Reading Rubric to Help Develop Reading Skills

In order to determine if a struggling reader is becoming proficient, you'll need to watch carefully to see if they exhibit characteristics of competent readers. These characteristics will include: making effective use of cueing systems, bringing in background information, moving from a word by word system to a fluent reading for the meaning system. 

Use this rubric to help ensure reading proficiency.

Reading for Meaning

The conversation around reading instruction often gets stuck on skills, as if skills existed in a vacuum.  My mantra for teaching reading is always:  "Why do we read?  For meaning."  Part of decoding skills needs to be to use the context the student finds the word, and even the pictures, to support addressing new vocabulary. 

The first two rubrics address reading for meaning:

  • Is always making sense of the text as opposed to simply decoding words. Meaningful reading instead of word by word reading.
  • Understands the goal for reading and taps into the prior knowledge needed. Makes connections, predictions and or draws inferences in reading passages.

The second rubric focuses on reading strategies that are part of the Common Core State Standards and best practices:  predictions and making inferences.  The challenge is to get students to use those skills when attacking new material. 

Reading Behaviors

  • Understands the important information in reading passages.
  • Self corrects, re-reads when necessary to enhance understanding.
  • Stops periodically to ensure understanding or uses some reflective thought.
  • Reads for enjoyment or to discover something.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude toward reading. A weaker reader isn’t persistent and will often require a great deal of prompting.

Sue's first rubric in this set is very subjective, and doesn't describe a behavior; an operational definition might be "Retells important information from the text," or "Is able to find information in the text." 

The second rubric reflects a student who, (once again) is reading for meaning. Students with disabilities often make mistakes. Correcting them is a sign of reading for meaning, as it reflects a child's attention to the meaning of words as they self-correct. The third rubric is in fact part and parcel of the same skill set: slowing down for understanding also reflects that the student is interested in the meaning of the text.

The last two are very, very subjective. I would recommend that the space next to these rubrics would record some evidence of the student's enjoyment or enthusiasm for a specific kind of book (i.e. about sharks, etc.) or the number of books. 

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Your Citation
Watson, Sue. "Reading Rubric to Help Develop Reading Skills." ThoughtCo, Jan. 29, 2020, Watson, Sue. (2020, January 29). Reading Rubric to Help Develop Reading Skills. Retrieved from Watson, Sue. "Reading Rubric to Help Develop Reading Skills." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).