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Assessment-Driven Reading Instruction Michael C. McKenna University of Virginia Sharon Walpole University of Delaware
Today’s Goals • Define the three tiers of instruction. • Explain how assessments can help predict which tiers are necessary for a child. • Describe best practice with respect to managing three-tiered instruction.
Back in School . . . • Lead one grade-level meeting to explore how three-tiered instruction can be improved. • Conference with an individual teacher at that grade level who is experiencing difficulties in planning and delivering tier-two instruction. • Follow-up with this teacher after a plan has been agreed upon.
Let’s be clear about GARF There are several multi-tier models of reading intervention described in the research literature. These are potentially confusing. The model used in Georgia Reading First has three tiers. It was developed by Sharon Vaughn and her colleagues. What are the three tiers?
Tier 1 Whole-class core instruction This instruction is the same for all; it might include work in small groups, pairs, or teams, but the work is grade-level work Includes core reading selections Includes read-alouds What are the three tiers?
Tier 2 Small-group needs-based instruction Needs are determined by assessments How long a child remains in a particular group is also determined by assessments Materials could be part of the core program or they could be independent Tier 2 instruction could be conducted by the classroom teacher or by others Tier 2 occurs during the reading block What are the three tiers?
Tier 3 Small-group or individual needs-based instruction Scheduled outside the block Needs are determined by assessments Placement in Tier 3 depends on lack of success at Tier 2 Like Tier 2, how long a child remains in Tier 3 is also determined by assessments Materials could be part of the core program, but they are more likely to be independent Tier 3 instruction is usually not conducted by the classroom teacher What are the three tiers?
What is assessment-driven instruction? • Assessments of three kinds are used: • Screening • Diagnostic • Progress monitoring • Group placement is based on the first two kinds. • How long to keep a child in a group is based on the third. • The Cognitive Model of Reading Assessment should guide which assessments to give. Let’s review it! McKenna & Stahl, 2003, Chapter 1
Isn’t the Cognitive Model that big flowchart? Yes, that’s the way Steve Stahl first described it, but there are other ways. Let’s look at a checklist teachers might find useful.
Three Areas Addressed by the Cognitive Model • Word Recognition • Language Comprehension • Strategy Use
Defining Best Practice • Multi-tiered instruction has proved effective in K-3 contexts. • Teachers must recognize that initial group placements can be wrong (the result of “false positives”). • Teachers must commit to changing Tier 2 groupings or ending Tier 3 placements as soon as progress-monitoring assessment indicates that it’s no longer needed. • Using others (e.g., special educators, paraprofessionals) to help with Tier 2 instruction requires coordinated scheduling across classrooms and possibly across grades. • Scheduling Tier 3 instruction requires coordination on a broader level, possibly involving specials, lunch, etc. • Tier 3 interventions in kindergarten and grade one are probably ill-advised during the fall; consider first evaluating the effectiveness of Tier 2
Some GARF assumptions . . . • Core instruction will not be sufficient for all students – particularly those who struggle. • Providing instruction at Tiers 2 and 3 is an expectation of GARF. • Because of the nature of Reading First, most differentiated instruction will concern word recognition. • Some differentiated instruction, however, will address comprehension strategies.
Coaches’ Corner • How well are teachers implementing Tier 2 instruction in your school? • How well is your plan for Tier 3 instruction working in your school? • What are some of the pitfalls and problems you’ve encountered? • What successes can you share?
How can I put these ideas together to gain a better understanding of assessment-driven instruction? Let’s read an article that attempts to do just that.
McKenna, M. C., & Walpole, S. (2005). How well does assessment inform our reading instruction? The Reading Teacher, 59, 84-86. Read this article. It provides an explanation of assessment-driven instruction as it is applied in Georgia Reading First schools.
What have we learned? • What are some ways in which Ms. Henderson’s instruction is not assessment driven? • In the article, the general model is not specific to Reading First. What would you need to add to align it? Here it is again …
Let’s Plan . . . • Think about how to organize a grade-level meeting about assessment-driven instruction. You’ll need to examine grade-level and classroom-level DIBELS data. You’ll also need to examine or propose additional data collection. • Think of a teacher who needs your help in planning and carrying out needs-based instruction. • Think of how you might conduct a conference with that teacher to begin moving toward that goal.
Back at School . . . • Review your DIBELS summaries for your target grade level and classrooms. • Plan and schedule the grade-level meeting. • Conduct the meeting, making notes about teacher input. • Schedule a conference with the teacher you identified. • Decide beforehand on strategies you will suggest. • During the conference, use data to support your suggestions. • Try to get a commitment from the teacher to implement the differentiation strategy. • Follow up to judge the success of the implementation.
References McKenna, M. C., & Stahl, S. A. (2003). Assessment for reading instruction. New York: Guilford Press. McKenna, M. C., & Walpole, S. (2005). How well does assessment inform our reading instruction? The Reading Teacher, 59, 84-86. National Center for Reading First Technical Assistance. (2005). Promoting assessment-driven reading instruction. In An introductory guide for Reading First coaches (Chapter 5). Washington, DC: USDOE. Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. (2005). Introduction to the 3-Tier Reading Model: Reducing reading difficulties for kindergarten through third grade students (4th ed.). Austin, TX: Author. Walpole, S., & McKenna, M. C. (2007). Differentiated reading instruction: Strategies for the primary grades. New York: Guilford Press.