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NWEA MAP Fluency

What is NWEA MAP Fluency?

NWEA MAP Fluency is a reading assessment for students in grades K-5 that measures foundational reading skills developed by NWEA. The test adapts to your child’s reading proficiency level and may test them in certain areas based on their demonstrated performance. The testing typically takes 20-30 minutes. Each fall, all K-2 students take the NWEA Early Literacy Screener while students in grades 3-5 take the Adaptive Oral Reading assessment. In the winter and spring, all K-5 students take the Adaptive Oral Reading assessment.

What is the NWEA Early Literacy Screener?

This screener test is approved by the Indiana Department of Education to assess all K-2 students as required by the State of Indiana. The test measures:

  • Phonological and phonemic awareness
  • Sound symbol recognition
  • Alphabet knowledge
  • Decoding skills
  • Rapid naming skills
  • Encoding skills

The test provides information on each student’s foundational reading skills and the student’s strengths in reading. It can also show where students might exhibit signs of reading difficulties. While these difficulties can sometimes reflect a learning disability like dyslexia, it’s important to note that this test is not a diagnosis of dyslexia or of a reading disability. It is a tool to help us understand your child’s unique learning needs better. For more information on dyslexia, view the IDOE’s Dyslexia Parent Resource Guide or visit the IDOE’s Dyslexia website.

What is the Adaptive Oral Reading Assessment?

The Adaptive Oral Reading assessment is administered in fall (grades 3-5 only), winter (grades K-5), and spring (grades K-5). The assessment utilizes a headset with a microphone to record students reading aloud and is able to score a student’s verbal responses in real time. Here are the sections of the Adaptive Oral Reading assessment: 

  • Students begin the test with an untimed quick warm-up where they read a short illustrated practice story aloud at their own pace. The warm-up is only practice and does not affect a student’s score. 

  • Students are then assessed in Sentence Reading Fluency consisting of a two-minute measure asking students to read a simple sentence and identify the matching picture. This measure is able to determine a student’s reading ability and will adapt to either assess students on Foundational Skills or Oral Reading. 

  • If a student is directed to the Foundational Skills assessment, they will experience multiple one to two-minute measures that will assess their decoding skills as well as untimed measures that will assess their language comprehension. Most K-1 students are assessed on foundational reading skills. 

  • If a student is directed to the Oral Reading assessment, they will read three passages aloud, each one followed immediately by a short comprehension quiz. The difficulty of the first reading passage is based on your child's grade and the time of year. The next passages will get easier or harder depending on how well your child does. Students in grades 4 and 5 will automatically do the Oral Reading assessment. If your child is in kindergarten or first grade, and demonstrates low comprehension with both the first and second passages, they might be tested on Language Comprehension instead of a third reading passage.

What information is available through the NWEA MAP Fluency Report?

You can determine which MAP Reading Fluency assessment that your student took by looking for scores in each section for the testing window. For example, if students just completed testing in the fall during the 2023-24 school year, look for scores that have “23-24 Fall” in each section. More information about the scores in each section is found below.

Foundational Skills Assessment

Here’s what’s available on the report:

  • Score is a three-digit scale score that may be compared across test forms, school terms, school years or grades.

  • Test Percentile is the percentage of students nationwide who had a scale score less than or equal to an individual student’s score. For example, if a student scored in the 75th percentile on a test, that student achieved a score that is higher than 75% of the other students who took the test. The color next to the three-digit score along with the test percentile tells you how they’re doing compared to other students:

    • Red (Low) (Below the 21st percentile)
    • Orange (Low Average) (Between the 21st and 40th percentile)
    • Yellow (Average) (Between the 41st and 60th percentile)
    • Green (High Average) (Between the 61st and 80th percentile)
    • Blue (High) (Above the 80th percentile)

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate the sounds of spoken language. It involves skills like understanding that words are made up of smaller sound units, recognizing rhymes, identifying the beginning and ending sounds of words, and blending or segmenting sounds in words. Developing phonological awareness is crucial for a child's early literacy skills, as it forms the foundation for reading and writing. Activities like singing songs, playing with rhymes, and practicing sound games can help children improve their phonological awareness and become better readers and writers. Phonological Awareness is assessed through a timed measure asking students to listen to a word(s) and select the correct rhyming word, number of syllables, sound, or number of sounds.

Phonics/Word Recognition

Phonics or word recognition is the ability to connect the sounds of spoken language to the written letters or letter combinations that represent those sounds. It's an essential skill for reading. When children learn phonics, they can sound out words by decoding them, which helps them read and understand written text. Phonics instruction typically involves teaching the relationship between letters and their corresponding sounds, helping children become more proficient readers and spellers. Phonics/Word Recognition is assessed through a timed measure asking students to match letters or words with a sound, word, or picture.

