Assessing comprehension
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Assessing Comprehension. Today’s Agenda. Test Review Assignment Word Id test wrap up Assignment Clarifications Comprehension Assessment Working Lunch- Writing Workshop with Conferences Making Plans for Completion (Timeline). Language Comprehension. Recognition & Usage of Text Structures

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Assessing Comprehension

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Assessing comprehension

Assessing Comprehension

Today s agenda

Today’s Agenda

  • Test Review Assignment

  • Word Id test wrap up

  • Assignment Clarifications

  • Comprehension Assessment

  • Working Lunch-

  • Writing Workshop with Conferences

  • Making Plans for Completion (Timeline)

Language comprehension

Language Comprehension

Recognition & Usage of Text Structures


Applying Knowledge of the World

  • Written language is different from spoken language.

  • Must be mindful of students who understand when we explain it but not when we read it.

  • Many ELL students will have difficulty with the required background knowledge (world) for certain books, including specific vocabulary

Assessing comprehension

Once upon a time a tawndy rapsig named Gub found a tix of pertollic asquees. So chortlich was he with his discovery that he murtled a handful to show Kon, a cagwitzpat. “Pagoo!” cried Kon. “With these you could treeple a frange!”. “No,” smiled Gub, “I think I’ll just paible a catwicine.”

1. What did Gub find?

2. How was Gub feeling with his discovery?

3. After Kon cries Pagoo, what does he suggest to Gub?

Read this short passage to answer questions that will follow

Read this short passage to answer questions that will follow.

Assessing comprehension

When Sally arrived, she put everything she owned on a cart and walked briskly through the door. Two men tried unsuccessfully to take her belongings. Sally fended them off and moved onward. Inside, she stood in line for what seemed like forever. When Sally reached the front of the line a woman took her belongings, handed her some papers, and sent her on her way. Sally waited in another line for quite some time before two men made her remove her shoes, coat, and belt. One man searched her carefully with the backs of his hands to insure that she had nothing hiding under her clothing. Sally was tying her shoes when she heard something that made her run as fast as she could before handing over her papers and finally finding her seat.

Assessing comprehension

  • Why did the two men try to take Sally’s belongings?

  • Why did Sally give her belongings to the woman behind the counter?

  • Why did Sally allow the men to search her?

  • What were the papers that Sally handed over?

  • In the end, why did Sally run as fast as she could?

Homemade boat

Homemade Boat

The boat that we just built is just fine.

Don’t try to tell us its not.

The top and the sides are divine.

It’s the bottom I guess we forgot.

Homemade boat1

Homemade Boat

Yesterday my friends and I built a boat. We searched through my grandpa’s barn to find all of the supplies we needed. We found the old metal frame from a boat he had many years ago. We found balsam wood that we could bend and shape around the frame. We worked all afternoon making that boat. Carefully filling every nail hole with caulk. When the caulk was dry this morning we decided to go for a row. As soon as we put the boat in the water, it sank to the bottom of the pond. We were so embarrassed when we realized that we forgot to seal the nail holes on the bottom with caulk!

Homemade boat2

Homemade Boat

Examine the lumber pile carefully and select four boards nearly alike. Do not allow the dealer or his men to talk you into taking lumber with blemishes.  Measure the wood and see that it is over twenty-two feet long by one foot four or five inches wide and one inch thick. Trim two of the side-pieces until they are exact duplicates.  The stern-piece should be made from a triangular piece of oak, and it is wise to make it a few inches longer than will be necessary, so that there may be no danger of finding, after all your labor, that the stick is too short; much better too long, for it is a simple matter to saw it off. Make a second stem-piece of oak about one inch thick and the same length as the first, and two or three inches wide, or twice as wide as the thick-a of the side boards.

Assessment questions

Assessment Questions

  • What background knowledge does the child have to bring to reading?

    • PPVT, vocabulary, prediction,retelling, parts of DRA

  • How does the child read different genres(text structures)?

    • Expository, narrative, other; Think Aloud, meta-narrative task; retelling; parts of DRA

  • How does the student answer questions?

    • Analysis of QRI questions; parts of DRA

  • How does their retelling abilities compare to answering questions?

How do we get to this point where do we go

How Do We Get To This Point? Where Do We Go?

  • Stage I Diagnosis indicates Listening Comprehension as lowest level in profile

  • Stage II Analysis:

    • Compare receptive language score (age equiv.) to listening comprehension level

    • If receptive language score is relatively lower than listening comprehension profile score, then knowledge of the world (vocabulary) is area of impact

    • If receptive language score is relatively higher than listening comprehension level, then recognition and usage of text structures(gaining meaning from text) is the area of impact

Peabody picture vocabulary test

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

  • Standardized, norm-referenced test

  • Measure of receptive vocabulary

  • Can be adapted for different languages or response style depending on student abilities

  • Must administer according to the directions

  • Obtain Standard Score, Percentile Rank, and look at age equivalency

We use the ppvt to

We use the PPVT to….

  • Perform an informal comparison of a child’s ability to listen to a text read aloud to them (QRI) and their receptive vocabulary acquisition.

