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Reading Assessment: A Natural Fit for SLPs. Pat Howard, Ph.D. Director of Assessment Programs Purposes of Assessment. To Make Decisions About Students Eligibility for Services Special Education ESOL Instructional Planning and Support Needs

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reading assessment a natural fit for slps

Reading Assessment: A Natural Fit for SLPs

Pat Howard, Ph.D.

Director of Assessment Programs

purposes of assessment
Purposes of Assessment
  • To Make Decisions About Students
    • Eligibility for Services
      • Special Education
      • ESOL
    • Instructional Planning and Support Needs
      • Screening for Early Identification of Needs
      • Diagnostics to Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
      • Development of Academic Improvement Plans/Individual Educational Plans
    • Determine Effectiveness of Services
      • Progress Monitoring to Produce Growth Charts
      • Outcome Measures to Provide End-of-Year Evaluation
  • To Make Decisions About the System
    • Program Evaluation
    • Determine Needs, Continuation and/or Revisions for Future Implementation
what questions do you have that can be answered with data from reading assessments
What Questions Do You Have That Can Be Answered With Data From Reading Assessments?
  • Are we meeting our Standards and Benchmarks for all students?
  • Are we able to identify students at risk of reading failure
  • Do we have a method for determining the effectiveness of our reading programs?

Dr. Marilyn Jackson-Rahming

Principal, Pineview El.


Identifying words accurately and fluently

Constructing meaning once words are identified

5 Key Areas of Knowledge

and Skill in Reading

Phonemic Awareness




Comprehension Strategies

the 4 critical assessments
The 4 Critical Assessments
  • Diagnostics: “In-depth View”
  • Outcome Measures: “Reaching Our Goals”
  • Screening: “First Alert”
  • Progress Monitoring: “Growth Charts”
overview of dibels measures
Overview of DIBELS Measures

Letter Naming Fluency

  • Intended for students in kindergarten through the fall of first grade
  • Provides a measure of a student’s proficiency in naming upper and lower case letters
  • Primarily an indicator of risk
  • Students identified at risk should be instructed in phonological awareness and alphabetic principle
overview of dibels measures1
Overview of DIBELS Measures

Initial Sounds Fluency

  • This measure assesses a student’s ability to recognize and produce the beginning sound(s) in an orally presented word
  • Administered through the late winter of kindergarten
  • Students performing below expectations in this measure will benefit from instruction in phonological awareness
overview of dibels measures2
Overview of DIBELS Measures

Phoneme Segmentation Fluency

  • Measures ability to segment three- and four-phoneme words into their individual phonemes
  • The student must produce verbally the individual sounds in words presented by the examiner
  • It is administered in kindergarten and first grades
  • It is a good predictor of later reading achievement and strengthened by phonological awareness activities
overview of dibels measures3
Overview of DIBELS Measures
  • Nonsense Word Fluency
    • It taps the student’s knowledge of letter-sound correspondence and ability to blend letters into words (test of the alphabetic principle)
    • This measure is provided in kindergarten, first and second grades
    • Students performing below expectations will benefit from activities focusing on decoding
overview of dibels measures and forf
Overview of DIBELS Measures and FORF
  • Oral Reading Fluency
    • measure of fluency in oral reading of connected text.
    • Students in grades one, two and three will be administered three passages from grade-level text
    • Students who are weak in reading fluency will often experience difficulty in comprehending what they read
overview of mazes
Overview of Mazes
  • Reading Comprehension
    • Measure of fluency in selecting appropriate word to complete text
    • For students in grades 6 - 8
    • Score also influenced by reading rate
    • Group administered
    • Predicts performance on FCAT equally as well as ORF

Reading is the most critical academic skill students will learn and one of the best predictors of overall success in school and society. Therefore, reading continues to be a (cabbage / leading / thruway) topic at the national level and (at / is / my) the school level. There is no (snowshoe / question / practical) that teaching all of our students (or / me / to) read by the end of third (grade / spoon / below), as mandated under NCLB is a (following / challenge / paperclip). To accomplish this task, assessments are (belief / throws / needed) to help educators efficiently…


Assessment Schedule


- E

/ Mazes

Assessments @ 45 day intervals beginning with instructional days 20 - 29

screening and progress monitoring data interpretation
Screening and Progress Monitoring Data Interpretation
  • Indicators of Effectiveness
    • Effectiveness of core and interventions
  • Identification of schools that are “beating the odds”
  • Identification of greatest needs
    • Individual, classroom, grade, school
  • Growth profiles –
    • Individual, classroom, grade, school levels

Low Risk

“Good to Go”

Moderate Risk


High Risk


Risk Status

Colors provide a quick indication of the student’s progress and the risk that a student has of not achieving the expected level of proficiency.


