Use the following rubric (1-4) to rate reader fluency in the areas of expression and volume, phrasing, smoothness, and pace.






Expression and Volume

  1. Reads words simply to get them out. Little sense of trying to make text sound like natural language. Tends to read in a quiet voice.
  2. Begins to use voice to make text sound like natural language in some areas of the text but not in others. Focus remains largely on pronouncing the word. Still reads in a quiet voice.
  3. Makes text sound like natural language throughout the better part of the passage. Occasionally slips into expressionless reading. Voice volume is generally appropriate throughout the text.
  4. Reads with good expression and enthusiasm throughout the text. Varies expression and volume to match his or her interpretation of the passage.


  1. Reads in a monotone with little sense of boundaries; frequently reads word-by-word.
  2. Frequently reads in two- and three-word phrases, giving the impression of choppy reading; improper stress and intonation fail to mark ends of sentences and clauses.
  3. Reads with a mixture of run-ons, mid-sentence pauses for breath, and some choppiness, reasonable stress and intonation.
  4. Generally reads with good phrasing, mostly in clause and sentence units, with adequate attention to expression.


  1. Makes frequent extended pauses, hesitations, false starts, sound-outs, repetitions, and/or multiple attempts.
  2. Experiences several "rough spots" in text where extended pauses or hesitations are more frequent and disruptive.
  3. Occasionally breaks smooth rhythm because of difficulties with specific words and/or structures.
  4. Generally reads smoothly with some breaks, but resolves word and structure difficulties quickly, usually through self-correction.


  1. Reads slowly and laboriously.
  2. Reads moderately slowly.
  3. Reads with an uneven mixture of fast and slow pace.
  4. Consistently reads at conversational pace; appropriate rate throughout reading.

    Scores range from 4-16. Generally, scores below 8 indicate that fluency may be a concern. Scores of 8 or above indicate that the student is making good progress in fluency. (Adapted from Zutell and Rasinski, 1991)

    You may use role-plays, video feedback, and rating scales for any type of meta-cognitive task. These teaching tools are also useful for developing self-advocacy skills, reading fluency, and rapid automatic naming. You can tailor these tools for each individual student, or reuse scales and role plays that are especially effective for your setting.

    You have the tools to equip your student with greater awareness of her learning style and a repertoire of strategies. You have ideas for providing practice and feedback for self-monitoring. As your student begins to use meta-cognition, she will become an active partner in her learning. She will "learn how to learn," and "think about her thinking." By addressing meta-cognition, you will equip your student for the future.

    Success starts here!