At Read Side by Side we value reliable and valid assessments as well as formative classroom tools to help determine the overall needs of a learner. We recommend the following assessment system to monitor your students’ strengths and needs in literacy.
Use a reliable and valid screening assessment that is nationally normed to determine whether or not students are reading at the grade level benchmark.
To determine whether or not your screener is reliable and valid or to shop for a reliable and valid screener, we recommend reviewing the tools chart from the National Center for Response to Intervention.
Our favorite screener that we often recommend to clients is the STAR Renaissance screener. Not only is it quick and easy to give, eliminating extended interruptions to learning, but it is also recognized as highly reliable and valid.
If students do not meet grade level expectations on your screening assessment, determine whether or not students will be adequately supported within the reading block or if they will need additional interventions. You will want to use diagnostic assessments to determine whether or not students have gaps in listening comprehension, decoding, or both.
To determine whether or not a student has language and listening comprehension gaps, assess them in listening comprehension. Just use a reading comprehension assessment and read the passage and questions out loud to the student.
To determine whether or not a student has decoding gaps, assess them in isolated decoding of real and nonsense words. We recommend the Diagnostic Decoding Survey from Really Great Reading.
Progress monitor your students using informal formative assessment tools provided by your materials publisher. Read Side by Side provides a number of free formative assessment check sheets, rubrics, self-assessment forms, etc. for use in the C.I.A. classroom.
Progress monitor your students, especially the below benchmark students, as needed mid-trimester using formal assessment provided by an outside evaluator. Choose assessments that align with your screener, are highly reliable and valid, and offer minimal interruptions to instruction. We recommend the Star Renaissance assessment as your screener and progress monitoring assessment.