All students should have fluency goals that they continue to strive to reach. These fluency goals can change as students grow as readers. Since there are multiple aspects of fluency, students can alter their goals as they improve. Read on for suggestions for fluency goals and how to help students make progress as fluent readers.
Goals for Fluency
Goals for fluency can be created for each aspect of fluency. Reading with accuracy, expression, smoothness, natural pace, and for meaning are all things you can address in a goal.
If working on accuracy, or working on reading at a natural pace, a goal may be to read a certain number of words correctly. You can use grade level charts to get an idea of how many words per minute a student should be reading. It is typically recommended to use the numbers provided at 50% for each grade level/benchmark, based on the time of year. Remember that students do NOT need to make zero errors before moving on to a new passage, or level. Rather, focus on getting students to an overall fluency score matching up to the 50% category in the chart, before moving on. Here is more information about oral reading fluency and progress monitoring.
If working on reading with expression, or working on reading smoothly, students can set a goal to include emotions as they read. They’ll want to focus on sounding like they’re speaking to someone, as they’re reading.
When students are focused on improving reading for meaning, students can set a goal to answer comprehension questions correctly.
reaching the fluency Goals
If students need help reaching the goals they’ve set for different aspects of fluency, you can have them work on fluency during a fluency center, or during independent reading activities.
Accuracy and Natural Pace
If working on improving their accuracy, or reading at a natural pace, students can focus on decoding. This can be done through word work activities, or with sentences and passages that are appropriate for the reader. In order for the student to improve, the words in the sentences or passages need to be something the student can figure out. That means the sentences in the texts should include high frequency words and phonics patterns they’ve been exposed to, previously. Students can then advance to grade level appropriate words, in the texts they’re reading.
Expression and Reading Smoothly
For the students who are trying to improve their ability to read with expression, or smoothness, they can record themselves reading. When recording themselves, they should pay close attention to their pausing and emotions included while reading aloud.
Reading for Meaning
When students are focusing on improving reading for meaning, they can complete complete comprehension activities.
Comprehension activities may include:
- using graphic organizers
- using sticky notes to mark up a text
- responding to written comprehension questions
- using chart paper and fun markers
- verbally responding to questions about the text