Posted in Miscellaneous

Literacy Assessment (K-2)

Image Currently, I am in a literacy course that focuses on literacy in grades K-2. I’m learning a ton about how to incorporate literacy into the classroom and how much time in a day should be scheduled for teaching literacy. There is so much I could say about this class, but for this post I want to focus on assessment.

In my class, we learn about a bunch of different assessments that can be used for young readers and writers. We read about and practiced the Early Names Test, Sentence Dictation, Concepts about Print, and many other assessments. However, practicing these tests on classmates is not real-life elementary experience, so we went to an elementary school and practiced these assessments with children in grades K-2. At the school we did two tests for each grade and worked with just one student from each grade, with the exception of first grade where we worked with two students. Below, I will give a brief description of which assessments we did with each grade and what each test assesses.

Kindergarten:
Letter Identification Task: This task was fairly simple; the girl I worked with completed it without a problem. Basically, you have a paper with all of the upper and lower case letters on it and you ask the student what each letter is. They get a point for each one they correctly name, make the sound for, or say a word that starts with that letter.
Concepts about Print: For this task (and most of the tests) we used Marie Clay’s work. She is a researcher and author who wrote a few books that make it easier to test a child’s knowledge of the various concepts of print.

First Grade
Running Record: The running record was one of the tasks I was most nervous about performing because you assess the child’s reading and all of the mistakes they make while they read. This was difficult because some children read pretty quickly. I did this test with two different first graders, and luckily they didn’t read too fast. This is also a good test because you can analyze the errors and self-corrections and find the rate at which the student self corrects and also their overall accuracy rate. This informs the teacher as to whether or not the text is too advanced for the student to read independently. Image
Sentence Dictation: This task is also taken from Marie Clay’s book. She gives some pre-scored sentences that I read to just one child and as I read the sentence, the student wrote it down. Then to score it, I looked at how many of the pre-designated points she earned from the sounds she heard and recorded.

Second Grade
Primary Spelling Inventory: I used the “Words their Way” book to conduct The Primary Spelling Inventory. This is a spelling test where you give the student one word at a time for them to spell, and the words gradually become more difficult. The test is then scored by the total amount they spell correctly, and then they are each analyzed for the “features” that are in the words. Some of these features include the initial and final consonant, consonant blends, etc. This helps the teacher identify the spelling level the student is currently at and what they can work on to move on to the next level.
Early Names Test: This test requires students to read off a fake class roll. While they read off the names, I check which ones they pronounce right and record what they say for ones pronounced wrong. Then the errors are recorded based on what they mispronounced like a short vowel for a long vowel, etc. This helps the teacher to see what types of speech the child is struggling with and then work to improve those.

These assessments are helpful to use for children in the classroom because they can inform the teaching that takes place. I learned through my experience giving these assessments that they are not too difficult and the teacher can have some really valuable one-on-one time with her students.

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