<![CDATA[Education by Shala Books - Blog]]>Wed, 21 Oct 2020 22:52:11 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[EARLY READING ASSESSMENT TOOLS]]>Fri, 16 Oct 2020 19:29:20 GMThttps://shala-books.com/education-blog/early-reading-assessment-toolsFor young learners, the jump from reading one word to two words on a page can seem like a huge leap, which is why our series of CVC, CCVC, CVCC and Sight Words eBooks gradually build young readers competencies, moving from two word, to three and finally four to five-word sentences per page. In addition to the eBooks, we now offer editable reading assessment forms to help you evaluate students every step of the way on their reading journey, as shown in the sample below.
CVC, CCVC, CVCC & Sight Words Reading Assessment
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CVC, CCVC, CVCC Reading Assessment
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Reading Assessment Forms CVC, CCVC, CVCC & Sight Words
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These reading assessment sheets accompany each of our sight word eBooks and incorporate tips for implementing them in one’s classroom or as part of one’s homeschooling program, including the ones below.

1. Evaluating Decoding Skills


Our eBook collections have been scaffolded to afford students the opportunity to practice sight words singly before moving on to books that combine multiple sight words alongside CVC, CCVC and/or CVCC words in a sentence. When it comes to tracking student progress, our reading assessment tools can be used to note how successful a student is at decoding each word prior to progressing to the next book or set of books. In practice this would mean tallying the total of words read correctly and if the learner achieves a score of 90% or higher, deeming them successful and ready to be evaluated on another book.

2. Evaluating Reading Skills


As a student is reading, space for you to note reading skills observed has been provided on the reading assessment tool. This area can be used to jot down observations, like if the learner is looking at the picture for clues, is able to sound out all the letters, is able to read with fluency, etc. After listening to the child read and marking their score you can add notes for next steps, which could include areas to work on during upcoming lessons.

3. Evaluating Reading Comprehension Skills


We have also included a reading comprehension page for you to ask questions at the end of each assessment. These have been left blank for you to create and insert questions of your own which can include things like:
  1. What can _______ do?
  2. What things did you see?
  3. How many _____ were there?
Whether you choose to use the reading comprehension section as part of the overall score that determines whether a student is ready to be assessed on the next book (or set of books), or simply as practice for answering comprehension questions in the future, is up to your discretion.

4. Frequency of Evaluations


The purpose of our program is to assist you in identifying student gaps in reading so that you can help your students to build a strong foundation; that said, how often you assess learners is your choice. It may be that you feel it best to evaluate students after introducing and teaching each new sight word, at the end of each term to provide feedback to parents on how their child is doing and plan steps forward for the next term, etc.

5. Evaluating Using Every eBook


Do you need to assess students on every single book? Not necessarily. While some might find it helpful to test students on each book, others may find that assessing students after a set number of eBooks read more beneficial, and this is fine as long as you feel you have sufficient feedback from which to inform and guide upcoming lessons.
At Education by Shala Books, we recognize that not everyone’s needs are the same, which is why our templates are available in an editable Word format so that you may customize them as you see fit. Have questions about our early readers program and/or assessment tools? Contact us! We are happy to help.
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<![CDATA[READING ASSESSMENT FORMS FOR BEGINNING READERS]]>Sun, 27 Sep 2020 15:42:08 GMThttps://shala-books.com/education-blog/reading-assessment-forms-for-beginning-readersEver wonder if it would be possible to track student reading at the beginning stages – to be able to identify exactly where learners are struggling and help them to rectify issues even before they start on leveled readers like the ones provided by PM Benchmark? Well it is! How so, you might wonder? By using our newly created editable reading assessment templates, as shown in the sample for our Short 'A' - Mix 1 eBook below:
CVC Words Short A Reading Assessment
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CVC Words Reading Assessement Form
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CVC Words Reading Comprehension Assessment
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For each of our single word Emergent and Transitional Readers eBooks a set of reading assessment sheets like the ones above have been developed to allow you to observe and track a student’s progress over the course of three attempts (if need be), and the following tips have been provided to guide you in using these tools.

1. Evaluating Decoding Skills


Each of our single word Emergent and Transitional collections of eBooks have been scaffolded to afford students the opportunity to practice new beginning/end sounds singly before moving on to books that are mixed. For example, our CVC Emergent Readers collection begins with Short ‘A’ eBooks that are separated by individual word endings such as 'ag', 'am', 'an', etc. and then proceeds to the Short ‘A’ mixes that present a combination of all the endings practiced. When it comes to tracking student progress, our assessment tools can be used to evaluate how successful a student is at decoding each ending prior to progressing to the mixed books and/or next set, which in this case would be Short ‘E’. In practice this would mean tallying the total words read correctly, and if the learner achieves a score of 90% or higher, deeming them successful and able to be evaluated on another book.