Are We Meeting Our Reading Goals to…

  • Maintain students on grade level through effective core program, and
  • Decrease students in need of additional support through strong and effective supplemental strategies and intensive interventions?




The Results of Effective Core, Supplemental, and Intensive Instruction

indicator of effectiveness
Indicator of Effectiveness


Level of


Assessment 1 2 3 4















the progress monitoring and reporting network pmrn
The Progress Monitoring and Reporting Network (PMRN)
  • Reports Targeted to Principals
    • School Reports
      • Assessment Calendar
      • Recommended Level of Instruction
      • School Status Report
      • Student Instructional Level Report

How to Use the Calendar

  • Avoid overlap of activities
  • during testing windows
  • Plan for any training
  • associated with assessment
  • Make sure all test materials
  • are on hand

Teacher A

  • How to Use Recommended Level
  • of Instruction Report
  • Identify instructional support needs of
  • students by grade and teacher
  • Determine additional resources needed
  • for grade levels or teachers
  • Prioritize coaching services

Teacher B

Teacher C

Teacher D

Teacher E

Teacher F


How to Use the School Status Report

  • Determine, by grade level, by measure,
  • student instructional needs
  • Make decisions about areas on which
  • to focus professional development
  • Determine probability of FCAT
  • performance by third graders

Student 1

Student 2

Student 3

Student 4

Student 5

Student 6

Student 7

Student 8

Student 9

Student 10

Student 11

Student 12

Student 13

Student 14

Student 15

Student 16

Student 17

Student 18

Student 19

Student 20

Student 21

Student 22

Student 23

Student 24

Student 26

Student 27

Student 28

Student 29

Student 30

Student 31

Student 32

Student 33

Student 34

Student 35

Student 36




pmrn examples
PMRN Examples
  • Reports Targeted to Coaches, Teachers and SLP’s
    • Class Reports
      • Class Status Report
      • Progress Tracking Tool
      • Class Progress Monitoring Report
    • Student Reports
      • Student Progress Monitoring Report

Class Status Report

The Class Status Report is the first report a teacher sees.

It provides a “snapshot” or quick indication of the class progress and a quick indication of each child’s success. It also has links to other reports.

The Class Status Report helps answer the question of who is at risk.


Recommended Instructional Level

  • Combination of scores from each of the individual measures
  • Individual Measures
  • Target, next target, student score, risk level indicated in color and notation

Progress Tracking Tool

The Progress Tracking Tool allows the teacher to view the progress of all of the students at one time.

From the graph, it is easily determined which students are at risk and which of them are not making significant gains. The list can be sorted in a variety of ways and can exclude students who have not been in the class for the entire year.

This tool quickly identifies whether other students are exhibiting similar profiles.


Class Progress Monitoring Test Report

The school’s Reading Coach will assist teachers in reading and interpreting the Box and Whiskers graph.

This example shows the class improved in nonsense word fluency, but is not improving at a rate to guarantee success.

This report indicates whether the students are making adequate progress.


Student PMT Report

Compares student performance to the classroom.

