Nonsense Word Fluency


What does Nonsense Word Fluency assess?

          Nonsense Word Fluency assesses the alphabetic principle, specifically whether a
               child can associate sounds with letters and blend the sounds into words.

When is it given?

          It is given in the middle and end of Kindergarten, the beginning, middle, and end
               of 1st Grade, and the beginning of 2nd grade.

How is it administered?

          To view a video clip of this being given to a child, click on the link below.


          To view an online tutorial, click on the link below.


In review...

          The teacher reads a specific set of directions to the child.

          The child has 1 minute to read each individual sound or the entire word.

          If the child struggles with a letter or a word for 3 seconds, the teacher will tell 
               the letter or word and instruct him/her to go on.

          The child's score is how many sounds correctly produced in 1 minute.

Why is this important?

          Knowledge of letter-sound correspondence is essential to a child's ability to
               decode unknown words. It also helps a child to spell words correctly when

Where should my child's score be when he takes this test?

          The benchmark score differs depending upon the time of year the test is taken.

          Let's think of benchmark as meaning the score your child needs to be considered
               on target for the time of year the test is taken.

          The chart below will show the minimum benchmark score. Children who score
               below the benchmark will receive additional reading support.

          A child should reach the benchmark goal for this assessment by the middle of
               1st Grade.

Nonsense Word Fluency Benchmark Scores

 Grade Given  Time of Year  Benchmark Score
 K Middle 13 or more letters
 K End 25 or more letters
 1st Beginning 24 or more letters
 1st Middle 50 or more letters
 1st End      50 or more letters


Beginning  50 or more letters

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Marie L. Smith
Red Creek Central School District
M. W. Cuyler Elementary School
Last updated on 2-10-05