After ORF Assessments, What’s Next?

After ORF Assessments, what’s Next?

How do we use the ORF scores to improve reading habits and motivation?


In The Third Quest, personal fluency goals are based on pretest scores. To “level up” at the end of Levels 1–7, students must improve their words correct per minute on passages that increase in difficulty. (See the Program Guide, pp. 50–51 and pp. 154–156.)

End of Level 1

Step 1. Congratulate students who meet their goalverbally, in writing, or both!

Step 2. Provide feedback to students who miss their goal—verbally, in writing, or both.

Why some students need to slow down before speeding up:

  • Accuracy precedes simple speed. Some poor readers habitually read by prediction versus complete visual processing. They may insert words and read “a” for “the” or “on” for “in.” To read with accuracy, these students may initially have to read a little slower while they are breaking counterproductive habits.

Note: When students read what they think the text is going to say versus what it says, they will have comprehension problems. For example, “I am class president” has a different meaning than “I was class president.” “Mindy depended on Tuppins” has a different meaning than “Mindy defended Tuppins.”

  • Some poor readers habitually insert words, omit words, or skip lines. These errors also result in comprehension problems. Prescription: Have students finger track until they are accurate. (Tracking with a pencil tends to be less accurate and more cumbersome.)

Time students with and without finger tracking. Students almost always read better when finger tracking.

Step 3. Increase practice opportunities on targeted skills.

  • As you move forward in the next level, put difficult words missed on a whiteboard for all students to practice.

For multisyllabic words, be sure to have students finger count the syllables. Hearing the syllables is a critical skill. (See the Program Guide, pp. 95–96.)

sci-en-tist                 scientist

sci-en-tif-ic               scientific

meth-od                    method

  • When reading sentences on the Word Study, model reading sentences with the types of errors students make. Have them catch your mistakes. (See Program Guide. p. 98.)
  • In the Reader, gently correct errors and have students reread sentences.
  • In the Chapter Summary, gently correct errors and have students reread sentences. Set a group goal of no more than 0–2 errors. If that goal is too hard, have students read once for a baseline and then have them try to beat that. Review errors. (Let’s look at our errors so we can improve our score. It says, “He had a backpack,” not “He has a backpack.” What other errors did we need to fix?) Next, challenge students to beat their record by reading with fewer errors. ( We made a total of 4 errors the first time. Let’s reread and see if we can read with 2 or less errors.)
  • Teach students to error count as follows:
    • Misreading a word
    • Inserting a word (or words)
    • Skipping a line
    • Omitting a word

Note: To be consistent with most fluency assessments, we do not count word insertions as errors on end-of-level fluency assessments. However, to teach students to read better, count insertions as errors during practice. When students add words, meaning changes.

  • When time permits during the next level of the program, reassess any students who did not meet their goal. The goal on a retest is to improve. (Continue to work toward the long-range goal.)

Step 4. Chart student progress.

  • If time permits, chart student progress. (See Program Guide, pp. 154–155).

TIP: If time is tight, plot the chart for students when you assess.

The visual nature of charting will help you and your students see progress and will motivate practice.




The Parallel Universe Sample Lessons

Two sample lessons are provided below. First download the related pages from the Coach’s Manual so you can follow along then play the lessons.
(Watch the whole lesson or fast forward to see how lessons progress.)

Level 0, Lesson 2 from the beginning of the program
Click to download corresponding pages.
Level 4, Lesson 6 near the end of program
Click to download corresponding pages.