Tuesday, October 2, 2012

soLs: assessment

Slice of Life Stories hosted

We have been in school now for a month, and I just started meeting with small groups last week.  I'm sure you are wondering what took so long, but our literacy resource team has been busy!

Trust me, it's hard not starting the year meeting with students.  Can I tell you a little secret?  Some days I'd rather be meeting with students than with teachers!

Instead, from day one, the literacy team has . . .
  • Administered the district "quick and dirty" universal screener for almost 500 students
  • Scored assessments and entered data into the data system
  • Encouraged and shared resources for classroom teachers to utilize the time to create a reading community and confer with readers
  • Dug deeper to validate data to determine specific interventions mandated by law (RtI)
  • Administered Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking for students not meeting target scores - easily 20 to 30 minutes per student
  • Discussed fidelity of scoring
  • Triangulated data and created a spreadsheet to organize it to easily digest
  • Planned and met with grade level teams to share data
  • Reviewed data and group students by needs and reading behaviors
  • Visited classrooms to talk about reading
  • Met with individual teachers regarding questions and concerns and document student interventions
  • Assisted teachers asking great questions regarding: Write Tools, guided reading, CAFE, Daily 5, Fountas and Pinnell 1st 20 days, Words Their Way
A month into school and we are now meeting with students. Yes, a month later.  But we have gained valuable information about our readers.  It takes time.  Lots of time.

I never want to doubt the time we dedicate to assessment, especially when it is assessment for learning.

And, finally, I'm doing what I love most -- meeting with my small groups.  Cultivating a classroom of learning around books.  Connecting readers to books.  Conversing about new titles.  Contributing old favorites.  Creating voracious readers and writers.


  1. All that time spent prior to meeting with kids will pay off, but oh how hard it is to take that time. Your teachers need that support and how lucky they are to have a resource like you to help along the way. Go create those voracious readers!

  2. Your last paragraph says it all Michelle... meeting with your small groups and cultivating readers and writers...

  3. All the things you listed are important to give a full support to your students. I wish you were here to work with me and my students. I love the C- s in the last paragraph.

  4. It's like painting a room. First the preparation and then the actual doing. The better prepped the room is, the easier it is to paint. You and your team have made great strides in those preparations and now you and the other teachers can use what you learned to help each one of those students who require the extra help. You are such an excellent example to your students. Keep persevering and you will definitely create those voracious (love that word) readers.

  5. Your love of reading and your passion of sharing that with your students comes through your writing! You are a blessing to both teachers and students!

  6. Assessments are frustrating, but I did enjoy the one on one time with my young students. First graders demand your attention and I learned more from what they wanted to talk about than I did from the standardized tests since I was evaluating English language proficiency. I kept my notebook handy during those conversations so I would be ready with books on their favorite topics when it was time to start reading groups.
    Enjoy your groups!

  7. Finally! It sounds as if you've been working so hard, Michelle. I hope all the data is helpful to you & to others. You've accomplished so much. Enjoy your time with students!

  8. I know how hard it is to do all the prep work (your mom's analogy was perfect) but it is worth it in the end. And now, you can do the work you really enjoy!

  9. You are a true professional, what a wonderful outline for others to aspire to.

  10. I am amazed by your brain. You have worked so hard. The students must love working with you.

  11. Whew! Seeing the amount of work we did in your concise list, I'm even more proud of our team. So glad we work together to do our best for students!

  12. I am exhausted just reading your list! What strikes me is that this same list through someone else's voice might sound clinical at times, but through your voice even the assessments are embedded in authenticity, in truly helping students (not labeling, sorting, or marginalizing them). There are a lot of lucky students in your midst--you really get how all of our work with students comes together to create a whole system of support.

  13. Michelle,
    From your post, I gather that your district worked very hard to assess students with a team effort-If I was a teacher in the district, I would appreciate the work of the team in the best interest of students. All of that assessing is so very time-consuming! But now, teachers have data and ideas on how to best support students.

  14. Michelle,
    You've been quite busy. Our intervention teams are just getting started as well. With Ohio's new (again) 3rd grade reading guarantee, there was a lot more paperwork to be completed. I know everyone is happy to be finally sitting down to work with students. Enjoy!



Thanks for sharing your thoughts.