Assessing a student’s reading fluency has largely been achieved through oral reading fluency (ORF) measures. The number of words a student can read correctly in one minute supplies educators with a student’s oral reading rate – a number that can be captured quickly and has proved to be highly reliable and sensitive to growth, according to Principal Research Scientist for Pearson Assessments Dr. Mark Daniel.1
While necessary and powerful, oral reading fluency measures are not the only data point to consider. As noted in Why is Silent Reading Fluency (SRF) Important?, Dr. Daniel discusses how SRF can complement the use of ORF in the Exploring the Measurement of Silent Reading Fluency webinar:
- SRF enables students to take the assessments online without a one-on-one teacher administration
- Silent reading requires a student to comprehend what they’re reading
- SRF reading is highly predictive at higher grade levels
- SRF is utilized in higher grade levels and into adulthood and the workforce1
For an educator to get a complete picture of a student’s reading skills, and promote academic, personal, and professional success, schools need more than a student’s oral reading rate. Once a student has mastered foundational early literacy skills, a comprehension-based silent reading rate measure needs provides additional valuable information. However, finding such a measure has been a challenge for literacy scholars and educators alike.
How aimswebPlus Measures Silent Reading Fluency
To address the need for a silent reading fluency measure, and to help students not only attend, but also monitor and comprehend while they’re reading silently, aimsweb™Plus designed a comprehension-based silent reading measure that produces a student’s silent reading rate in a valid, reliable way.
Objectives of the SRF Measure
- Combine silent reading rate with an accuracy score for broad comprehension
- Resemble actual silent reading
- Brief, valid, reliable
- Sensitive to growth
How the SRF Measure Works
The SRF measure comprises several short grade-level stories – 40-45 words in length – and questions.
A student begins the measure by reading a story on the computer. Once the student is satisfied with what he has read and believes that he understands the story, the student progresses to the next screen where he is prompted to answer two simple multiple choice questions. The question must be answered without looking back at the story.
Once an answer is submitted, the student receives an immediate response stating either “correct” or “incorrect.” This feedback encourages a student to pay attention, self-monitor, and adjust his performance if necessary.
From there, the student must read three more stories and answer each story’s corresponding questions.
Each question is designed to be easy; if a student reads the story and has a general sense of what he read, he should be able to answer the question correctly. The purpose of the questions is to motivate students to attend and comprehend while they’re reading.
SRF Measure Scoring
Once the student completes all four segments, a segment reading rate (WPM) is given, regardless of accuracy:
X 60 = WPM
It’s important to note that the score is only meaningful if the student had a minimal level of accuracy when answering the questions. If the student did not have a minimal level of accuracy on the questions, he did not comprehend what he read.
Register to hear more on this measure at our live webinar the complete Exploring the Measurement of Silent Reading Fluency webinar to hear more from Dr. Mark Daniel and renowned literacy expert and founder, president, and CEO of the TextProject.org, Dr. Freddy Hiebert, as they discuss SRF and aimswebPlus’ effective and proven silent reading fluency measure.
1 Pearson Education. “Exploring the Measurement of Silent Reading Fluency.” Accessed June 14, 2016. http://www.pearsoned.com/events/exploring-the-measurement-of-silent-reading-fluency/.