Fluency, fluency, and more fluency! How to setup your own Fluency Station!

It must be my ABA background but I have a little ol’ soft spot for some fluency instruction. It makes sense to me. In order for a skill to be functional, you have got to know it fast. Think about any skill you have that you use on a regular basis – typing, telling time, tying your shoes – these skills are second nature and you do them with thinking. Those are skills that you needed to learn at some point but in order for them to be truly mastered, you learned to do them quickly.

Before I get off my fluency soap box, one more note. Fluency is accuracy plus speed – doing skills correctly but fast. The accuracy component is key. Doesn’t matter if you are doing something quickly if it’s wrong.

One of the ways I incorporate fluency into my classroom is with my fluency station. This one of the parts of my day that I WISH I had started my first year teaching. It doesn’t take that long to set up, is easy to train an aide to run, and is a great way to work on building fluency.

We call this station “Language” in my classroom. All materials are stored on one shelf (space saver!) beneath my writing center. I have a data binder and set of flashcards for each student.

My aide runs this station. If there is more than one student at the station, one student does flashcards and the other does an independent work notebook. We have a visual to show who is doing binders so the students know. If you aren’t doing a binder, you are doing flashcards!

The independent work binder has different writing worksheets:

Each student has a 3 – 4 sets of flashcards. Each student has a tupperware labeled with their name that holds their sets of cards.

I try to do a combo of math and reading skills. The flashcards are based on individual student IEP goals and progress. The content of these skills are mostly mastered.

 

 

 

 

 

The aide takes out the first set of flashcards, sets the timer for 1 minute or 30 seconds, and the student reads the cards or says the correct answer for each card. She sets aside the incorrect cards. Once the timer goes off she counts up the corrects and incorrects and notes it on the data sheet. She practices the incorrect cards for a moment and then moves on to the next set of cards.

I keep a master sheet in the front of the binder so I have a quick reference of when each flashcard set was started and mastered.

I have two students that do a discrete trial/fluency combo. I made a huge set of frequently used vocabulary words:

We work on 5 new vocabulary words at a time. These are taught in a discrete trial training method. Once these words meet the mastery criteria (usually 5 correct trials of each word on 5 consecutive days), these cards are then added to the ‘known’ set. Fluency timings are done on the known set.

 

 

Okay so maybe you are a visual person like me! Check out the tutorial:

41 Comments

  1. Love,love,love your site!

    Reply
  2. This is SO helpful. I will try to do this with my students. Can you please give an overview of what discrete trials really are? I have heard of this but am not sure what it really involves. Also, if possible, I would so appreciate a video tutorial on how you enter data in your iPad. Do you use Numbers or Excel? Thanks for any additional info!!

    Reply
  3. Hey Sasha,
    Love this so, so much. I do something similar, but this is so much more organized and gives much better data! I plan to add it into our station rotation asap!
    Do you use this with your non-verbal kiddos? If so, how does that look? For my higher kids that use comm devices, I’m thinking fluency for each page of vocabulary with a picture flashcard and him “saying” the corresponding word. I’m thinking for my lower kids with PECS books I could make it picture matching, picture/object match or something, but hoping you have advice!

    Reply
  4. Girl I love this! I’m stealing!

    Reply
  5. Hey sasha, how would I do this for my non verbal students?

    Reply
  6. I love doing receptive language fluency timings with my nonverbal students. Depending on the student lay a field of pictures (you could do categories – animals, colors, letters, people or just general vocabulary) start the timer and then say touch dog, touch cat, touch bird, etc – and then count up how many correct/incorrect in a time interval. You can eventually fade out saying ‘touch’ or ‘point to’ since that could potentially slow down their responding. I would also do shorter time intervals for these – again depending on the student. Some of my kids do 15-20 second timings on these types of programs. Hope this makes sense!

    Reply
  7. Yes that’s similar to what I do! I love doing receptive language fluency timings with my nonverbal students. Depending on the student lay a field of pictures (you could do categories – animals, colors, letters, people or just general vocabulary) start the timer and then say touch dog, touch cat, touch bird, etc – and then count up how many correct/incorrect in a time interval. You can eventually fade out saying ‘touch’ or ‘point to’ since that could potentially slow down their responding. I would also do shorter time intervals for these – again depending on the student. Some of my kids do 15-20 second timings on these types of programs.

