Ever 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:
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:
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.