Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: Organizing Reading Fluency

Organizing Reading Fluency

I spent a ton of time last summer, researching and planning a way to keep my reading fluency passages organized and getting kids regularly practicing one minute fluency readings. I knew this would be especially challenging this year because I only have 4 hours and 20 minutes with my kiddos each day. I FINALLY came up with a plan and after implementing it for two quarters, I am loving it! I wanted to share with you the simple way that I organize reading fluency in my classroom.

Organizing the Passages
First, even before I met my students, I knew that I would undoubtably have different levels of readers. What teacher doesn't?! I teach third, but I have fluency passages for grades 2-4. I purchased them on TpT from Common Core and So Much More. I printed the teacher copy and student copy of each of the fluency passages. I had a very dear and patient parent volunteer put all of these passages into page protectors for me. I then organized them in a binder with plastic folder dividers that separate the different grade levels of passages. I put a dry erase marker, pens and crayons in a pencil pouch in the front.

I printed a spreadsheet for each of the three levels. On the spreadsheet, I wrote the names of the students who would be testing in that particular level. I keep their WPM here so that I quickly see who is making progress and who needs intervention. The spreadsheet goes in the divider pockets for each level.

Each Monday morning, I put a sticky note on the next passage that the group is reading. Now the binder is ready for a week of fluency!

Who Does Reading Fluency
In my classroom, everyone does reading fluency. Twenty-one of my students have already met or exceeded my school's goal for third grade words per minute. I am careful not to do fluency practice TOO often with them because I hate how they keep trying to read even faster. No one needs to read 350 words per minute! At the same time, I want them to continue to practice what they are already doing well. I just increase the lexile level for them.

When Does One-Minute Fluency Take Place
When I taught in a traditional schedule, I used to pair students up and devoted about 10 minutes for students to do a fluency reading each day with their partner. I just don't have that time in my current schedule. However, I am very blessed to have  parent volunteers in my room for a couple of hours nearly every day. Fluency is one of my volunteer tasks. Now that they have been trained, all I have to do is leave the binder on my volunteer table and they know just what to do. They will pull students into the hall one at a time and have them read the weekly passage for one minute. There is no way to get through the entire class in one day. This is the schedule that I try to stick to as much as possible:
Monday: Below-Level Readers (2nd grade passages)
Tuesday: On-Level Readers (3rd grade passages)
Wednesday: Above-Level Readers (4th grade passages)
Thursday- Below-Level Readers (2nd read of the passage they did on Monday)
This schedule allows my lowest readers to have multiple reads of their passage. My other groups really don't need that.

Keeping Student Data
My students know that they should bring their data folders with them anytime they get called in the hall for fluency.

Each week, they will graph their WPM on the fluency graph in their folder. This helps students to see their growth and set reasonable and attainable goals for the future. Since my lower group will read the passage more than once, they will graph their cold read in blue and their warm read in red. They almost always see some growth there and it is motivating for them! This graph is just one of MANY student data tracking graphs that you can find in my Second and Third Grade Data Tracking products.

I also have my volunteer record their WPM on the spreadsheet in the binder so that I can quickly see how each student is progressing.

A student who is not making much or any growth, will get a copy of the passage for the week put in their binder. This way they can practice reading it at home and when they have extra time in class. I am excited that I only have to make one extra copy! I used to give every student a copy of the weekly passage. But most don't NEED it. And it was way too much paper and prep for me.

My Favorite Thing About This System
I can use this binder year after year! The passages are all in page protectors and we don't write on them. All I have to do is change out the spreadsheets in the pockets and it is ready for a new group of kiddos. I won't be spending ANY of my summer prepping for fluency next year!

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  1. Do you mark the student's mistakes on the protective sheet or do you have paper copies for each students?

    1. The mistakes are marked with the dry erase marker on the page protector. Then they can be erased for the next students. I really needed a way to avoid all of the photocopies. All that paperwork was too overwhelming for me in previous years.

    2. Thanks love this idea and hate all the papers!!

  2. I love this so much! I struggle each week copying each passage for each student - and making sure to make so many copies of the below level, on level, and above level passages. It's just too much to deal with in the middle of all the rest there is to do! I end up skipping fluency because of it :( We have a reading curriculum that has a fluency book with passages for each week that relate to that week's story, but what do you use/where do you get your fluency passages? What else do your students keep track of in their data folders? Thank you so much for the simple and effective way to run fluency!! I LOVE it!

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