Review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2014
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FluencyFinder

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Tool lets teachers save time, track data while testing reading fluency

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • English Language Learning
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
1-8
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Multiple texts are provided at each grade level; printable versions of texts are on the website.

Cons: Requires manual entry of student names, and, although it tracks data, it does not analyze it.

Bottom Line: Makes the process of testing reading fluency easier by providing a timer, mistake counter, and data collection in one place.

Teachers can use FluencyFinder to test students' reading fluency from first grade through eighth grade. They can assess fluency using the same passage multiple times during the year to help gauge improvement, or use a variety of passages to help understand a student's reading fluency at different levels and with different types of texts. Although the app does encourage teachers to print the passages, which are found on the developer's website, teachers without access to a printer could have students read the text on the app while they mark mistakes using the counter. Those who want to save paper can also print one copy of each passage they plan to use, and use the same copy with multiple students. Once teachers have assessed reading fluency, they can export scores to share them with parents or to use as part of their own data collection and organization.

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FluencyFinder has a simple design, but it was developed to save teachers time when testing reading fluency. Teachers add students' names to the app, and can also add grade levels and class periods. To begin, teachers select a student and a reading passage. FluencyFinder's website contains printable files of all the passages; teachers can print them for students to read as the teacher follows along on the iPad. As the student reads, the teacher uses the timer to determine the student's reading speed, and the counter to mark where the student makes mistakes. At the end of the assessment, the teacher has the option to move on to the comprehension section, which consists of three basic questions related to the passage. The teacher marks whether each response exceeds expectations, meets expectations, or needs improvement. The assessment report includes words per minute, comprehension score, number of mistakes, and details about the passage, including the Flesch-Kincaid level, word count, and reading ease score. Each student's results are stored within the app and can be exported by email to parents or used as part of a more in-depth analysis.

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A teacher created FluencyFinder to save teachers time while assessing students' reading fluency. The app accomplishes that purpose by providing teachers with a stopwatch, counter, basic data tracking, and leveled reading passages -- all in one place. Not only does having all these items together save teachers time, it also keeps them organized, giving them one place to track all students' reading fluency assessments and making it easy to export the data.

The leveled passages provide enough variety to thoroughly test students' reading fluency, combining various levels of texts and a variety of informational and fictional passages. The app assumes, however, that those assessing reading fluency understand how to analyze the data and does not offer an analysis, other than a chart on the FluencyFinder website showing average reading speed by grade level. It also doesn't offer any charts or graphs that could help teachers quickly see how a student's fluency has improved over time. The lack of those features doesn't affect the app's potential to help teachers quickly assess fluency; it just means those new to fluency assessment will need extra support when analyzing the results.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Multiple reading passages at each level add variety and help connect to different student interests.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Teachers can add multiple students and find passages to meet those students' needs.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Tools track data over time; accompanying website provides additional information and printable passages.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jennifer K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Good RTI Intervention

Fluency Finder monitors students fluency through short reading passages. The app is easy to use by students and teachers. My teachers had some freezing issues with the app, however recent updates. One of the drawbacks to the app is that there is not a consistent number of reading passages at each level, which might present issues while using the app.

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