    With other nonverbal students I have also done categorizing which goes really well. Basically put one of each category (food, animals, people, clothes vehicles, etc.) down – start the timer and then pass cards and the student sorts the flashcards into the correct category. Count up how many correct/incorrect when timer goes off. With some of my lower functioning students we also do fine motor timings – I should do a post on that actually!

    Have a great week Erin 🙂

    Reply
  8. Sasha, how many cards do you put in a grouping? Would love some lists of your funcitional words.

    Patty

    Reply
  9. I’m going to post more about this on Monday Patty!

    Reply
  10. Hi Sasha,

    Where do you get your worksheets for your independent work binders? Thanks!!

    Jessica

    Reply
  11. Hello, I was wondering if you have the functional vocab lists or pictures available for purchase? I love that idea! Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Hi Sasha! Do you have a link to this post? I’m not sure what keywords to look for!

    This site has helped me so much in my first year! Thanks for writing! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Which post are you looking for Jessica?

    Reply
  14. Hi,
    In your video you mention entering the data on your iPad on friday.
    Is there a program you use to track data on your iPad??

    Thanks

    Reply
  15. Sasha- did you make different levels of flashcards for money and time. I have been trying to find already made flashcards for those topics and they are no where to be found. Do you have a website or location for where you found yours. Thanks you

    Reply
  16. Sasha,
    I’m trying to get a fluency station up and running in my classroom. How many cards do you put in each 1-minute timing grouping? Thanks!

    Reply
  17. Yes – I do make different levels. Easy is coin identification (value or name). Mid is coin combos with 2-3 coins. Hard is coin combos with 4-6 coins. I google image pictures of the coins (front, back, dirty, clean, etc.) – print a bunch out and tape them onto flashcards. Sorry – not a particularly easy solution, but it works!

    Reply
  18. I put more than they can physically do in a minute. You don’t want them to run out because that you won’t get a real fluency count. I usually test it on myself to see how many I can do in a minute (of whichever skill) and then add a handful more to that amount. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  19. Yes that does help! How do you know they are fluent in that skill? No incorrect answers for [5] days in a row?

    Reply
  20. I usually try to develop a goal by doing a few things: 1. I time myself on the skills. 2. I time a grade level general education peer on the skills. 3. I look at the student’s baseline score. Yes no errors is a must have but also we want to see growth from the baseline score. They may never meet the fluency rate from yourself or a peer but it gives a method of comparison. I create individual goals based on what I know about the student. hope this helps 🙂

    Reply
  21. I’m curious to know what app you use on your ipad to track data.

    Reply
  22. What kind of fluency/language things do you have in the students independent work notebook?

    Reply
  23. A range of worksheets (check out this post: https://theautismhelper.com/worksheets-resources/) and I also have one or two sections where they write their vocabulary words (either definitions or sentences) and social studies words – which is super easy because you just need to throw in notebook paper for that part! 🙂

    Reply
  24. Hi Sasha,

    I was curious what you consider mastery criteria for your fluency trials. Is it considered mastered if they get 0 incorrect for a certain number of days in a row? Or is it considered mastered when they reach a certain number per minute? Once it is mastered I also assume that you remove it from the student’s fluency work?

    I’m trying to work out the kinks of my fluency center over the summer!
    Thanks in advance,
    Jackie

    Reply
  25. Could you possibly post the data collection sheets that you made for the language center?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  26. I noticed you also have a yellow visual labeled “writing today.” Is that visual for your writing center that is in the same area, or for the fluency work? Do your students alternate binders and writing centers on different days, or just at different times during the day? Also, I might have missed this, but do your students do fluency timings everyday?

