Education and the law<br />In 2001, the Federal Government mandated that states attempt to close the academic achievement gap, also known as No Child Left Behind Act. Children with disabilities have scored among the low achiever for academic success when administered standardized tests. In order to bridge this gap, we must first look at the general education curriculum.(1) All children must be given the opportunity to develop skills required to be academically successful within the general education curriculum. Since reading is the foundation skill for all learning , it is essential that children with disabilities receive targeted and effective instruction that addresses their core weaknesses in reading (Lloyd, 2005). <br />
The type of assessment that informs instruction does not necessarily need to be a formal reading test that was purchased from a publisher, although it certainly can be. Assessment can be a simple observation of a child's behavior when writing; it can be an observation of how well a child plays a word game; it can be an observation of a child's oral reading fluency. Every observation has the potential to be an assessment.<br />It is a good idea, however, to combine teacher observations with more formal and objective assessment information -- the two complement each other, and give the teacher a much better informed picture. <br />
Since reading is the foundational skill for all learning, lets take a look at assessment tools.<br />
Before one can assess, you must first look at what you want to assess. <br />During teacher team meetings, or during grade conference meetings you can use this form to assess your reading program. You will become more focused as to what and how effective your reading program is. This form can help guide the meetings.<br />
Assessment:The short and The long<br />Short-term<br /> <br />Fast and Quick <br />Snap shot of student levels<br />Grouping according to levels<br />Uses series of leveled books<br />Doesn’t allow for ongoing instruction<br />Assesses the student periodically<br />Long-term<br />While long –term assessments basically asks the same questions of short term assessments, the big difference here is what you do with the results from the assessments.<br />Long-term assessments gives you the students reading accuracy level, fluency level, comprehension level, and can provide vocabulary level. With long-term assessments, the teacher is able to instruct the whole student instead of working on the area or areas in which the student needs to build.<br />Key here is that long-term assessments are on going. It gives both the student and teacher direction. Long-term assessments allows the teacher and student to monitor progress.<br />
Keys to an Effective Reading Program <br />Phonics - <br />Vocabulary – understanding words on text or oral language.<br />Fluency – ability to read text automatically and without effort.<br />Comprehension – the ability to get meaning from text<br />Phonemic Awareness – the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds in spoken words<br />According to the National Reading Panel<br />Components of an Effective Reading Program<br />
Our inquiry began because the data showed that 51% of the students were reading below grade level.<br />The reading program was assessed. The reading program only addressed 4 essential reading components (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and comprehension) for grades K-2, addressed 2 essential reading components(fluency & comprehension) for grades 3-5.<br /> According to the National Reading Panel, there are 5 essential components of reading, (Phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension) and the school had not addressed the vocabulary component on any level.<br />
Here’s a look at the Reading Program:<br /> Reading Program A (Tool A)<br /><ul><li>A series of leveled books
Recording sheets designed to:</li></ul>determine students' reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension levels.<br /><ul><li> Data is collected at the end of each grading period (3 times a year) to determine student progress</li></li></ul><li>Inquiry Continued<br />Because the reading program didn’t address all components of an effective reading program, we researched and found a reading program that did. <br />Reading Program B (Tool B)<br /><ul><li>Ongoing student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction.
Includes all Common Core Standards for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as Language standards. </li></li></ul><li>The National Reading Panel five essential components of reading:<br />
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