  • Look at what words they know receptively

  • Consider how they perform with age equivalent receptive vocabulary as compared to their age-matched peers

  • We are cautious when using with English Language Learners; we clarify that this is a test of English language receptive vocabulary; a student could have more vocabulary than is represented on this English test

Word use fluency

Word Use Fluency


Difficulties with world knowledge

Difficulties with World Knowledge

  • Background knowledge specific to certain situations and texts

  • Difficulty with retrieval of information in reading situation

  • Inability to use schema for a task or text type in new learning situation; generalization

  • Receptive vocabulary deficit

  • Difficulty with receptive and/or expressive language



  • Advantage of being more representative of oral language

  • Allows you to see what they pick up on

  • You have retelling grids in Section B of the binder

  • Key assessment questions:

  • How does the child retell with a known text? Unknown text?

  • How does the child retell with a narrative? Expository?

  • How does the child retell when they read? When they listen to a story?

Three levels of comprehension

Three Levels of Comprehension

  • Micro-textbase

    • memory for the last few sentences you have read

  • Macro-textbase

    • memory for the entire text; summary and getting the ‘gist’ of the story

  • Situation model

    • how this text relates to ‘your world’; the text in your head; cognitive clarity

Types of questions mckenna stahl p 161

Types of Questions (McKenna & Stahl, p. 161)

  • Literal –recall specific facts

  • Inferential- combine specific fact recall with logic

  • Critical – form a a value judgment, based on the individual’s value system.

  • *Passage Dependency issue – the need to have read the passage in order to answer a comprehension question.

Text structures

Text Structures

  • Pertaining to Narrative Texts:

    • Title

    • Character development

    • Plot: Setting, Action, Problem, Emotions, Conclusion

    • Dialogue

    • Sentence structure particular to a type of genre

    • Role of pictures

    • Theme and topic

Text structures1

Text Structures

  • Pertaining to Expository Texts:

    • Captions and pictures

    • Maps and charts

    • Topic

    • Headings & highlighted key terms

    • Main points and supporting details

    • Superordinate and subordinate categories

    • Table of Contents

    • Glossary and Index

How should you utilize the think aloud

How should you utilize the Think Aloud?

  • At least 2 times

  • Oral (or silent) reading comprehension

  • Variety of texts

  • Short selections of text (depending on child’s patience level)

  • Prompts that fit the text

How to do a think aloud

How to do a Think Aloud

  • Introduce text without a title

  • Read intro section and ask what they think it will be about

  • Read next section and stop and ask them to briefly summarize what they read, and what they think they will read

  • As various vocabulary words come up, stop and ask what they mean.

  • Use set prompts at pre-determined times

Sub types of retellers wade 1990

Sub-types of Retellers (Wade, 1990)

  • Non-risk taker-relies on text only

  • Non-integrator- each new section of text brings about a new hypothesis

  • Schema imposer- over relies on background; they fit all new info into their own schema

  • Storyteller- Over active top-down processing- the story becomes theirs

Comprehension strategies

Comprehension Strategies

  • Call Up

  • Connect

  • Make Inferences

  • Summarize

  • Question

  • Predict

  • Monitor

  • Visualize

  • Organize

Meta narrative task

Meta-Narrative Task

  • Select a short narrative passage at the student’s listening comprehension level.

  • Change the sentence order.

  • Read the sentences with the student in their manipulated order.

  • Ask the student to indicate what the correct order of the sentences should be.

  • A student’s difficulty with ordering parts of a story may indicate difficulty with text structure.

Cloze procedure pg 172 mckenna and stahl

Cloze Procedure pg. 172 McKenna and Stahl

  • Rationale: ability to replace words with logical substitutions indicated comprehension; can also be used an indicator of ease of reading of a text

  • Not ideal for beginning readers: after 3rd grade

  • Select a passage of no more than 300 words. Leave first sentence in tact.

  • Delete every X words (either 5 or 7).

  • You can ask the child to orally read and say correct word or write in correct word

Strategic knowledge

Strategic Knowledge

  • Burke Reading Interview

  • Careful analysis of a Think Aloud

To do for next time

To Do for next time:

  • Emergent reader report submitted by 2/26

  • Struggling reader – complete assessments and write as you go – use your writing partner! Send to me for feedback

  • Collect writing samples from your struggling reader: pencil/paper, computer, dictation, graphic organizer, other writing sample from classroom

  • Review the rubric for the Assessment report (emailed to everyone today)

  • Read “Assessing Reading Fluency” in binder (green); if time, complete a separate fluency assessment with your struggling reader

Bring with you

Bring With You

  • All data on your student

  • (if you have them) 2-3 instructional strategies to share with group- print one strategy per page bring in 16 copies to share

  • Test Review Assignment

  • Test materials you have borrowed

Timeline to completion

Timeline to Completion

  • Complete any preliminary information that has not already been gathered

  • Complete (at least) one word id assessment

  • Complete one spelling assessment

  • Complete (at least) one comprehension assessment

  • Complete fluency evaluation on another oral reading

  • Collect writing samples in 3 modes: pencil/pen, computer, dictation

  • Complete one formal assessment

Dates to aim for

Dates to Aim For:

  • February 26 -Completed Emergent Reader

  • Week of March 13 – conference with me for status update; review current draft of report

  • March 24-25 class meets; review current draft of report, final deadline for key assignment

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