Measuring Reading Progress

May 23, 2019

How is Reading Progress Measured?

Reading is a complex process that involves a variety of skills and components. Before determining a way to measure reading progress, the specific reading skill being measured must first be identified. Please note that phonemic awareness is not included here as that particular skill generally requires more complex progress monitoring.

  • Accuracy: Educators should use a range of word lists for sight words and multi-syllable words. Sight words give the educator a sense of automaticity with those words whereas multi-syllable words provide insight into decoding strategies and recognition of morphemes.
  • Oral Reading Context Fluency (Accuracy, Smoothness, Rate, Intonation & Expression): Educators can provide students with a leveled passage to measure WCPM (words correct per minute) which addresses accuracy and rate. The Multidimensional Fluency Scale allows educators to track and provide feedback on intonation, expression, and smoothness, which are skills that are harder to quantify, but no less important.
    • Leveled passages are important for data tracking and reliability. It is essential that students be provided with passages to read at a level appropriate to their individual abilities. In order to do that, educators can copy a passage from a novel or textbook that students are reading or choose from a variety of programs or websites that offer leveled passages including Reading A-Z, ReadWorks, and k12reader.
  • Comprehension: Oral reading fluency should never be measured without an accompanying measure of comprehension. This is essential because students change their approach to reading when they know that they will be asked questions about the text. Because comprehension is the end goal of oral reading, it is vital that educators measure these skills together. Bloom’s Taxonomy provides explicit and implicit question stems for educators to intentionally use as a means of measuring students’ comprehension of a text. Furthermore, students could be asked to apply skills that they have learned throughout the year, such as identifying the main idea and details, taking margin notes, and paraphrasing the material. Educators can track students’ progress by asking them to apply these skills independently to similar passages.

How Does This Connect to Landmark’s Teaching Principles™?

Monitoring reading progress is an essential element of providing effective reading instruction. The more practice and experience that students have with these skills, the more easily they can access appropriate strategies. This practice supports Landmark’s fourth Teaching Principle™, “Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review.” It is important that educators provide students with ample opportunity to practice and apply their reading skills in between periods of progress monitoring. For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review,” click here.

Strategies to Download

Review educator tips for reading progress monitoring


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