Storia Assessment Strategies

How to gain insightful information about your readers through reading inventories, writing in response to reading, and other assessment strategies

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Using Storia's Features for Assessment

Just as it’s important to provide excellent classroom instruction, it is also essential to use best practices in informal classroom assessment. Using Storia will make your assessment practices even more effective.

By observing student use of and interaction with Storia’s rich features — including the notes and highlighter tools, the read-to-me and drawing capabilities, and the dictionary — you can begin to get a picture of your students' reading performance over time. 

And since Storia's automatically reports on what happens within a bookshelf, if you have created a personal bookshelf for each student in your class, you can use Storia's reports to get a wide range of information about your students. 

Using Storia features and enrichments as part of your reading assessment system is easy to do and nearly limitless in its possibilities.

Storia Notes

Notes are available for your students and you. You are able to see and interact with any e-book saved in your students’ bookshelves. Using the notes tool, you can leave assessment questions and prompts at strategic places in the e-books that are in your students’ personal bookshelves. Your students’ Storia notes can be imported to another document and saved for review. And if they are working in books on shared shelves, students can also leave notes to each other for peer feedback and review. 

Storia Highlighter

Ask your students to highlight passages that have textual evidence that supports an opinion or idea about the text, and then collect these highlighted passages from their e-books to review.

Storia Dictionary

Storia will show you how many times students used the Storia dictionary and the words they looked up. Remember that report data is associated with a bookshelf, so you will have to set up personal student shelves to view this information for each student.

Storia Enrichment Activities

You can collect valuable information by reviewing the data on your students’ enrichment activities. You can check students’ comprehension skills as they engage in activities that involve sequencing, decoding, and answering questions.

Storia Drawing Tool

The drawing tool, which is available in all picture books and leveled readers, is a great way to have students innovate on a text in response to reading. By observing how students change the text, interact with a page, and use text and images in response to their reading, you will gain valuable information about your students’ understanding and appreciation of the text.

Storia Library

You can also use the Storia e-book library to find patterns in your students’ reading progress. Use the reading report data to view the reading levels of the e-books your students choose. Do they trend toward being more challenging? 

You can also check the reading levels of all the books a student has collected in his personal bookshelf. The average level of his collection will give you a snapshot of his leveling choices. 

Assessment Strategy: Reading Inventories

What Are Reading Inventories?

Independent reading time, when your classroom is relatively quiet, is an ideal time to administer reading inventories. Informal reading inventories, such as Running Records, are assessments for recording readers’ oral reading miscues. 

When you administer a reading inventory, you analyze which cuing systems -- visual, syntactic, structural, meaning -- your students rely on most to make sense of what they read.  When they make miscues, the miscues are based on problems with these cuing systems.

Administering a Reading Inventory Using Storia

Choose a full page of text in the e-book your student is currently reading. If the student is reading a picture book, have the student read the entire book. 

  1. Instruct your student to read the text aloud to you.
  2. As the student is reading, use reading behavior notation symbols to track the miscues on the reading inventory form. Many reference materials are available to help guide your miscue-analysis of student reading.
  3. After tallying the miscues, determine the types of reading strategies, or cuing systems, the student is relying on. For instance, if the miscues are mainly visual miscues, the reader is probably relying on a visual cuing system.
  4. Determine which cuing systems are being used, overused, or not used at all.
  5. Assess the reader’s on-level reading. Decide if the reader is ready to advance to a more complex level, should stay at the same level or needs to find a book at a lower level. After the assessment, you can help match the reader to “just right” books from the Storia collection.
  6. Confer with your student to set goals based on your miscue analysis. The goal is to strengthen the student's decoding skills so she can move on to text comprehension.  
  7. Use the reading report to confirm your observations about your student's reading experience. Look at what books she is reading and at what level, how many words she looked up, and how much time she spent on each page.

Assessment Strategy: “The Share”

During “the share,” which you do at the end of a reading workshop, your readers verbalize their thoughts and listen to others’ ideas. This process enables you to assess what your students have learned from the mini-lesson and from their reading practice during independent reading.

This strategy will work especially well if several students are reading the same book (multiple copies on multiple devices) at the same time.

What Is “The Share?”

During “the share,” students are:

  • ​Participating in an authentic conversation about reading

  • Discussing how they applied the day’s mini-lesson strategy

  • Articulating their ideas about a text

  • Listening to the thoughts of their peers and forming new ideas

  • Providing and receiving feedback

  • Questioning the text, the strategy, or their peers' comments

  • Actively thinking, knowing they are expected to participate in the class share

Administering “The Share” Using Storia

Readers can bring their Storia devices to “the share” to take their conversations further. During "the share," they can refer to the information they gathered by using Storia's notes and highlighter tools in order to raise points, support ideas, and reflect on the use of reading strategies.

Storia devices also can be projected onto a whiteboard for whole-class display. This will allow you to share a piece of text with the entire class and to discuss the part of the story your class is considering. If students are reading different e-books, projecting on the whiteboard will allow them to work on the same strategy across texts.

Assessment Strategy: Writing in Response to Reading

There are many ways you can use Storia features to observe students’ writing to assess their reading and record data to save for future use. Here are five.

