fluency and self-sustained reading TEKS talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--fluency. The student reads grade-level text with fluency and comprehension.

Keep a running record to determine student mastery. Running records allow teachers to analyze reading fluency, expression, and comprehension in a comprehensive way. Once the running record is complete, the following rubrics can be used:

Fluency (phrasing & expression)

  1. The student reads primarily word by word. Occasional two-word or three-word phrases may occur, but these are infrequent and they do not preserve meaningful syntax.
  2. The student reads primarily in two-word phrases with some three- or four-word groupings. Some word-by-word reading may be present. Word groups may seem awkward and unrelated to the larger context of the sentence or passage.
  3. The student reads primarily in three- or four-word groups. Some smaller groupings may be present; however, most of the phrasing seems appropriate and preserves the syntax of the author. Little or no expressive interpretation present.
  4. The student reads primarily in large, meaningful phrase groups. Although some regressions, repetitions, and deviations from the text may be present, these do not appear to detract from the overall structure of the story. Preservation of the author's syntax is consistent. Some or most of the story is read with expressive interpretation.

Level of Text

  1. The student reads more than three months below grade level.
  2. The student reads one to three months below grade level and accurately.
  3. The student reads grade-level-appropriate text and demonstrates comprehension of the text while reading.
  4. The student reads above-grade-level appropriate text and demonstrates comprehension the text while reading.


Notecomprehension is not directly a part of fluency, but to be considered a fluent reader, students must also be able to comprehend what they read. A comprehension component may be included in the fluency assessment.

  1. The student is unable to answer comprehension questions without heavy teacher support.
  2. The student is able to answer 50–75% of the comprehension questions, with teacher prompting.
  3. The student is able to answer 50–75% of the comprehension questions, without teacher prompting.
  4. The student is able to answer 75%–100% of the comprehension questions without teacher prompting
Reading accuracy refers to error-free reading of text. Students achieve reading accuracy through decoding and sight word knowledge. Building automaticity will increase the rate and accuracy of a reader.
the ability to read text at an appropriate rate, with accuracy, expression, appropriate phrasing, and without significant word-recognition difficulties
Fluency is the ability to read text at an appropriate rate, with accuracy, expression, and appropriate phrasing and without significant word recognition difficulties. It means being able to read a text with natural phrasing and automaticity. Comprehension is the part of reading that involves constructing meaning.
a text with a difficulty level that aligns with a student’s age and grade; text that is written to be accessible to a student at a particular grade
Prosody is the vocal intonation and meter of spoken language. It is the rhythm and patterns of sounds in the spoken language and is also known as expression.
Reading rate, which is a good indicator of automaticity, is the number of words a student can read per minute. Appropriate phrasing plays a key role in determining a student’s reading rate. While the end-of-year target for a second-grade student is 90 words per minute, a reading rate slightly lower is not deemed problematic if the student exhibits strong comprehension.

Related 2009 Student Expectation

This student expectation is related to the following SE from the 2009 reading/language arts TEKS.

(4)  Reading/Fluency. Students read grade-level text with fluency and comprehension. Students are expected to read aloud grade-level appropriate text with fluency (rate, accuracy, expression, appropriate phrasing) and comprehension.


Kuhn, M. R., Schwaneflugel, P. J., Meisinger, E. B., Levy, B. A., & Raskinski, T. V. (2010). Aligning Theory and Assessment of Reading Fluency: Automaticity, Prosody, and Definitions of Fluency. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(2), 230–251. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/20697184

Summary: Over the past decade, fluent reading has come to be seen as a central component of skilled reading and a driving force in the literacy curriculum. However, much of this focus has centered on a relatively narrow definition of reading fluency, one that emphasizes automatic word recognition. This article attempts to expand this understanding by synthesizing several key aspects of research on reading fluency, including theoretical perspectives surrounding automaticity and prosody. It examines four major definitions of reading fluency and their relationship to accuracy, automaticity, and prosody. A proposed definition is presented. Finally, the implications of these definitions for current assessment and instruction are considered along with suggestions for reenvisioning fluency's role within the literacy curriculum.