READ 180 Routine Assessment
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
During this time, students will complete assessments that give much data about strengths and weaknesses in their reading and writing skills. This allows me to determine common needs and effectively group students for instruction.
- Take the computerized assessment Scholastic Reading inventory (SRI).
- Write a narrative about a memory in their writing folders.
- Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) loaded on computers and students entered into database.
- Writing folders and writing paper.
Set Up and Prepare
- Have supplies ready and room set up for the lesson.
PART 1 – Assessment
Step 1: Discuss with students the need for assessment data and why you will insist that they write independently while assessment is taking place.
Step 2: Assess students using Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) on the computer. Print out reports by class or by student during planning time. The assessment can be accomplished in about 30 minutes of one class period if you have access to a computer lab or in group rotations in the classroom. All directions are clearly given in the Assessment and Report sections of the READ 180 teacher manual.
Step 3: Assign a writing topic to students for their first paper. Explain that while they often may choose the topic, for this project you would like them all to write on "A Memory." This gives everyone something to write about and you can use these papers to learn a great deal about each writer. I keep all writing assignments in their folder to show at conferences and then give them back at end of the year.
Step 4: As students write the Memory paper, I pull individual students for a very brief conference outside the classroom door. I share their Lexile level score and discuss their attitudes toward reading and writing. I try very hard to find a "hook" or some way to link what we will do in class to their interests. I may also administer an individual reading comprehension check such as the Qualitative Reading Inventory on students whose assessment results are at odds with other school performance data.
PART 2 – Using the Data
Step 5: Create an individual, private file folder for students, noting their beginning of year reading level and any notes about reading or writing skills as baseline data. This will be where you will store observational notes, selected student work, and notes on progress. This will be shared with the student and his/her family later in the year.
Step 6: Using assessment data, form preliminary groups. Divide the class in thirds, keeping these beginning groups based on reading level data. However, keep in mind that groupings will be flexible and change with student need.
Note: Even if you are not a READ 180 classroom, the rotation model offers some advantages in any language arts classroom. The rotation format allows you to work with small groups or individually conference with students while the rest of the class is productively working. Alternating between whole-class lessons and mini-lessons for small groups is an effective way to differentiate instruction to reach all students.
Supporting All Learners
This format is created to support ALL learners! Students are assessed and then the data is used to determine each student's instructional needs. Groups are formed on common instructional needs and will change throughout the year.
For students who finish their writing piece early, have them list or web ideas for future writing pieces.
Make that first positive call home! Parents need to hear the positives about their child - especially if the news is not often positive from the school. Parents may have had negative experiences with schools, and so it is crucial to set a positive tone for this year.
- Students take the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) on the computer.
- Students will complete the Memory piece while the teacher continues to pull students for individual conferences.
You will greatly appreciate the data you have accumulated over these few days. Take a breather, then dive into the data and form some preliminary groups.
Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) reports reading levels by the Lexile system. I have found that conferencing with a student about goals to raise their Lexile level is much more positive than labeling with a low grade level equivalent.
As for the writing piece, use holistic scoring to give the paper an overall grade, noting only positive comments in the margins–or better yet, on sticky notes. Keep this first assignment positive so that each student feels success. I use a combination of perspectives to assess student writing. Check if your state has a holistic writing rubric, for this is a good place to start. Then check out the professional materials on the Six + One Writing Traits (see my booklist) for further information. I will share more on student writing and assessing that writing in my writing unit later this year.