Monday, July 28, 2014

Early Reading Assessments

I told you last night that I am a DATA DORK!  
When it comes to assessments, I long for some good data!  I love studying the results so that I can apply teaching strategies, based on that data, in our homeschooling program. 
It's a great way to reflect on your own teaching as well.

 As a Kindergarten - 5th grade Reading Coach, I went through intense training on proctoring and interpreting assessments.  

During this time, I would assess students on many different reading (skill) levels.  Our main goal was to find that "missing link" and work with teachers to move forward with student-specific differentiated instruction. 

With that being said, I pulled a few Reading assessments for my own kiddos.  

Today, I assessed both of my little learners using an Letter Knowledge assessment from this resource.
Using this assessment will give me a baseline and also identifies what I need to teach /focus on over the next few months.  

Before the assessment, I already knew J could recognize his letters (upper and lower) and need to confirm that due to our recent time off from homeschooling.  I was unsure about his Letter Sound knowledge when it comes to short and long vowels.

Here's a peek of what the completed assessment for J looks like.
I showed him this page.  He used a pointer to track his left-to-right reading progression.  I also assessed him using a lowercase page (not pictured)

Here is my data sheet and notes.

Based on this data, I need to review long and short vowel sounds for J.  There is NO reason for me to spend weeks/months on a Letter of the Week.  He doesn't need that.  
But he does need to become stronger with those vowel sounds because that might hinder his decoding during his independent reading.

My plan is to create a Phonemic Awareness/Phonics Workbox for him next week that reviews these vowel skills.
I am planning a few other reading assessments throughout the week.  
(Please leave a comment or email me if you are interested in what those might be for my 5 yr old)   

Because N is 3 1/2 years old, I needed to alter the delivery of assessment.
If I used the letter sheet above (that I used with J), that would be to overwhelming for this little guy!  So this is what I did:
I used lower and uppercase letter cards.  I explained to N that we were playing a letter game so I could see how smart he was.  
I showed him one card at a time, then made piles to help me record me data later. 
First we did Letter Recognition for upper and lowercase.  
Then, I asked him if he could play one more game using his letter sounds.  
And he was excited about that!
I didn't push assessing him on the 3rd column on the assessment record sheet which is "word that begins with that letter".  We will come back to that tomorrow.
Keeping it simple and not overwhelming was key!

Once again, if you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Assessment is important!  When done effectively, it can really guide your child's instruction!

Happy Learning with your Little Ones. 

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