Tracking Student Fluency Rates

Tracking Student Fluency Rates

If you are looking for information about fluency, you have come to the right place. This post provides answers including definitions and tips.

Are you looking for a fun and easy way to track student’s progress? You have also come to the right place. This post provides links to fun timers. You can download a book to track students’ progress.

Are you looking to go paperless? A Google Slide version of the tracking charts is also included. So, let’s get started. 

You can download the Fluency Book including links to the Google Slides here. 

DTracking Student Fluency ​Chart width=

DTracking Student Fluency ​Chart width=

How do you track fluency progress?

Fluency is the words per minute that students accurately read. You can determine the fluency rate by counting the words a student reads for one minute. Subtract the number of words a student misses from the word count. This is the fluency rate. You can also get a fluency percentage by having students read for more than one minute. Subtract the missed words. Then divide the word count by the number of minutes.

Tracking Student Fluency Rates Tip #1

Most school districts assign “Fluency Standards Tables” for teachers to use as guides. I’ve included links to four popular choices. Print them out for the students to see. 

Tracking Student Fluency Rates Tip #2

One of the best ways to improve speed and accuracy is by having students perform daily fluency checks. This can become monotonous for students and time-consuming for teachers. I like to change the routine between one-on-one checks with the teacher, students read silently for one minute (I only use this method when class time is slipping away.), and small group checks.Fun classroom timers are a great tool for one-minute fluency checks.

Here’s how small group fluency checks work in my classroom. I divide students into small groups of four students; partners will also work when you are really crunched for time. Each student in the group has a job. The job roles rotate when different students read. I place a timer stopwatch on the SmartBoard. [Here’s a link to some fun timers.] Have students read the assigned passage to the group. Assigning group roles really helps keep students on track and honest. The person sitting to the left of the reader is the word counter. This person counts mistakes and keeps the time. The jobs and the reader rotate clockwise after each reader finishes the passage. This way each student gets a turn doing all four roles. Students catch onto this routine very quickly. 

Small Group Fluency Checks

Tracking Student Fluency Rates Tip #3

Praise, praise, and more praise. Students want to compare themselves to their peers. I spend a lot of time encouraging students to beat personal fluency records, not those of their friends. One way to do this is with a fluency calendar. Some years I’ve simply printed calendar pages and glued them into interactive notebooks. This year, I’ve created a fluency booklet.

In this fluency booklet, each month has a calendar on the left side of the page for students to record fluency scores. The calendar boxes are large enough to make a subtraction problem. (Words read in one minute minus the number of mistakes.) On the right side of the page, a chart for setting goals and a bar graph for tracking goals are provided. Students write a goal at the beginning of the month. After each timed test, students complete one column of the bar graph using red for “hot” reads and blue for “cold” reads. At the end of the month, scores are averaged to determine just how much progress the student made. The page provides a clear “easy-to-read” running record of the student’s progress.

You can download the Fluency Book including links to the Google Slides here. 

How can I improve my reading fluency?

These two anchor charts provide tips for students to help improve fluency rates. The best advice is practice, practice, practice. This can be done with paired reading, echo reading, and choral reading. Listening to audiobooks is a fantastic model for students. After listening to professional readers, students better understand what they need to do. Make reading fun with high-interest books or reader’s theater.

Fluency Anchor Chart

Decoding Anchor Chart

Before you go, you might enjoy checking out some additional literacy materials from members of The Reading Crew.


I hope you have the best school year ever!


Gay Miller

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    • Jessica on August 5, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Yes, my students LOVE those fun online timers. I have never thought of practicing fluency in a group like that, have only ever done it in pairs so thanks for the idea!

    • Julie on August 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

    LOVE those timers! Thank you for such great tips 🙂
    The Techie Teacher

    • Carla on August 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks so much for joining in. I love putting kids in charge of their practice and learning Great suggestions for fluency!

    • Sandy on August 7, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I have that website bookmarked. I love the cute timers. There’s also a fun bubbles site for noise level. Thank you so much for the tips.

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