Why Use Assessments?Assessments help you identify areas of instruction to meet every student's individual needs. Foundational skills require mastery before students can become fluent readers and comprehend what they are reading. Identifying key foundational skills and complex reading behaviors with assessments helps you focus your instructional time on concepts students struggle to understand. pose.
How to UseAn assessment is any formal or informal measurement of student progress used to improve overall learning. Use our formal assessment tools to help diagnose a student's instructional needs and their understanding of the instruction delivered. Then, find resources from within Reading A-Z’s vast collection to differentiate your instruction based on each student’s assessed needs.
Use a variety of Reading A-Z resources as opportunities for students to practice important skills measured by Common Core ELA assessments scheduled to replace most formal end-of-year state tests in the 2014-2015 school year. Be sure to look for opportunities for
- close examination of text
- mastery of complex literary and informational reading
- inferring meaning from what is read
- answering text-dependent questions
- building arguments using evidence from the text.
Provide students opportunities to practice some of these assessed skills with increasingly complex texts in our Leveled Book collection and by using our Leveled Book Support Resources, including Common Core Supplements, Discussion Cards, and Comprehension Quizzes, along with other resources such as Close Reading Packs.
Other Assessment Tips
After the reading, talk to the student about some of the things she or he did during the reading. Reinforce and praise certain behavior with comments and questions that focus on specific behaviors. For example, after the student reads the text, you might focus on a self-correction and ask, "How did you know it was people and not persons?"
Reading Observation Checklist
In addition to the things revealed by the running record and retelling, there are other behaviors you should be identifying. The behaviors to look for will vary with the reading level. They include the following:
- Does the student have mastery of directionality, one-to-one correspondence, return sweep, and so forth?
- Did the errors made by the student make sense or sound right?
- Did the student attempt to self-correct?
- Did the student use the meaning, structure, and visual cues to identify words and get meaning from the text? Did she or he use them in an integrated way, or did she or he rely heavily on one particular source of information?
- Did the student make an attempt to read a word before asking for your help?
- How was the student's fluency? Did she or he just word-call?
- Did the student seem to recognize phrases?
- Were there many pauses? Were the pauses lengthy?
- How was the student's expression or intonation?
Other Uses of Running Records
You can use a blank running record form to perform a running record assessment on a non-benchmark book, or if you want to assess a reader's accuracy for the entire text of a book.