the 4 critical assessments1
The 4 Critical Assessments
  • Diagnostics: “In-depth View”
  • Progress Monitoring: “Growth Charts”
  • Screening: “First Alert”
  • Outcome Measures: “Reaching Our Goals”
diagnostic tests
Diagnostic Tests
  • Purpose
    • Provide additional, necessary diagnostic information to plan effective instruction
  • An Integral Part of the Reading First Assessment Plan
    • Administered infrequently
    • Used to supplement information from screening, progress monitoring, and outcome
diagnostic tests1
Diagnostic Tests
  • Instructional Utility
    • Tests used to determine a reading learning disability do not help to plan more effective instruction – ATI research
    • Developing fluency in all aspects of the basic skills and monitoring progress towards automaticity will alert teachers to support needs of students
    • Diagnostics should measure skills that can be directly taught and that affect important reading outcomes: PA, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension Strategies
    • Other factors influencing reading outcomes: Motivation, parental support – not assessed with diagnostics; knowledge base, language ability, general intelligence – not a specific part of reading instruction
diagnostic assessments of reading 2 nd ed dar
Diagnostic Assessments of Reading: 2nd Ed. (DAR)
  • Ages 5 – adult
  • 9 individually administered tests of the components of reading and language
  • No special qualifications to administer
  • Untimed – approx. 40 min. per student
  • Criterion referenced – mastery levels
  • Materials: Teacher’s manual, response record, student book
dar information provided
DAR – Information Provided
  • Word Meaning: oral vocabulary test as an estimate of language and cognitive abilities; usually underestimates student ability if they have a reading problem
  • Word Recognition, Word Analysis, Oral Reading, Spelling: basic word reading skills
  • Print Awareness: basic concept in using printed word
  • Phonological Awareness: ability to hear sounds that make up words
  • Letters and Sounds, Word Analysis, Spelling: knowledge of letter-sound correspondences
  • Oral Reading: basic word reading skills, fluency, word meanings, language, comprehension
  • Silent Reading Comprehension: basic word recognition and analysis, background knowledge, language and cognitive development
fox in a box fib
Fox in a Box (FIB)
  • Grades K - 3
  • 4 Strands: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Reading and Oral Expression, Listening and Writing
  • Fall and spring administrations with same form
  • Teacher administration
  • Untimed – 35 minutes per child; 80 minutes per class
  • Criterion referenced – benchmarked
  • Materials: Teacher’s guide, puppet, word lists, books, student recording booklets
fib strands and subtests
FIB Strands and Subtests
  • Phonemic Awareness – K
    • Rhyme Recognition, Rhyme Generation, Syllable Clapping, Initial Consonants, Final Consonants, Blending, Segmenting
  • Phonics – K – 2
    • Alphabet Recognition (Uppercase, Lowercase, Vowels), Alphabet Writing, Spelling, Decoding (Real and Non-words)
  • Reading and Oral Expression – K – 2
    • Sight Words, Reading (Concepts of Print, Emergent Reading, Accuracy, Comprehension, Oral Expression), Reading Fluency (Rate, Expression)
  • Listening and Writing
    • Listening Comprehension, Writing Development, Writing Expression
technically adequate diagnostic components
Technically Adequate Diagnostic Components*

*As determined by reliability of .8 and above

early reading diagnostic assessment 2 nd ed erda
Early Reading Diagnostic Assessment: 2nd Ed. (ERDA)
  • Grades K - 3
  • 5 Skill Clusters: Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, Comprehension
  • Norm-referenced – Emerging or Below Basic; Basic; Proficient
  • Teacher administration: 15 – 110 minutes
  • Timed and untimed sections
  • Materials: Administration manual, technical manual, stimulus book, record form, stopwatch, parent report forms
erda clusters and subtests
ERDA Clusters and Subtests
  • Phonological Awareness
    • Phonological Composite: Rhyming, Rimes, Phonemes, Syllables
  • Phonics
    • Letter Recognition, Pseudoword Decoding
  • Fluency
    • Word Reading, Target Words in Context, RAN – Automaticity Composite, Passage Fluency Composite: Narrative Composite, Informational Composite
  • Vocabulary
    • Vocabulary Composite: Receptive and Expressive, Word Opposites, Synonyms, Word Definitions, Multiple Meanings
  • Comprehension
    • Story Retell, Reading Comprehension, ListeningComprehension
group reading assessment and diagnostic evaluation grade
Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE)
  • Grades PK – Adult: 11 Levels, on grade and out-of level testing
  • 5 Components: Pre-Reading, Reading Readiness, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Oral Language
  • Norm-referenced – Standard Scores and Percentiles available; Growth scale values
  • Group or individual administration; two alternate forms
  • Untimed – 45 – 90 minutes
  • Materials: Administration manual for each level, teacher’s scoring and interpretive manuals, technical manual, answer sheets, handscoring templates
components and subtests
Components and Subtests
  • Pre-Reading
    • Picture Matching, Picture Differences, Verbal Concepts, Picture Categories
  • Reading Readiness
    • Sound Matching, Rhyming, Print Awareness, Letter Recognition, Same & Different Words, Phoneme-Grapheme Correspondence
  • Vocabulary
    • Word Reading, Word Meaning, Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
    • Sentence Comprehension, Passage Comprehension
  • Oral Language
    • Listening Comprehension
the 4 critical assessments2
The 4 Critical Assessments
  • Progress Monitoring: “Growth Charts”
  • Screening: “First Alert”
  • Diagnostics: “In-depth View”
  • Outcome Measures: “Reaching Our Goals”
outcome measures vocabulary and comprehension
Outcome MeasuresVocabulary and Comprehension
  • PPVT-III, Form B
    • receptive vocabulary
  • Gates MacGinitie Reading Tests
    • reading vocabulary
  • Stanford -10
    • reading comprehension
peabody picture vocabulary test ppvt iii
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III)
  • Oral receptive language test
  • Provide word and student selects the appropriate picture from 4 options
  • Norm-referenced
  • Individually administered: 15 – 20 min.
  • Outcome measure for vocabulary along with GMRT for reading vocabulary
internet resources
Internet Resources
  • Risk Level Charts – DIBELS and FORF
  • University of Oregon – DIBELS
  • Coaches Guide - FCRR