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  • Mrs G

Do you Teach Writing Fluency?

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Early on in my teaching, I was torn when it came to teaching writing fluency. In particular, in determining whether writing fluency as an IEP goal was appropriate.

After all, being able to write words quickly tells us nothing about the quality of sentences. For some students writing fluency is completely useless. Because the second you bring a timer out, you have lost many students to anxiety. It is painful to watch the stress fall over their faces while they watch the seconds tick away. I feel for those kids. I was that kid.

In my first year of teaching special education, I would have advocated changing the writing goals for all of my students. But, like so many times in my teaching career, my students knew best. They taught me. I listened.

Some of my students who are the most severely impacted in their writing abilities excel in writing fluency. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling plague them. As one student told me, “It is not creative if I have to stop every one second and think of exactly how to spell something!”

It was one of those moments as a teacher where you pause because you know you have heard the truth. For some of my students, fluency is their greatest area of success in writing. It gives them permission to freely and quickly spill their ideas onto paper and be celebrated for doing so.

I Teach Writing Fluency

So, in my room, we do monthly testing on writing fluency. I don’t do it for the kids who struggle or even for the kids who excel. I do it because that is how their lives will be, isn’t it?

Students will move on from my room to other classes where they will take timed tests. They will have timelines for projects. Deadlines at work. So, we practice writing fluency.

We talk about building our skill set around doing things quickly. We talk about the difference between done well and done quickly. And, my students understand the difference between done perfectly and not done at all. It is a balance. For some, it is a challenge. It is a task that I will help them face like any other task that will come their way.

Resources for Teaching Writing Fluency

Here is a cringey video, plus the not cringey resources I use to teach and assess writing fluency in my classroom.


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