How can a teacher determine if a student is a fluent reader? 5th gradeHow can a teacher determine if a student is a fluent reader? (5th grade)
There are two important components to reading fluency. One is the actual reading of the words -- recognizing words already read before and known, plus the ability to sound out words that are unknown and not encountered before. The second component is understanding these words combined together to create complete thoughts. This ability to understand is called reading comprehension, and as a child approaches middle school, it becomes a very important key to evaluating a child's reading level.
There are different approaches to evaluating an individual child's fluency at any grade level. You should locate some reading material that is meant for students at the level you are evaluating -- here, you suggest fifth grade. You might ask the child to read the material within a certain time limit and then have them answer questions about the material.
Reading a set amount of text within a certain amount of time will place the child's rate of reading in relationship to other readers at his/her grade level. The questions are vital to finding out if the student is not only "reading" but also comprehending what he/she has read.
So you should: 1) Locate a piece of text that is the grade level you are aiming for; and 2) Have the student read the text and answer questions about it within a set time period.