Review by Ymasumac Maranon, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2018
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ThinkFluency - Assess Reading

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Teacher app makes reading fluency assessments a bit easier

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • English Language Learning

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K–5
Great for:
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Pros: Quick setup; there are passages for multiple grades and unlimited classes/students.

Cons: There's no landscape view; the emailed assessments aren't cumulative.

Bottom Line: A handy if not revolutionary formative assessment tool for reading fluency.

Looking for a quick and easy (although not free) tool to monitor student reading? ThinkFluency is worth considering. Beyond the baked-in uses of the app (students reading passages, teachers tracking errors and assessing words per minute), teachers can extend use of ThinkFluency in a few ways. Since teachers can create unlimited reading groups in the app, create a few different levels and move students through these groups. (Jumping up a level can be very motivating for students.) Make sure to dig in to the app's suggested reading interventions (e.g., vowel-consonant blends). Many of these interventions can be supported by resources from other sites like ReadWorks. Teachers, however, should monitor students' errors closely, because some pronunciation issues could be due to regional dialect. To make the assessment more personalized, teachers can also make use of ThinkFluency's notes option to record more in-depth and contextual observations before saving the assessment. Assessments can be emailed, but take note that the results aren't cumulative. Only the last assessment taken will be emailed to the teacher.

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ThinkFluency is an iOS app that supports educators in assessing the reading fluency and comprehension of their students. Teachers can use ThinkFluency to find and print reading passages for assessment purposes. Teachers can add multiple classes or reading groups to ThinkFluency, add students to these grades or groups, and browse through the monthly updated library of passages to find the right fit for each student or group. They can then give these passages to students, set a words-per-minute (WPM) goal, and follow along as students read, timing their reading and marking errors. At the end, teachers can see how students performed against the WPM goal and also view suggested reading interventions for each error. Students' progress is maintained in the app. Assessment data can be emailed, but it'll only include the latest assessment done for each student. 

ThinkFluency requires a paid subscription, but new users have a seven-day trial period to try it out.

 

Assessing reading fluency can be tedious, but ThinkFluency offers a way to do it a bit more efficiently. It helps teachers find passages, track errors and WPM, and then monitor students' progress over time. There are also useful extensions like suggested reading interventions and comprehension questions. While this still requires one-on-one time (vs. some competitors like NWEA's MAP tool), it helps teachers make more accurate assessments. There are some limitations, though: The app can't be rotated, there's no option to email cumulative student data, and students are still just reading and responding to printed passages. ThinkFluency also doesn't capture students' audio/video like Read with Me Fluency.

Overall Rating

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

Students read printed passages, and won't be interacting with the app. Teachers will find the app well-designed.

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

ThinkFluency offers another assessment option for increasing students' reading capacity. Cumulative data shows students' progress.

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

The interface is intuitive, and there's a useful in-app FAQ. For other questions, teachers can email the developer. Assessments provide teachers with reading interventions.
 


Common Sense Reviewer
Ymasumac Maranon Educational Consultant

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