Student assessment at beginning of school year

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mrs. Mom, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Mrs. Mom

    Mrs. Mom Cohort

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    Jul 21, 2008

    What methods do you use to assess students in reading and math at the beginning of school? This is probably one of my biggest weaknesses. I don't know what the best methods are, and usually end up not doing enough or just not utilizing my assessments correctly. Please share what you use and then what you do with your assessments.
     
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  3. Goldie

    Goldie Companion

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    Jul 21, 2008

    I give a running record with comprehension questions, a reading fluency test, high frequency words test, a writing sample (scored with six traits), a spelling assessment that focuses on sounds, and a math test. The math test is year end from first grade. I teach second grade. I have an assessment notebook with dividers for each test. Each section includes a master copy of the test, copies for students, copies kids read from in sheet protectors. I can use the notebook throughout the year when assessing. I assess in Aug., and each of the four quarters.
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I do a DRA test. I don't have a math test that I use. Wish I did.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Reading: I do a running record/misuce analysis with retelling. I record their oral reading of the running record so the kid can listen to it and we confer...gives me a great benchmark for what level books to start the kid in reading.

    Math: The first grade teachers have a year-end assessment packet which they send up with their kids. This helps 'red flag' any strugglers for me to watch out for.
     
  6. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Jul 22, 2008

    What do you have the other students do when you are doing running records? I want to test each child but don't know what I would have the others do during that time.
     
  7. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I take a few writing samples over the course of the first week. The first day I ask the kids to write thier ABC's upper and lower case and numbers from 1-20 in print. This also gives me a handwriting baseline. Last year I had kids who couldn't print, but could write in perfect cursive! My principal is a handwriting guru.....so I have to do handwriting. The second day I ask the kids to write a story about something they did this summer. By the third day I do a grammar/punctuation test from the series we use in class. The fourth and fifth day I do a comprehension quiz. In math I use the test provided by our curriculum.
    The thing I didn't do last year that I wish I had done was test for knowledge in science and social studies. It wasn't until November that I figured out that my students had virtually no science/social studies background.
     
  8. DancingColor

    DancingColor Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Our school actually requires 3 district-wide assessments: Reading, Math, and Writing. We give Math 3xs/year, Reading 2xs/year, and Writing 2xs/year. We record the scores in an excel sheet and send them to our Assistant Superintendent. The excel sheet allows us to see the growth from our assessments. For Math, we just use the assessments that are given--- we have a pretest and post-test that is written by the book.

    For reading we do the DRA assessment... there are many others, a new one from Fountas and Pinnell is out now too. We use the reading assessments to place students in their GR groups.

    As for writing, all 3rd grades write on a particular prompts and we assess for ideas and organization. We do this again at the end of the year and again record in excel to see progress.

    It's a lot of assessing but it really does help guide instruction for the remainder of the year!
     
  9. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Reading: Students do a STAR test (more of a vocabulary test that is given Sept., Nov., March, June) that gives us their AR level so they know what books are at their level. We also do Dibels (oral reading fluency also given Sept., Nov., March, June), and I also give the IRI (an older test given in October, March, June) but it gives me a better idea of their comprehension skills.

    Math: We give an addition/subtraction quiz as well as a test that covers all the things covered in third grade. We don't have a choice on the test we give since it is from the title math department. They use it to determine who will be in the title math program. We actually never see the results. Then they give it at the end of the year to only those students who were in the title program.

    Writing: We give an expository and narrative assessment at the beginning of the year. Then we give another expository test in January, and a narrative in May.

    I think I'll give a handwriting paragraph at the beginning/middle/end of the school year since it is a category on the report card. I just wont tell the students what I'm using it for so I get a more accurate result of what they do on a daily basis.

    As for Social Studies and Science, we don't give an assessment...something else I will be thinking about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I would suggest if it's an assessment test, you really don't want anyone to be getting 100% on it in normal circumstances, so you shouldn't use an end-of-year test from the prior grade. You might consider an end-of-year test from the grade you teach or even a grade higher, or a combination (take half questions from last year and half from the new year).
     
  11. Goldie

    Goldie Companion

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    Jul 22, 2008

    For first and second grade, I provide seatwork or very quiet centers. Centers--listening, author's books, library, math worksheet at a table, a math game or two, a reading game or two, a spelling game or two, and me (doing assessments). Kids would rotate every 10-15 min. With the many individual assessments in first grade, I did the centers for 3 or 4 afternoons for about 60 min. I would also use a few min. of morning/afternoon recess to get one or two more kids tested.
    With second grade, I can do a mini-lesson then provide some follow up activites with quiet reading at their desks if they finished work. I keep a checklist of the kids with assessments so I know instantly what needs to be done.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 22, 2008


    Independent reading following a mini-lesson.
     
  13. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2008

    We are required to give the DRA, DSA, and DIBELS. I use the DRA and DSA to help form my reading and spelling groups. The DIBELS is another form for us to use to track student progress throughout the year. We also have the students complete a writing prompt. This helps us see where each student is in the writing stages and helps guide our instruction for them.
     
  14. Mrs. Mom

    Mrs. Mom Cohort

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Ok, back to my original dilemma....we do give the STAR test which places them at a book level for independent reading, our title I teacher gives the dibels test, but she really doesn't give us much feedback and she really doesn't work with our class much so I feel it is a waste of time, I give them a couple of writing to a prompt items that I then compare to later in the year. I don't do a lot of small reading groups, so please guide me! If I do a running record/reading fluency assessment, how would I utilize it? Just do comparisons later in the year to show growth? Or should I do small group instruction based on results of those tests?

    About math....I can see the pros and cons of testing the students on a prior grade level test to see if they mastered the previous grade's skills. Obviously we hope they come to us with 100% mastery, but we all know better! I would also like to know who my advanced math kids are going to be, so I see that it would be good to test third grade skills to see how much they already know.

    Reading is my big concern....I don't think my kids get enough individualized instruction, partly my fault, partly because my school doesn't have a strong title reading program in the upper grades. I guess I'd better start a thread on how other elem. teacher's individualize their reading class!
     
  15. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Middle school begins in the fifth grade in my school district. I have three sections of fifth grade totalling usually about 60 kids. Is it reasonable to do a DRA or IRI in the beginning, middle, and end of the year? Thoughts?
     
  16. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jul 23, 2008

    The DRA takes me about 3-4 days with 25 students. I think it's feasable to do about 60 kids over a 2 week period.
     
  17. Kaylee Flemings

    Kaylee Flemings New Member

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    Oct 23, 2019

    There are a lot of different apps that help you with your request, kindle, libre.
    All the same, remember that scholars have developed short term memory, this is the reason at first to do tasks that help to remember their skills.
     
  18. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Nov 5, 2019

    This year, for the first few days of a math, I had my students complete a math placement test from Pearson. It is a formality and I do not actually use it for anything.
    I give the students about fifteen minutes to work on the placement test for a few days in a row. For the remainder of math, as a class, we work on a math review packet. This is a better assessment of math skills (I get to see the participation of students, independent practice, and guided practice.)
    Other than that, I do give formal assessments at the beginning of the year. Specific to my class, I gradually assess academic and social skills throughout the first month or so of school. Skills such as communication (verbal and nonverbal), language skills, reading comprehension, basic math facts, handwriting, reading fluency, etc. I take notes from observations throughout the regular school day. (It is a lot more effective than a test that most of the student's would have failed.) **Maybe this will never work for you, but the informal approach works very well for my classes and I can truly see what needs to be supported and what has been mastered.
     

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