  • Model, model, model!  Prior to your having your students write about reading, explicitly demonstrate how you’d like them to respond.  Model the process using a familiar e-book and guide your students through your thought processes as you are reading and generating ideas for writing.
  • Informally assess comprehension during independent reading through “stop and jots,” which are effective, but not very time consuming. Remind students that most of their independent reading time should be spent reading. 
  • Validate your students' hard work by letting them know when see they’re implementing the reading strategies you’ve taught them.  You may want to reward their reading work by giving them extra time to work on the Storia enrichment activities.
  • Encourage your students to read nonfiction texts!  With a greater emphasis on nonfiction in the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), students must move from fiction books to informational and expository texts. The Storia library offers many exciting choices for nonfiction reading at a variety of reading levels. Storia enrichments add multimedia interactivity to the nonfiction reading experience, further motivating your students to explore this genre.
  • Provide your students with authentic and task-specific feedback and then ensure they know what to do with that feedback. Use rubrics  to provide your students with clear and specific expectations and scoring criteria for a given piece of work. Built-in Storia activities offer a first step by providing immediate reinforcement for reading comprehension. 

Writing in Response to Reading Assessment Strategies

Stop and Jot

Students write notes consisting of key words and phrases to reflect on for an assigned reading or for self-monitoring their comprehension.

  • Student “stop and jots” can be can be recorded, saved, and shared on a Storia note.
  • You can use a Storia note to provide students with a focus for reading or writing.
Draw and Describe

Ask students to illustrate a character, event, action, or setting of a story and then write a description of it. This not only will give you a sense of your students’ understanding about the story elements, but also will allow you to assess their writing skills in terms of organization, sentence structure, and writing conventions.

In enriched Storia picture books, readers can draw their own story endings right inside the e-book. You can even have your readers save their drawings, print them, and write about them on the printed copy.

Downloadable e-reading resource: The Primary Reading Response: Draw and Write (PDF) graphic organizer provides a response activity based on drawing.


Short Response to Text

Pose questions about the e-book and have students respond with a short written response. The response can be from two to five sentences long.

  • You can pose literal comprehension questions that students can answer with information they take straight from the text.
  • Or you can pose inferential comprehension questions that require students to “read between the lines,” combining information from the text with prior knowledge and their own ideas.
  • Write your questions in Storia notes and place them at appropriate points within the text. Students can then use the Storia notes tool to write their written responses. Students can also use the Storia highlighting tool to call out passages that inform their reading responses.

Downloadable e-reading resources: You'll find several graphic organizers that encourage students to write in response to text in the Downloadable Teaching Materials to Use With Storia collection.




Show students how to prepare to write a text summary by taking notes on the text. Ask students to think about a text selection and write about the main point and the supporting details. 

Use the Storia note tool to write down main ideas and details. Students can then review all of their notes and use them for the summary.

Downloadable e-reading resource: You may want to use the Main Ideas and Supporting Details (PDF) graphic organizer. Or use the Identifying Character Traits With Evidence (PDF) to have students provide evidence from the text of the personality traits they've identified for a character.


Extended Response to Text

In extended response, students respond to a comprehension question with a longer written response. These responses generally require students to interpret and evaluate the information they read, synthesize it with their prior knowledge, and write a response based on those ideas.

You can use the Storia notes feature to ask a range of questions. Examples of evaluative questions are:

  • What do you think about…?
  • What is your opinion about…?
  • Why did ____ act that way?
  • Would you have acted that way if you were in the story?

Assessment Strategy: Graphic Organizers

Charts and graphic organizers provide students, especially visual thinkers, with ways to express their thinking and arrange their ideas.

Some graphic organizers are built into Storia enrichment activities. For example, students can practice sequencing by using the "Beginning, Middle, and End" enrichment activity right in the Storia App. They can follow that up by completing the Primary Reading Response: Summarizing a Story (PDF).

Downloadable e-reading resources: You'll find more than 30 graphic organizers in the Downloadable Teaching Materials to Use With Storia collection. Encourage students to use Storia’s tools and enrichments with these graphic organizers. 

Assessment Strategy: Prompts

Using Prompts

You can use the Storia notes feature to leave response prompts that provide your students with specific focuses for their comprehension activities and their writing. (You can also list prompts on chart paper.) Students can choose the prompts that resonate with them.

Examples of Prompts

  • My favorite character was ____, because…
  • My least favorite character was ____, because…
  • My favorite part in the story was ___, because…
  • I loved the way…
  • As I was reading, I realized that…
  • As I was reading, I was questioning why…
  • I predict that…
  • I was wondering why…
  • I can’t really understand…
  • I noticed…
  • I can connect to ____, because…
  • I really identified with this character because…
  • This reminds me of…
  • ____can be characterized as ____, because…
  • The character I most admire is _____, because…
  • I came across some cause and effect relationships in the text that were…
  • The valuable lesson from this text was...
  • This was a really interesting quote, because…
  • The author creates a ________ type of mood throughout the book by…
  • This book is similar to…
  • The theme throughout the story was_____, because…
  • I think the relationship between ____ and ____ was interesting, because…
  • This story didn’t end the way I thought it would, because…
  • This text detail reminds me of…
  • If I could introduce a character from this book to my family, it would be ____, because…
  • As I was reading, it really bothered me that…
  • I agreed/disagreed with the author about…
  • If I were the author, I would have changed the part of the story when…
  • If I encountered the same problem as this character, I would have…
  • I think the solution was fair, because…
  • It seemed that the setting influenced the plot throughout the story, because…

Downloadable e-reading resource: The E-Reading Response Prompts (PDF) graphic organizer also lists these possible prompts. 

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