Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fluency Assessments

Hi friends!

Quick question for you, but first a bit of background.

At my school, I'm not required to do any assessments of any kind at the first/second grade level. We have standardized ITBS tests that start in third grade, but that's it. I don't have any expectations to assess my students, and I don't have any resources with which to assess them. I've mentioned before that I use a 100% unleveled reading program... every first grader reads the same story at the same time regardless of ability or interest level. So I have a rough idea of reading levels in my classroom but nothing documented.

However... I want to assess. I want to assess my students on their rates of fluency to start with. I do have one question for you though:

Do you assess rates of fluency at the students' actual instructional reading level? Or at their grade level?

I've heard it both ways. So I'm just wondering!


  1. Wow! My school/ district is the complete opposite of your school :) Please know that I am not judging in any way- just trying to help. We assess constantly (formally and informally). We follow the workshop format (Lucy Calkins) and have readers at different levels and interests. I really encourage you to look at Calkins' work, along with Kathy Collins. They are a great resource for teaching multi-leveled/ abilities readers.

    As far as testing goes, we test for fluency AND comprehension. I've had fluent readers that have no clue what they are reading. We follow the book leveling system by Fountas & Pinnell. I posted on my blog TONS of assessment info if you'd like to check it out for specific ideas that may help you out.
    Best wishes,
    New Adventures in First Grade

  2. You're lucky that you don't have any assessments until the kids are older. I feel like my first graders are assessed so much. We have to constantly assess and it's so exhausting! We assess out students on their fluency based on how many words they read per minute. We base it of off the end of the year goal (67 words per minute) and we use passage from one of our standardized tests (AIMS). It's so tricky though because I have kids all over the board - I have some kids reading 100+ words and others struggling to read 20 or 30 words. But since we have to base off of the end of the year goal, we can't really meet their needs.

    We also have another state test that we take five times a year, sight word assessments and two math facts assessments. It's just so much!!!
    Teaching in the Valley

  3. I didn't do a ton of assessing when I taught 1st/2nd... we did unit math tests and had standard "benchmark" testing a few times a year. Now that I'm in 3rd and assessing often, I am thinking about how I wish I would have done so much more when I taught lower elementary. I love that I've made this transition to 3rd because now, if I ever go back to lower el, I have such a different perspective on what they need when they move up in school!

    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

  4. Both. We get a grade level check each nine weeks in order to determine how students are progressing, as compared to grade level expectations. I monitor the progress of my students each 2 weeks on their actual level. This is helpful in a case where the student reads below grade level because it shows their progress. Check out Intervention Central and Easy CBM for free probes. Good luck!!

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