Using Assessment to Guide Instruction



The purpose of this module is to demonstrate various kinds of progress monitoring assessments, how to administer them, and how to interpret them. And then to how to use these results to help make decisions about the amounts and kinds of literacy instruction children with varying reading skills need.

A2i makes recommendations for amounts of TM-code focused, TM-meaning focused, and CM-meaning focused. But there are many types and levels of activities within each of these instructional families. Progress monitoring assessments can help teachers decide which activities will most help their students improve.


(PDF) DIBELS Norm Chart
(PDF) Roxanne Hudson: Reading Fluency – Critical Issues for Struggling Readers
About Oral Reading Fluency & Fluency Definitions
First and Second Grade – Connected Text Fluency

Express It | Reader’s Theatre

First and Second Grade – Word Level Fluency

Word Part Race | Word Speed Practice | Speedy Syllables

Able Second Graders

Pick A Part | Give Me Five | Fleeting Phrases | Digraph and Diphthong Dash

Oral Reading Fluency


What does it mean when my student is not reading fluently?

Children who can read fluently read quickly and accurately. When reading aloud, children use appropriate intonation and prosody. Children can have poor reading fluency for a number of reasons:

  1. They may not be able to decode quickly or may lack an adequate number of sight word s (words that do not have to be consciously sounded out).
  2. If the text is too difficult or the topic is something the child doesn’t know much about, reading can become less fluent. Fluency is reciprocally related to reading comprehension and is an important predictor of how well children will perform on standardized reading tests like the SAT-10 and the FCAT.


How can I tell whether or not my student is reading fluently?

One of the best ways to assess your students is to listen to them read a passage or book.

Select a book that is at or above the children’s independent reading level or just a bit beyond. Then, ask the child to read to you for one or two minutes as quickly as possible and to make the reading sound like talking (i.e., normal intonation and prosody). How many words a child reads correctly in one minute is his or her oral reading fluency level. If you are using practice passages from the DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency test, then look at the DIBLES norms chart (see sidebar). Children make different kinds of errors that can help teachers decide where to provide extra help. Some children become vary passive and wait for the adult to provide the word. For these children, specific instruction in how to sound out words or use word analogies and other word attack strategies will help their fluency. Other children laboriously sound out every word. For these children, sight word activities will increase fluency. According to research, one of the best ways to improve fluency is to have the child read a passage or book a number of times. Similarly, reading a wide range of books on similar subjects is also effective in improving fluency, according to recent research.



Non-Word Fluency


What does it mean when my student is not reading fluently?

The ability to read nonsense words reflects children’s knowledge of how letters relate to sounds, phonological awareness, and basic phonics rules. In the Non-word Fluency task (NWF), students read nonsense words, such as dap and gug, from a list. Their score is determined by how many nonsense words they can read correctly in one minute. Learn more by viewing the DIBELS Norm Chart (PDF) & NWF Definition.




Phenome Segmentation Fluency


What is phoneme segmentation?

In the Phoneme Segmentation Fluency task (PSF), children are given a word and asked to say the sounds in the word. For example, cat would be /k/ /a/ /t/. Children’s performance on PSF tells us about their phonemic awareness. Learn more by viewing the PSF Description.




(PDF) DIBELS Norm Chart
Kindergarten and Early First Grade

Fluency Letter Wheel  | Speedy Alphabet Arch | Tap Stack | Hungry Letter Mouse

Initial Sound Fluency


What is initial sound fluency?

Identifying the first sound in a word is an important first step in developing phonological awareness. In the Initial Sound Fluency task, children are shown pictures of simple objects and then asked to point to the correct picture when the examiner asks what picture begins with the target sound (i.e. the sound “p” or the sound “t”). The score is the number of correct responses. This task is for children in preschool and kindergarten.