    Reply
  27. Yes! I faded out the writing binders because it was hard to keep up on the photocopying! Students alternate days between fluency instruction and writing centers or complete fluency every day and do writing centers if there is extra time. Most of my students do fluency timings every day. In past years, they have done every other day. I have most students doing 3-4 different sets each at 30 second timings so they run through them pretty quick 🙂

    Reply
  28. Hi Sasha! On your language binders, what type of worksheets do you have in there? I’m going to set up a fluency station and also the homework folders. Do you use similar worksheets? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    Reply
  29. what do you do with the finished work from the binders? send them home or keep for data/work samples?
    Sarah

    Reply
  30. I keep 2-3 samples a month and then send the rest home 🙂

    Reply
  31. Hi Sasha! I purchased Letter, Number, Color, Body Part, Goal Sheets and Data forms to set up a discrete trial center for my aides to work with my students (looking ahead to next year). I am running through it with a few of my students to perfect it and get a good idea of what I want my center to look like eventually. I am setting my timer for my students for 30 seconds and having him receptively (point) ID red, yellow and blue (Field Size, correct?) I am stuck on total # of trials, would that include how many attempts the student made to ID a color (for instance in 30 seconds if he attempted 10 times)? Maybe I am thinking about this too hard, could you provide an example of what your data sheets look like when they are filled out? I want to make sure I know what I am talking about before I sit with my paras to train them:) I actually purchased all three of the discrete trial sets and am very excited about using them next year!

    Reply
  32. Hi Chelsea! I just responded to your email I think. So you are on the right track but I think just combining Discrete Trial and fluency. So for Discrete Trial (the set you bought), there will be no time element. So you will pick total amount of trials (let say 10), ask touch blue, touch red, touch blue, touch yellow, etc. 10 times and track corrects and incorrects (I sent you a pic of the data sheet in the email). Once they start to get successful with that – you can move those colors over to fluency instruction. Then you can use a data sheet similar to what is shown in this post (super simple, just has date, timing length (ie. 30 seconds), # correct, # incorrect) to track the fluency. This post explains how to use Fluency and DTT together in great detail: https://theautismhelper.com/data-discrete-trial-vs-fluency/. I would recommend having a DTT center to work on new skills (so no timing) and a Fluency Center to work on previously mastered skills (timings) and in the fluency center you can work on a bunch of skills (color, number, letter, etc) since the timings go quickly. Let me know if that makes sense of you have other questions!

    Reply
  33. thank you thank you! I love your organization and your video is so helpful. Paula

    Reply
  34. Thanks for reading, Paula!

    Reply
  35. Dear Sasha,

    Thank you again for your resources! I’ve been studying your methods a lot …. I mean….benge watching and benge reading your website…just amazed and your thoroughness…. the last couple weeks and it’s really clicking a lot on how you use different materials! You are clearly a focused and very well organized teacher! Kudos to you!!!

    I do have question about language: How is the language instruction you do in your Morning Direct Instruction Time at your front table (That’s where you use your Year Long Language Arts Curriculum-right??) different from the Language Binders (not the language data binder) that the students use on the off days from doing fluency timings? What is that content that you put in those Language Binders called (something in your TPT’s page)? Or is varied content that each student needs further practice on that supports their IEP goals, that may or may not reflect current Language instruction in the front of the class??

    Can’t say it enough: Thank you soooo very much!!!
    Sherra

    Reply
  36. Hi Sherra! Thank you so much for reading! I am so glad you have found my resources helpful! Great question! So my rule of thumb is that most of the instruction on new concepts is done by me (or paraprofessional if we have enough staffing). The new instruction mostly comes from the Language Arts Curriculum. Since the students are rotating around the room and have several different station where they are either working independently or in a group with a para – the work their is either independent or mostly independent. For the fluency station, I want the extra work to be independent so while the para is working with one student on fluency instruction, the other students are working on their own in binders. I often use this resource for independent binder work because it targets a wide range of skills:
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Interactive-Reading-Work-Book-BUNDLE-1620740
    I’ll also add in additional work that they need extra practice on and to mix it up so they aren’t doing the same things every day. Other resources I use are the sorts:
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/4-Sentence-Building-Literacy-Centers-for-Special-Education-287978
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Initial-Consonant-and-Short-Vowel-Word-Sorts-1043254
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/4-Parts-of-Speech-Literacy-Centers-for-Special-Education-1048628
    https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Advanced-Literacy-Sorts-for-Special-Education-2110720
    Those are great because a para can easily monitor and there are tons of options so kids can’t memorize them. I have them write the sort on a piece of paper when finished to have it take longer and practice writing/self-correction. Hope this helps!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest