Reading Assessment BTSD. Topic: Reading Assessment Teaching Skill: Understanding formal and informal assessment

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1 Reading Assessment BTSD Topic: Reading Assessment Teaching Skill: Understanding formal and informal assessment Learning Outcome 1: Identify the key principles of reading assessment. Standard 3: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation Candidates use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction. Standard Element 3.1: As a result, candidates use a wide range of assessment tools and practices that range from individual and group standardized tests to individual and group informal classroom assessment strategies, including technology-based assessment tools. Candidates administer scripted formal and informal assessments and technologybased assessments under the direction of certified personnel. select and administer appropriate formal and informal assessments including technology-based assessments. understand the requirements for technical adequacy of assessments and can select technically adequate assessment tools. can interpret the results of these tests and assessments. From Standards for Reading Professionals (Revised 2003). Copyright 2004 by the International Reading Association. Used with permission of the International Reading Association. Introduction Assessment is the process of collecting information to make instructional decisions. Quality reading assessment incorporates the following principles: The goal of assessment is to find out what students can do: Teachers should be using assessment to determine what each student s strengths and weaknesses are. Students should be assessed in the five key areas of reading phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension depending on their developmental level. Assessment informs instruction: Teachers should design instruction based on the results of assessment data. Students should not be retaught skills they have already mastered, and likewise should not be expected to learn skills that are too advanced for their current ability level. Teachers should use a variety of tools: Teachers may choose to use formal or informal assessments. Formal assessments are standardized tests that are either norm or criterion referenced. Informal assessments do not have a standardized procedure, nor have they been norm referenced. Informal assessments include: o Teacher-prepared tests or published informal reading inventories.

2 o Process-oriented assessments designed to collect data during and after reading and reading instruction. Examples include a miscue analysis, think-aloud analysis, observations, and running records. o Engagement assessments designed to evaluate motivation and attitude towards reading. Examples include attitude surveys, interviews, and interest inventories. o Self-assessments used to encourage students to evaluate their reading growth and establish their own goals for learning. Examples include student-led conferences and strategy self-assessments. Teachers must analyze and document student results and growth: Reading assessment should not be limited to the beginning and end of the year, but should instead continue frequently at regular intervals. Assessment results should be documented to determine if students are making adequate progress towards their goals or if instruction should be modified to encourage student achievement. In the following activities, you will see three different teachers using various assessment techniques and you will be asked to analyze their effectiveness based on the principles discussed above. Part 1 (link to Part 1) Part 2 (link to Part 2) Part 3: Final Quiz (link to Part 3) Part 1 Part 1 Introductory Text: In this video segment, a reading specialist conducts a running record with an elementary school student. Video Title: Running Record gearts&clipid=lgar_001_201.flv Question 1 Text: Determine the teacher s assessment goal. Question 1 Feedback: The teacher is using a running record to determine the student s strengths and weaknesses with regard to phonics, fluency, and comprehension. She has the student answer a few comprehension questions to determine if he understood the basic ideas in the story. The student read the story orally and the teacher then analyzed the student s miscues to determine his strengths with regard to word recognition.

3 Question 2 Feedback: Based on the student s miscues, the student uses both visual and meaning clues when decoding words. This tells us that the student is able to use both context and phonics when reading the story. In addition, he uses grammatical sense (structure) when he self-corrected stop to stopped. The student knew that he needed the past tense form of the verb for the sentence to make grammatical sense. Continuing to build on those strengths will be useful during instruction so that the student eventually makes fewer errors in his oral reading. The student still is struggling with word endings, so it may be helpful to review word endings with the student so that he attends to those when reading. Also, he is not confident on some basic sight words (they, then, them), so it may be beneficial to review those as well. This assessment will allow the teacher to develop her lessons based on the student s skill needs. Question 3 Feedback: The teacher is using an informal assessment tool, the running record, and a miscue analysis. This is a process-oriented assessment tool because it is an assessment done while the student is reading. It is beneficial to hear the student read aloud so that errors in decoding can be noted and analyzed. A running record is a flexible assessment tool that can be adapted to the teacher s needs and purpose, making it extremely user friendly. Question 4 Feedback: The assessment data are being analyzed using a miscue analysis. The teacher very thoroughly analyzes the student s errors to determine if his errors follow any particular pattern that may indicate an area of need. This type of assessment can be used on a weekly basis to determine if the student is making adequate progress and to determine if he or she is reading appropriately leveled books. Part 2 Part 2 Introductory Text: Standardized tests are discussed, including the benefits and drawbacks of this form of assessment. In addition, a teacher demonstrates how she prepares her students for standardized achievement tests in a mathematics classroom. Video Title: Standardized Tests ations&clipid=info_011_366.flv Question 1 Text: Determine the teacher s assessment goal.

