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Assessing Reading Skills

Assessment and effective reading instruction are closely linked. Ongoing, varied, and accurate assessment helps you to:

  • build on students’ prior knowledge
  • decide at what level to begin reading/writing instruction
  • determine the pace at which instruction should proceed
  • spot gaps in oral language and in specific reading/writing skills
  • determine student grouping in your classroom
  • identify the need for program adaptations for individual students
  • measure student progress over time
  • involve students in goal-setting and self-assessment

The 'Essential Three' of Assessment

  • Assessment before learning/Diagnostic assessment occurs at the start of a school year, term, or study unit, or is carried out with individual students as needed. It identifies the level of a student’s prior learning, allowing you to tailor reading instruction appropriately.
  • Assessment during learning/Formative assessment occurs throughout the school year. Tracking student progress on an ongoing basis gives you constant feedback on the effectiveness of your instruction.
  • Assessment after learning/Summative assessment occurs at the end of a learning module or specific time period. It helps you to evaluate the achievement of each student and the effectiveness of your reading program.

Putting Assessment into Practice

  1. Assess your students' progress
  2. Decide on appropriate instructional strategies
  3. Implement the strategies
  4. Measure your students' progress
  5. Reteach or choose a new strategy if the students are not meeting the learning goal
  6. Assess your students' progress
  7. Determine next steps

Keep these points in mind as you explore eWorkshop’s literacy modules.

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