Grade||100 - 117||97% - 98%|
|Fourth Grade||115 - 132||98% - 99%|
|Fifth Grade||130 - 142||99%|
DIBELS NEXT 2017 Benchmark Goals
How can you test your child's fluency rate?
One way to find out your child's fluency rate is to find a passage on your child's grade level (here is a great place to start for FREE)
You can use passages from FCRR: Ongoing Progress Monitoring
Oral Reading Fluency Grades 1-5 passages) and find your child's grade level. Administration guidelines are given.
Does your child need extra support with fluency?
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