4 Question 1 Feedback: The math teacher s assessment goal is to prepare her students for future standardized assessments. A student s results may be misleading if the student is unfamiliar with basic test formats and strategies. Preparing a student ahead of time allows a student to truly demonstrate what he or she knows. This assessment could be used to determine a student s strengths and weaknesses if it is properly analyzed, although this is not the goal of the teacher. Question 2 Feedback: The assessment information could be used to guide instruction because it indicates the class strengths and weaknesses. This information could then help the teacher determine what topics she should concentrate on in upcoming lessons. However, most standardized tests are survey tests that cover a wide range of general skills with only a few questions about each topic. Therefore, it may be difficult to determine student needs without additional assessment data. Question 3 Feedback: This is a formal assessment tool, a standardized test. The benefit of using standardized tests is that they are objective and they allow teachers to compare students to others of the same age and grade. However, standardized tests only test a small portion of the material covered in a class, so test scores do not provide an accurate picture of everything the student can and cannot do. Question 4 Feedback: Standardized test results are often used in a variety of ways. They can be used for promotion and retention, graduation requirements, to accredit or discredit schools, and even to promote or fire teachers. Some schools choose to analyze the assessment data provided by standardized results to inform instruction, but this is not always the case. Standardized assessments are not done frequently, usually only once a year, so while growth can be evaluated, it is not on a frequent basis. Part 3: Final Quiz Part 3 Introductory Text: Writing is a good indicator of how well a child reads. An eighth-grade teacher works with her students on writing a personal narrative. She discusses how she can sometimes spot reading problems from a child s writing. Video Title: Writing Assessment gmethods&clipid=rmet_006_141.flv

5 Question 1 Text: Determine the teacher s assessment goal. Question 1 Feedback: The teacher s assessment goal is to assess the students writing ability. She is individually determining what each student s writing strengths and weaknesses are by assessing their personal narratives. While the teacher is not directly assessing the five key areas of reading, some researchers believe that writing can give us an idea of how a child understands and comprehends written text. Question 2 Feedback: The assessment is guiding instruction because the assessment is a product of the instruction. The assessment is not a separate entity from the instruction given in class. The teacher has instructed the students on how to write a personal narrative, and as they are working on the narrative, she is continually conferencing with them to determine what aspects of writing they need further assistance with. By reading their papers, she is able to determine what mini lessons she may need to teach as well as what small group or individual instruction she may need to incorporate. Question 3 Feedback: The teacher is using an informal assessment. The writing project is a process-oriented assessment because the teacher is observing the students throughout the entire writing experience and monitoring their strengths and weaknesses. Continually assessing the students enables the teacher to quickly intervene if the students are beginning to struggle at any point in the writing process. Question 4 Feedback: The assessment data are being used to determine if the students are making adequate progress in writing. This is the students second time writing a personal narrative and the teacher is expecting the students to show improvement and growth since their first writing experience. Question 5 Text: Determine if the teacher is using quality assessment procedures. Question 5 Hint: Is the teacher incorporating ideas from all the major principles of assessment? Question 5 Feedback: This teacher has done an outstanding job setting up a high-quality assessment process. The goal of the writing project is to determine her students strengths and weaknesses in writing and she uses that information to plan her instruction. She continually evaluates the students progress in writing and compares their initial writing pieces with later pieces to show growth.

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