A "Fluent" Slicing Rant

I'm linking up with the Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life Writing Challenge! You should too! 

Fluent-spoken or expressed effortlessly and correctly, able to speak a language effortlessly and correctly. This is the definition of fluent. Fluency is a noun, fluently, adverb.

If you are “fluent” in something you should be able to express it effortlessly and correctly. In no part of the definition does fluent mean FAST.
Synonyms for fluent are-flowing, confident, self-assured, glib, smooth, effortless, and easy. NOT fast!
I can be fluent in Spanish, a fluent reader, and move fluently, none of which makes me FAST!
Our state standards and the new Common Core Standards state that first grade students should be “fluent” in math facts to 10.
In no part of either standard does it say they are to be TIMED or FAST.
Fluent DOES NOT mean FAST. Just saying.     



  1. Just sayin' is right! Fluent does not mean fast. It never has and never should mean that it has to be fast! Thanks for the ever-so-important reminder.

  2. We just started fluency in writing this year. Not a fan of it thus far. I'd rather create strong writers who add content & organization into their writing versus how many words they can put down in a timed manner.
    I'm your newest follower, too!
    Amy Howbert

    Little Miss Organized

  3. Timed tests are stress test, and I wonder what a person who writes the rules would like if he or she were timed in some relevant adult test? Love the rant & I get it exactly! Thanks Tammy.

  4. What are you saying...I can't actually find out about a student using a 1 minute test! (said with sarcastic tone) Loving today's vent....we have an awful test we use for reading assessment and it is the only data deemed important. Ridiculous!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  5. Yes indeed - fluent is not the only goal but it is easy to measure and observe so we have become overly interested in fluency across all subjects.

  6. Love your rant! Totally agree. We have a huge debate among grade levels.

  7. I'm just saying...yeah, commas mean to pause. I personally think we are teaching things that speed is the most important thing. What will they come up with to measure thinking? Oh...it just can't take longer than a minute :) xo nanc

  8. Whew glad I haven't offended anyone...at least they didn't comment if I did! LOL
    Thanks for the support guys:)

  9. I am not a fan of timed tests either. Yes,think, but you only have a minute.

  10. I love your clever way of getting across your point. I think there is an art to articulating disgruntlement. You have mastered that art here. I hear your message and it is playful. Now, I only wish the people who really need to hear your message would listen!

  11. And fluent in reading doesn't mean that if they get "bogged down" on a word, essentially stopping there while they ponder it, or look at the pictures and make comments about the story, so they can't read it in the "fluent" time...even though the rest was fluent...is ridiculous. But those are someone's rules. Used to drive me crazy. Now I'm retired. I get to have my own set of fluency rules.