I wrote this post some time ago and my assessment of young students has changed. Now I use the PM Benchmark RAR and digital program for reading. The digital program is what we need as teachers. Follow the link above.
Our initial assessment of all Prep students (first year of formal schooling) is well organised and supported by the school. Our preps have Wednesdays off for the first five weeks of the year. Assessments are completed on Wednesdays with assessment interviews organised. All initial assessments are ‘one on one’ and comprehensive. Each assessment interview is 40 minutes. The parents can watch, drop off or wait outside. I leave this decision up to them.
Auditory Processing Assessment
This assessment identifies students who have auditory processing issues which may affect their learning. It tells me how many words a student can ‘hear and understand’ before understanding is lost. Students who score poorly on this assessment, need careful instructions and very close monitoring in the classroom. They may require further assessments and be identified as ‘at risk’.
Concepts About print – Letter Identification
This assessment tells me what a student’s alphabet knowledge is. I quickly find out which letter names and sounds they recognise.
From this assessment I discover what a student knows about books and how they work. This assessment is extremely valuable as it tells me how ready a student is for reading. I use this information to plan my focus for Shared Big Book reading.
Can a student hear an initial sound, pick out a rhyme or say another word starting with a sound? This assessment assesses a student’s phonological awareness.
Early Numeracy Interview- On Line : Detour
All students read a Level 1 book. If they seem confident when reading a Level 1, we’ll try a Level 2. My aim is to find their instructional level if they can read. The level 1 book tells me if they can remember sentence structure, key words and how well they use the picture to support meaning.
My experience tells me that student’s who have poor oral language find learning to read and write tougher. When having a conversation, I’m listening to their sentence structure, vocabulary and depth of information.
Our initial testing for numeracy is the Early Numeracy Interview – Detour. The Detour is quick and assesses early concepts and counting.
Please let me know if you are using any other assessments that you find useful.