A Note on Reading Fluency and its Importance

With upcoming progress reports, you’ll see your child’s current reading fluency levels. 

I’m including a link to a grade level fluency chart (as well as a snapshot of it below) to give you an idea where your child is grade level-wise with his or her fluency.

A brief explanation for 5th grade students: 

If your child is reading 110 correct words per minute right now, they are reading at the 50% percentile. Some might equate 50% to a letter grade of “F” or failing, but right now it’s not the worst thing in the world to be reading at the 50% percentile. It certainly is a signal that something needs to change, however. Get your child a library card, get them reading nightly, read WITH your child aloud, get their nose out of computer games and into a book or magazine or online reading like Newsela or Dogo News (both available on our blog on the right column).

It is absolutely crucial, however, your child continues to build his or her fluency. If a 5th grader finished the school year reading only 110 correct words per minute it would certainly be cause for alarm and beg the question: why isn’t my child’s fluency rate growing?

If a 5th grader is reading 166 correct words per minute, they are reading at the 90% percentile. Again, some might equate that with a letter grade of “A” or excellent, and it is fluency-wise. But we always want to analyze fluency with text comprehension and  keep those two components in balance.

I’ve seen slow readers (low fluency) comprehend text very well. I’ve also seen fast readers (high fluency) comprehend text poorly. There are many explanations for why this might be.


The important point is this: READ DAILY WITH YOUR CHILD.

Discuss what you’re reading.

Notice strange words (“Hey, isn’t it weird that “judge” spells the “j” sound with a “-dge”?) 

Also, seek balance in your child’s recreation time: GET YOUR KIDS OFF VIDEO GAMES AND INTO A BOOK.


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