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Determining Students' Literacy Levels Through Screening Assessments

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  • 0:04 Literacy Assessments
  • 0:44 Types
  • 2:05 Emerging Assessments
  • 2:36 Decoding & Fluency
  • 3:46 Comprehension & Data
  • 4:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Teachers use literacy assessments to determine specific student needs and focus instruction. This lesson describes the kinds of assessments used for important literacy skills.

Literacy Assessments

Today is David's first day in his new third grade classroom. His teacher, Ms. Stack, will spend some time with David administering assessments to get to know him better as a reader. These literacy assessments, or screenings, will help Ms. Stack gather important baseline data on David's literacy skills, including:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Letter knowledge - phonics
  • Decoding
  • Fluency
  • Comprehension

Each of these screenings will give Ms. Stack a detailed and specific portrait of David, including his struggles and strengths. This will help her create instruction specific to his needs.

Let's follow along as Ms. Stack uses the different assessments with David.

Types

Where should Ms. Stack begin? It's important to get as much information about a student as possible. If she doesn't dig deeply enough into David's skills, she may overlook a deficit. She'll go all the way back to basics to start.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear individual sounds in speech, which is the first step toward successful reading. Students need to be able to hear sounds in order to decode and encode words. Ms. Stack will give David a few assessments to see if he is able to break apart spoken words into different parts, such as syllables and sounds.

For example, she asks him how many phonemes are in the word 'cat'. David can identify three - c/a/t. Ms. Stack then asks David to take out the /c/ sound and tell her what the new word is. It's /a/t - at. All phonemic awareness testing is oral as it is based on hearing sounds and not visually recognizing letters.

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