Beginning of the year assessments


I am lucky enough at the beginning of the year to be able to assess all of my kiddos before they start to come to me for reading/math.  I thought I would share what I do to find out what they know coming in.  I look at four pieces of reading information coming into first grade .

1. Text Level- We use the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark System.  I would highly recommend this system if your school is looking for something current and worthwhile.  I find each students instructional reading level while paying close attention to accuracy rate, self-correction ratio, fluency, and comprehension.

2.  I assess the students on known sight words.  I am looking to see if they know them fairly quickly without having to try to “sound” them out- which won’t work most of the time anyway.  I use the Lucy Calkins list from the Teachers College of Reading and Writing Project.  I wrote a post recently about why I use this list rather than Dolch or Fry.  You can check it out here.

You can get this assessment here at Lucy Calkins website.

3.  CVC Reading.  This is another word list but it allows me to see what the students are doing as far as word attack skills.  I can then focus on the students needs.  I have created an assessment for this because I couldn’t find anything out there that really helped me to zero in on this strategy.  Here is a sample of one of the students that I assessed.

I use this to find out any patterns that the students may be making.  For example, this child is reading i for e pretty consistently.  I know that this is an area of focus for this child.

If you are interested in these assessments, you can click on the picture.  They cover CVC words, blends, digraphs, short and long vowels for both reading and writing.

4.  CVC Writing:  I also like to get an idea of their word attack writing skills.  They write 15 different CVC words.  This allows me to see if they are missing beginning sounds, ending sounds, or vowel sounds in their basic writing of words.

I know this student really needs to work on vowel sounds- in particular i, o, and u.

 Now that the assessing is done- I can start the teaching!!

I have made up some very generic weekly guided reading plans.  I am going to be using my Guided Reading Plans that allow me to focus in on the strategies needed at each level.  Here is a photo of my lesson plan binder.   I have made copies of the different book levels so that they will be readily available for my guided reading groups.  I am so excited!!  You can check those out by clicking on the picture if you would like.

(I have my guided reading basic plans on the left and my specific skills I am working on for before, during, and after reading on to the left.)

(In the back of my guided reading plans I have A-J tabs that help me keep track of my guided reading plans.  I keep blank copies in the back for easy access.  So, behind the letter B, I have my level B plans.  Here is a picture below.

Now that I’m all set up, I need to start teaching!!  One of the first books I use is a book from a set that I made.  It is a beginning sight word reader.  I made this book so that the pattern changes and students have to self-monitor for sight words right from the start.  You can download it for FREE by clicking on the picture below.

What assessments do you do??

I hope everyone is having a great start to the school year!!



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