End of Year Assessments

Discussion in 'General Education' started by peachacid, May 24, 2011.

  1. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    May 24, 2011

    Just curious - Are you required to test each of your students' reading level for the end of the year? Our administration requires every single student in the school to be tested (last year, even those on the highest level still had to be tested..!!!), which is a huge burden for teachers. I end up doing most of the assessments in the upper grades, as I am the school reading specialist. This means I am not going to get to see the students on my caseload maybe ever again. :(

    Anyway, I understand the testing needs to be done. What I don't understand is how other schools manage to get their assessments done. Unless your students have excellent behavior and never need redirection, I don't understand.
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 24, 2011

    Are you talking about progress monitoring, screening, or just a pre/post? Most schools that I know now do some sort of screening, with the one being in April - sort of end of year? With progress monitoring, it would go on the regular schedule (e.g., every other week) through the end of the year.
     
  4. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    May 24, 2011

    We use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark system to assess the students' reading levels. We do it three times a year -- once in October/November, again in January/February, and in May/June right before the marking period ends. It takes weeks and weeks to get all the students assessed and it overwhelms the teachers.
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 24, 2011

    Yeah, it can take a while. Personally, I do oral reading fluency (CBM/AIMSWeb style) and possibly a few other measures to assess progress-monitoring, which I can do with a class of 20 in about 2 hours. I do this every 2 weeks, but I have other folks that help out with instruction during that time, so it's not instructional time lost for the kids.
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    May 24, 2011

    We use FP Benchmark three times a year too along with daily instruction for guided reading- but that is exclusively on the teacher- no one else can do it.
    The rest of the class is in centers while we assess..that is why getting those procedures and all down pat is massively important. The Sept/Oct one is very challenging and they are all time consuming.
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 24, 2011

    We have to give fluency tests every 6 to 8 weeks. Two timed tests at one minute each.

    A class of 20 kids takes about an hour if they can all sit quietly and not interrupt. The problem is that they are first graders and for many of them that is next to impossible. "Independent work" is not something that is on the list of things they are capable of.

    The other problem is that a fluency test requires that the room is quiet and that the teacher is able to completely focus on the student who is reading. For that one minute, I cannot be distracted, otherwise the test is invalid. And there is no other alternate test in case one goes bad - so if Sally runs up to me and says that Suzie took her pencil and it distracts Joey from the passage he is reading, then it's blown. He can't start over again.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2011

    Something neat that my school starting doing for benchmark tests in reading (the tests we give three times a year), is having a testing lab during those weeks. Basically, the classroom teacher, reading specialist, reading assistant, special education teacher, psychologist, social worker, and principal are in the testing room while the library watches the rest of the class. Then, one student per person comes in and sits with a teacher. We can usually get an entire class completed in about 40 minutes.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2011

    I have 20 students. I use Fountas and Pinnell leveling in my classroom.I individually confer with my students year round and could give you a ballpark estimate of level on any of my kids at any time. This week I am assessing levels with new books that kids have never seen to get an 'end of year' level to pass on to next grade. I can do about 4 kids per day during reading workshop. I'll be done by Friday. In addition, we administer the NWEA test in reading and math. All but 4 kids have completed the reading section. They will take the math section next week.
     
  10. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    May 25, 2011

    @czacza - Does each teacher in your school have a kit? We share 13 kits between 33 teachers. 8 of those kits are the lower ones, and only 5 are the higher ones.

    @mopar - your principal helps you out? like...for real? i'm stunned and SO JEALOUS.
     
  11. SwOcean Gal

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    May 25, 2011

    Czacza- same with me and same thing with my school. On a typical day- I can get 3 done during centers, but I do spend some (minimal) time getting everything settled and getting organized or otherwise I guess I would be able to get 4 in each day, but that might be a stretch. Today we had about 10 minutes max, but IDK I think the heat got to my kids because we were insane! I did not even get one done today- it just was not the day for it. I did not even attempt.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    May 25, 2011

    We DRA-2 test everyone in the whole school. It's been horrible. We've literally been doing it since the 1st week of May and are just now finishing up. Kids in about 2nd grade or higher (or high 1st grade readers) have to write a summary of the book and answer all these questions as well as the reading. A single test can take up to an hour, and they have to do at least two tests so you can find their independent level and their instructional level. If they keep passing, you just have to keep testing until they get instructional instead of independent on one. Some kids take up to 4 hours because of this. We have a "testing team". Some classroom teachers got subs for like 3 days in a row so they could do the tests. I was originally expected to take two weeks off from my kids to do the testing. I had to be VERY forceful in insisting that I have service hours I legally must meet to follow IEP's. I ended up testing all of my kids, so we could "cheat" and say that was their time with me for the week. Right now two grades are on a 3 day field trip, so I've been using that time that I would normally see those kids to do tests. Our perm. sub and title 1 teacher have been doing them like mad as well. I feel your pain with never seeing the kids again! If I wouldn't have really put my foot down I probably wouldn't have seen mine all month. We set aside two weeks for the tests, but it's taken almost four. We also don't have a big school- less than 200 students.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 25, 2011

    We don't use the kit...basic skills teachers share a kit, but classroom teachers generally do a miscue and retelling with leveled trade books. It's Wednesday...12 done, 8 to go. Thrilled with my kids' growth.:love:
     
  14. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    May 25, 2011

    Waterfall, we do the DRA2 as well. Every kid at the start of the year, below benchmark kids at midyear, and every single kid at the end of the year. It takes hours and hours and while I'm testing a kid, everyone has to be stock silent and not interrupt us (the timed part). Then if they don't pass, or overachieve, you have to do another one.

    Then, interestingly, we level our books with Fountas and Pinnell Levels.
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 25, 2011

    Yes, we are required to assess each child's reading level with the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment kit.

    We are given 1 1/2 days with a sub to do assessments, which is NOT enough (although I am very grateful for this time). I did running records all day on Tuesday. I started with my highest readers, and I finished only 6 out of 21 in the entire day. Today I did about 4 during Daily 5 time (my 4 lowest, so they didn't take long). I have my 1/2 day tomorrow morning, so I hope to finish a few then.

    It is VERY time-consuming!
     
  16. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    May 26, 2011

    I am the only person in the building who goes through the assessments quickly, but it's because (confession) I only have them do the oral reading part, and then I make up my own questions and ask them about key vocabulary words. Honestly, I feel that I can gauge their levels accurately in this way, especially since I spend a lot of time with most of them. If I did it the "right" way I would never get done!

    I can't imagine doing DRAs like that...we'll see what happens at my next school, though! Does your administration ask to see all the documentation? Mine doesn't.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

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    May 26, 2011

    At my dds' elementary school teachers would call in sick to get a sub on testing days. Then they would come in and grab one student at a time and take them to the library to test. That was ridiculous.

    I would volunteer on test days to avoid the teachers having to use their sick days. But that got stopped when the principal found out. The teachers couldn't leave the room when I volunteered even though I was the school's sub for legal reasons. If I wasn't getting paid, I wasn't official enough to be with the kids sans teacher.
     

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