2. Evaluating Reading Skills


As a student is reading, space for you to note reading skills observed has been provided on the assessment tool. This area can be used to jot down things like  whether the learner is looking at the picture for clues, can sound out all the letters, etc. After listening to the child read and marking their score, you can then add notes for next steps, which could include areas to work on during reading lessons in class.

3. Evaluating Reading Comprehension Skills


A reading comprehension page has also been included for you to ask questions at the end of each assessment. Given that the children will still be in the beginning stages of learning how to read, the questions you create need not be too complex and could include the following:
  • What was your favorite __________?
  • What color was the ______________?
  • What words do you remember?
Whether you choose to use the reading comprehension section as part of the overall score that determines whether a student is ready to be assessed on the next book or simply as practice for answering comprehension questions in the future is entirely up to you.

4. Frequency of Evaluations


Given that the purpose of our reading program is to assist you in identifying students’ gaps in reading and helping them to build a strong foundation, how often you assess learners is your choice. You may feel it best to evaluate students after teaching a complete set of word endings, i.e. all short ‘A’ words, at the end of each term to provide feedback to parents on how their child is doing and plan steps forward for the next term, etc.

5. Evaluating Using Every Book


Do you need to assess students on every single book? Not necessarily. While some might find it helpful to test using each book, others may find assessing students solely on the books that contain a mix of word endings and/or sight words enough as they can see which sounds/words a student is struggling with and use this to inform their next lessons. It comes down to a matter of personal preference and what best suits your needs.
As mentioned, the reading assessment templates we created are editable as we realize that not every teacher’s needs are the same – feel free to use what we have provided as a base and to modify as you see fit! Have additional question about our reading program and assessment tools? Contact us! We are happy to help.
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<![CDATA[CREATING EFFECTIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EDUCATORS]]>Sun, 13 Sep 2020 15:05:38 GMThttps://shala-books.com/education-blog/creating-effective-professional-development-for-educatorsWondering how you can deliver professional development sessions that not only inspire educators to make changes when they see the relevance in what you are proposing, but that also provide them with the means to implement change? Follow the simple steps below!

1. State Your Vision and Goals


For any professional development you plan to offer, you should always start by writing out your vision for the session and asking yourself what knowledge and skills educators should walk away with after leaving your session. The clearer you are about what you would like to achieve, the easier it will be to plan a well-thought out and focused session.

2. Merge Visions and Goals

 
In addition to thinking about your own vision and goals, it’s always a good idea to do a little investigative research on your audience by browsing through the school websites of those who will be in attendance or by asking educators to complete a quick survey to learn about their visions and what their goals may be. With this information you can think of ways to merge both yours and your audience’s vision to ensure that any session offered is tailored to meet the needs of educators in attendance.

3. Create Individualized Tools


With a clear vision for your session, the next step is to create the tools to support your audience in their learning – will this be in the form of planners, a handbook, online resources, etc.? For every tool developed, you must not only think about that tool’s objectives, but also of how to individualize it by ensuring that whichever learning tool you offer is differentiated and/or scaffolded to accommodate differences in teaching roles (mainstream, specialist, support staff), different levels of teaching experience or knowledge of the topic you are presenting on, different grade levels, etc. This may mean making multiple versions of whichever tools you are planning to offer.

4. Plan Your Session

 
The last step before offering your professional development is to plan it out. Because your objectives are clear, you understand your audience’s needs, and you have your learning tools in place, this will be a fairly easy process! To ensure that your session remains focused, that there is a balance and clear connect between your talking points and time for educators to collaborate, and that your session is individualized, a planner similar to the one below can help you organize your thoughts.

5. Provide Ongoing Support


All too often, educators walk away from professional development and fail to make changes at their school or in their classrooms because there is a lack of follow up after the training is over. To avoid this common pitfall, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for how you will support your audience after the session, which doesn’t necessarily mean a second session will need to be offered – this can be done via email, by setting up a group chat platform on your website for educators to support each other, via Zoom calls, etc. It doesn’t have to be much, but knowing that a platform does exist for questions to be answered will make it more likely that educators will buy into implementing your ideas!
Do you have any other tips you would like to share for running effective professional development? We’d love to hear them!

Further Reading

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