Buzz Fly

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Buzz Fly Scope & Sequence


Build listening comprehension skills by answering multiple-choice questions about fiction and nonfiction passages that have been read aloud.

Foundational Reading Skills

Print Concepts

The ability to approach print with a basic understanding of how it works, including the concept that text conveys a message, knowledge of how books work, which direction to read in, and how to interpret punctuation.

Word Structure & Knowledge

The ability to recognize word parts such as morphemes, syllables, and spelling patterns, and to apply that knowledge when reading.


The ability to read texts with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression to support comprehension.

Vocabulary Acquisition Skills

Word Learning Strategies

The ability to clarify the meaning of unknown words using strategies such as morphemic and contextual analysis.

Academic Language

The ability to use the language needed for success in school, including general academic words (which appear frequently in print, but rarely in social conversations), discipline-specific terms, and multiple meaning words.

Comprehension Skills

Listening Comprehension

The ability to listen to and comprehend spoken language and derive meaning from oral texts.

Key Ideas & Details

The ability to distinguish key ideas from supporting details.

Monitoring Comprehension

The ability of learners to recognize whether they understand what they are reading, and if necessary, to take steps to repair their comprehension before continuing to read.

Cognitive Learning Skills


The ability to use both working memory and long-term memory to understand and retain information. Working memory is the capacity to keep information in mind over the short term, while integrating or manipulating it. Long-term memory is the capacity to store and retrieve information over hours, days, or years.


The ability to focus on specific information, to sustain that focus, and to ignore distractions, while carrying out a task.


The ability to rapidly interpret and integrate auditory and/or visual information. For example, interpreting a complex burst of acoustic information to identify a phoneme, or integrating a set of lines and curves to recognize a letter.


The ability to track the order of things like the sounds in a word, the words in a sentence, the sentences in a paragraph, or the events in a timeline.

How students use Buzz Fly

The object of Buzz Fly is to listen to a passage while reading along, then answer multiple-choice comprehension questions about that passage.

To work on Buzz Fly, the student clicks the yellow paw on the filing cabinet to start. The exercise displays a page of text from a fiction or nonfiction passage and then reads that page aloud. Each line of text is highlighted as it is read.

After reading the page, the exercise presents a comprehension question about the text and reads that question aloud. The flies display four pictures as possible responses. The student must click the picture that best answers the question.

Points are awarded for each correct response. Questions that are answered correctly on the first try are worth more points; questions answered correctly on the second or third try are worth fewer points. After the third attempt to answer the question, the exercise displays the correct answer without awarding any points.

For a trial to count toward advancement, the student must answer the question correctly on the first attempt.

Time. The timer at the top of the screen shows the amount of time the student needs to work on the exercise that day, which is based on the student's protocol. When the time requirement is met, the exercise automatically closes and returns to the remaining exercises scheduled for that day. If this is the last exercise for the day, Today’s report opens.

Menu. The student can use this menu to exit the exercise early, to check the network connection status, and to see exactly how much time is left to meet the day’s protocol for that exercise. To learn more see Exiting an exercise.

Passage icons. Icons at the bottom of the screen indicate the number of pages in the passage. As a page is presented, the corresponding icon highlights, indicating the current location in the passage.

Keyboard shortcuts. Students who are not able to use a mouse can use the following keyboard shortcuts (not available on touchscreen devices):

  • Paw (go button). Space bar
  • Pictures, top left to bottom right (response buttons). Number keys 1 through 4

How students progress in Buzz Fly


Buzz Fly begins with a short introduction that explains the task. You can choose to present the introductions in another language, if needed. See Fast ForWord exercise intro languages.


In Buzz Fly, the student progresses through five levels of content that increase in difficulty. Each level includes pages of both fiction and nonfiction passages, with one or two comprehension questions for each page.

As the student progresses in the exercise, it presents longer passages at a faster reading rate, with more challenging vocabulary.

Content details


Passage rate &  length



per page



Slower, shorter


6 fiction

2 nonfiction




Slower, shorter

1st grade

2 fiction

6 nonfiction




Faster, longer


2 fiction

2 nonfiction




Faster, longer

1st grade

2 fiction

2 nonfiction




Faster, longer

2nd grade

2 fiction

2 nonfiction



Sample content


Page from passage



A hog and a frog took a jog in the fog.

“I can’t see a thing!” said the hog to the frog.

Where did the animals go for a jog?

(pictured: fog, puddle, mountain, frog)


People do not have wings. But they can still fly in the sky if they take a plane.

How can people fly?

(pictured: plane, car, truck, bird)


Nat was good with a ball and bat. Almost as good as Matt the Cat. Who was nearly as good as Pat the Rat.

One day Nat said, “Let’s play ball!”

But not outside. They played in the hall.

What was Nat good with?

(pictured: a ball and a bat, a mitt and a cap, Pat the Rad, Matt the Cat)


Gordon saw a scarecrow in a bean patch.
“Hello,” said Gordon. The scarecrow didn’t answer.
Gordon leaned on the garden wall. “Hey you! Hello,” he said. The scarecrow did not answer.

What did Gordon see in the bean patch?
(pictured: scarecrow, bird, cricket, log)


In the United States, we have many forms of government. The national government passes laws that are for everyone in the country. It also provides some services for people, like building roads that connect one state to another.

What service does the national government provide?

(pictured: road work, trash pickup, playground construction, a map of the U.S.)

Tip: For a complete list of content in the exercise, see the Reading Level 1 teacher manual.


In Buzz Fly, the student must answer a question correctly on the first attempt for it to count toward advancement. Otherwise, the exercise presents the page and question again, as a learning trial, with the previous answer disabled. Learning trials do not count towards advancement.

In Buzz Fly, the student must pass all of the passages in a level to advance to the next level. Students who need more work will repeat the passage content as needed. After a few attempts to pass a level, Buzz Fly will transition the student to the next level. At the end of the exercise, the student will repeat any content that was not previously mastered.

If the exercise ends before a passage is completed, Buzz Fly presents the entire passage in the next session; however, the questions that were answered in the previous session still count toward advancement.


To complete the exercise, the student must master all of the skills in the exercise. To learn more see Completing a component.

How Buzz Fly rewards progress

Session points. The exercise awards points as follows:

  • 6 points for each correct response on the first attempt
  • 1 point for each correct response on the second attempt (learning trial)
  • 10 bonus points after 4 correct responses

Session high score. Each time the student surpasses the highest score ever achieved in one session, the points counter lights up and flashes the words High Score.

Progress markers. The progress markers track and celebrate every 10% of content completion. Each marker represents 10% of the exercise. When all 10 markers light up, the exercise is complete. For more on percent complete scores see the student’s Progress report.

Consecutive correct animations. In addition to the progress markers, the exercise uses other fun animations to encourage progress. Note that if a student is repeating a trial that was previously answered incorrectly, the consecutive correct animations will not count that trial.

  • The red button on the side of the typewriter represents the consecutive correct counter. It increments by one to indicate the number of consecutive correct responses.
  • When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly, a fun animation plays and the counter resets.
  • When the student answers three consecutive trials correctly six times, another fun animation plays, and a paper horseshoe lands on the pencil in the lower right corner.
  • As the student continues answering trials correctly in a session, more and more horseshoes appear, which can help indicate a more successful session performance.