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Wisconsin ’ s New Kindergarten Screening Tool. A training for the administration and scoring of the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening PALS-K. PALS Background. Wisconsin Act 166 requires that an early literacy screener be administered to all kindergarten students beginning in 2012-13

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wisconsin s new kindergarten screening tool

Wisconsin’s New Kindergarten Screening Tool

A training for the administration and scoring of the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening PALS-K

pals background
PALS Background

Wisconsin Act 166 requires that an early literacy screener be administered to all kindergarten students beginning in 2012-13

DPI was charged with selecting a screener that met these criteria:

  • Is valid and reliable
  • Assesses phonemic awareness and letter sound knowledge

PALS was selected because it provides educators with information to guide instruction

kindergarten screening windows
Kindergarten Screening Windows
  • Fall
    • October 15 -- November 9 (data due Nov. 21)
  • Winter/Mid-Year (optional)
    • January 7 -- February 1 (data due Feb. 15)
  • Spring
    • April 29 -- May 24 (data due June 7)
pals connections to wisconsin initiatives
PALS Connections to Wisconsin Initiatives
  • Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards
  • Response to Intervention
pals alignment with the standards
PALS Alignment with the Standards
  • PALS subtests are representative of the understandings, knowledge, and skills identified in the:
    • Reading Foundational Skills – Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (CCSS)
    • Early Literacy Standards - Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS)
reading standards foundational skills for kindergarten
Reading Standards: Foundational Skills for Kindergarten
  • Print Concepts
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics and Word Recognition
  • Fluency
wisconsin model early learning standards early literacy
Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards: Early Literacy

Developmental Domain:

Language Development and Communication

Performance Standards

  • Develops alphabetic awareness (C.EL.2)
  • Develops phonological awareness (C.EL.3a)
  • Develops phonemic awareness (C.EL.3b)
  • Demonstrates the use of strategies to read words (C.EL.4)
pals connections to response to intervention rti
PALS Connections to Response to Intervention (RtI)
  • PALS meets the definition of a universal screening tool within an RtI framework:
    • A screener is an assessment given as one part of the screening process to establish a baseline of students’ strengths and needs, and thus, to align instruction according to these strengths and needs in each literacy skill area.
    • Universal screening data can be examined to determine whether changes in core curriculum and instruction are needed.
    • Data from the universal screening process are used to make decisions about interventions and about targeting specific literacy skills with which students are struggling.
pals and response to intervention
PALS and Response to Intervention
  • Collaboration
  • High Quality Instruction
  • Balanced Assessment
  • Culturally Responsive Practices
pals implications for school literacy teams and data teams
PALS Implications for School Literacy Teams and Data Teams
  • Hold Data Meetings:
    • Following each screening window (Fall, Spring, and optionally, Mid-Year).
    • Review PALS data (reports) as a team, including classroom teachers, reading specialists/teachers, principals, special education teachers, ELL teachers, school psychologists, speech and language teachers.
  • Develop a plan for monitoring the progress of students showing areas of deficit and/or strength.
  • Share PALS assessment information regularly with your team
think pair share
  • Discuss with a partner how you see PALS fitting into your current instruction and assessment plan at the kindergarten level.
exploring the pals k teacher set
Exploring the PALS-K Teacher Set
  • Contents include:
    • Administration & Scoring Guide
    • Student Packet (w/ little books & cards in back pocket)
    • Student Booklet (for two Group tasks)
    • Fall Student Spelling Sheets
    • Fall Student Summary Sheets
    • Fall Class Summary Sheet
    • Spring Student Spelling Sheets
    • Spring Student Summary Sheets
    • Spring Class Summary Sheet
parent communication
Parent Communication

One-page parent brochure available on the PALS Wisconsin Resource Center for districts to copy and distribute in the fall

other parent communication tips
Other Parent Communication Tips
  • Plan to share results from the fall administration at parent-teacher conferences, focusing on how the individual child performed on each task and how this is being addressed during classroom instruction
  • The Online Score Entry & Reporting System online course will assist teachers with interpreting student results. Further information about this will be posted on the PALS Wisconsin Resource Center.
more pals resources pals quick checks
More PALS ResourcesPALS Quick Checks
  • Used to monitor student progress and track student growth in specific literacy skill acquisition areas that have been identified by teachers based on a student’s scores on the PALS assessment.
  • Quick Checks may be administered between the established screening windows to gauge student response to instruction and/or intervention.
  • Quick Checks are provided in the areas of:
    • Alphabet Recognition
    • Letter Sounds
    • Beginning Sound Production
    • Concept of Word
    • K Spelling
pals quick checks
PALS Quick Checks
  • Recommended to be administered every two to three weeks (allow time for your targeted instruction/intervention to work!)
  • Available as PDF files through the PALS Online Score Entry and Reporting System
additional pals professional development and support
Additional PALS Professional Development and Support
  • Using PALS Data to Drive Instruction Webinar
  • Concept of Word Webinar
  • Electronic Lesson Plans & Activities Database
  • Early Literacy Courses for teachers (Optional)
pals summary things to remember
PALS SummaryThings to Remember
  • Complete the PALS-K Administration and Scoring online course by October 1st. It includes 5 modules and a quiz. Go to: pd.casenex.com
  • Share the Parent brochure prior to fall administration
  • Download the PALS Around the Year document for key dates. (This can be found on the PALS Wisconsin Resource Center.)
pals resources and support
PALS Resources and Support
  • PALS Wisconsin Resource Center


  • PALS Toll-Free Hotline for District Assessment Coordinators: (888)728-7257
  • PALS E-Mail Hotline for all teachers and District Assessment Coordinators: support@palshelp.com