Language Comprehension

Language comprehension in children typically consists of two main components: listening comprehension and picture vocabulary. Both listening comprehension and picture vocabulary play significant roles in a child's overall language development, facilitating effective communication and learning as they grow and interact with the world around them. Parents can support their child's language comprehension by providing opportunities for listening, engaging in conversations, and using visual aids to reinforce vocabulary acquisition.

Listening comprehension refers to a child's ability to understand and make sense of spoken language. It involves the child's capacity to process and interpret spoken words, sentences, and conversations. This skill encompasses various aspects, such as:

  • Understanding spoken instructions or directions.

  • Following conversations and discussions.

  • Extracting meaning from stories, audio materials, or lectures.

  • Identifying key details, main ideas, and nuances in spoken language.

  • Developing strong listening comprehension skills is crucial for effective communication, academic success, and social interactions.

Picture vocabulary relates to a child's ability to recognize and understand words or concepts when presented with visual cues, typically in the form of pictures or illustrations. This skill involves:

  • Associating words with corresponding images.

  • Expanding a child's vocabulary by introducing new words through visual aids.

  • Building connections between words and their meanings through visual representation.

  • Picture vocabulary is an essential component of early language development, as it helps children expand their word knowledge and improve their comprehension of written and spoken language.

Sentence Reading Fluency

Sentence Reading Fluency is a measure of how well a child can read sentences smoothly and accurately. It assesses their ability to read words in context without hesitating or making many mistakes. It's important because it indicates how well a child can understand and process text, which is a crucial skill for overall reading comprehension and literacy. 

When students take the Adaptive Oral Reading Assessment, it checks if they’re ready to read aloud through a Sentence Reading Fluency measure.

Here’s what’s available on the report:

  • Score is how many sentences that your student was able to read correctly.

  • Sentence Reading Fluency Attempted is how many total sentences were on the assessment. 

To move to Oral Reading, they need 15 or more correct answers with at least 75% accuracy. If not, they’ll take the Foundational Skills test. For Grade 4 and above, they'll automatically go to Oral Reading.

Oral Reading Measure

Oral reading is a measure of how well a child can read text out loud using their voice to convey the words and meaning of the written materials. Here’s why it’s important:

  • Fluency: Oral reading helps improve a child's reading fluency by enhancing their ability to read smoothly and at a natural pace.

  • Comprehension: It also aids in understanding the text better as hearing the words can reinforce their meaning.

  • Pronunciation: It helps with correct pronunciation of words and can enhance vocabulary.

On the Oral Reading Measure, students read three passages aloud, each one followed immediately by a short comprehension quiz. The difficulty of the first passage is determined by the student’s grade level and time of year; the subsequent passages will adapt in text difficulty depending on how the student performs.

Unlike MAP Growth, MAP Reading Fluency only assesses for literal comprehension based on student’s reading a text that they’ve not read before. Students aren’t given the option to go back and reread the passage or even portions of a passage to answer questions. The comprehension score is designed to provide insight into how well a student can recall the main idea and a few details based on what was read aloud. Grade 1 students and below may be tested on Language Comprehension measures (picture vocabulary and listening comprehension) instead of a third passage. This occurs only when students demonstrate low comprehension of both the first and second passages.

Here’s what’s available on the report:

  • Score (Oral Reading Rate) is your child’s oral reading rate or how many words your child read correctly per minute.

  • Oral Reading Rate Performance Level tells you how quickly they can read compared to what’s expected for their grade (Below, Approaching, Meets, or Exceeds)

  • Oral Reading Accuracy Performance Level tells you how accurate they are able to decode words compared to what’s expected for their grade. 

  • Literal Comprehension Performance Level tells you how well they are able to understand grade-level passages compared to what’s expected for their grade. 

The performance levels available are Exceeds, Meets, Approaches (Nearly Meets Expectations), and Below. In 5th grade, “Meets Expectations” is the highest performance level for oral reading rate and literal comprehension.

No Score may appear for students when the recorded audio for a test cannot be scored by the speech-scoring engine. For example, this might occur when the student whispered, read silently, blocked the microphone, attempted less than 75% of the passage, or poor audio quality. 

Oral Reading Rate

Oral reading rate is the speed at which a child reads a passage of text out loud. It is measured in words per minute (WPM) or the number of words a child can read correctly in one minute when reading a passage aloud. This tells us how quickly a child can read a text while maintaining accuracy and comprehension. A higher oral reading rate typically indicates better reading fluency which can lead to better oral reading comprehension.

Oral Reading Accuracy

Oral reading accuracy is the percentage of words a child is able to pronounce correctly compared to the total words in a text. When a child can read aloud with accuracy, it indicates that they are effectively decoding words and comprehending text. This skill boosts their confidence in reading and lays the foundation for more advanced reading comprehension and fluency.

Literal Comprehension

Literal comprehension is a child’s ability to understand and recall specific facts, details, and information directly stated in a text they've never seen before. It involves grasping the surface-level meaning of the text without necessarily delving into deeper interpretations or inferences. Literal comprehension is essential for retaining and recalling important information and serves as the foundation for more advanced reading skills.