University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Reading Words Per Minute

Reading Words Per Minute

LEADERS Handbook of Early Literacy Strategies and Activities

Time: 5 minutes per student
Group Style: One-on-one with teacher, volunteer, or paraprofessional
Grade Level: K-6


By charting a fluency check, students can see their improvement over time as well as when they re-read text.


  • Independent level text (text can be read independently by student)
  • Timer
  • Chart


  1. Student reads an independent level passage aloud for one minute.
  2. Count the words that were read correctly.
  3. Write the number on the chart. (Be sure to include the date so that the student can watch the progress.)
  4. Repeat the process later.
  5. Be sure to identify the results of the re-read on the chart.

Teacher Comments

  • If possible this should be done on a regular basis.
  • Older students could be responsible for their own graphing.