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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Reading & Language Assessments

At the start of every school year, teachers welcome back students and then they begin assessing what they can and cannot due in order to create an instructional plan. For the most part, I have not shared reviews of textbooks with all of you, as well... most textbooks are pretty useless once the class is over.

  

This one is different though. I have A LOT of textbooks for my current class and a TON of homework to go with it. When I met with my new mentor teacher to discuss my practicum requirements, I was surprised that she still has and uses this textbook EVERY year.

This book helps allows you to assess students in grades PK-adult. I love how I can cover all ages in one book. Mine is spiral bound and it comes with a DVD of videos that show how the assessments are completed. My mentor and I tweaked the assessments to meet our needs.

Many of the assessments we gave as a whole-group assignment and then broke down the student into smaller groups to continue assessing them until we got to the point where we HAD to do 1-1 testing in order to find the final answer. It worked great!

There were some assessments that we HAD to do 1-1 such as oral reading but what I really liked about this is that it also had basic "get-to-know" the student forms too. It even has special ELL forms and asks questions I would have never thought to ask but are in deed essential that the student knows.

Each assessment is extremely quick. When we were testing phonics skills, it took us about 10 minutes to give the exam to all students. During planning time, we took the students papers, stapled them to the assessment sheet and recorded how the student did. Easy peasy! Another 10-15 minutes later we knew who needed help and where and who was ready to move onto something harder.

If you are looking for an easy way to assess reading and language abilities - I would recommend this book. My mentor has been using it for the last 4 years as both a beginning and ending assessment for students. She also said it was recommend when she was doing her National Teacher Certification stuff.

What do you use to assess your students with at the beginning of the school year?

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2 Comments:

At August 19, 2012 at 11:39 PM , Blogger M said...

Hey misty, this text book sounds amazing! I use PM Benchmarking as an initial diagnostic assessment and to monitor progress throughout the year. Unfortunately, this must be done one to one and takes about 20 minutes per test and up to another 30 minutes for analysis (that is just one child). PM Benchmarks assess reading behaviours. It is a very useful tool but can be rather labour intensive. I like to the use the Waddington Spelling Test as well to assess students' letter/sound knowledge when spelling. It gives a spelling "age" and enables you to analyse student response to each word.
This book looks great though. Thanks for sharing. :)

 
At August 21, 2012 at 5:07 PM , Blogger Bee Isme said...

I use Fountas and Pinnell to assess during the first month of school, because it's a district-wide assessment. That way everyone in the school and district are on the same page when talking about students. It does take some time and even though it's supposed to be objective, I find it pretty subjective at times. F + P have some great books to use the data and set up reading and writing in the classroom. My favorite is called Guiding Readers and Writers... or something like that.

I have also used DRA, which is pretty similar to F + P.

Bee
Bee Teaches

 

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