Putting Reading Assessment and Achievement in the Palm of Your Hand

  • Developed by Marie Clay, the author of “An Observational Survey of Early Literacy Achievementâ€
  • Based on the theory that, by understanding the types of errors a student makes, teachers can better diagnose the specific skills that student needs to acquire in order to improve literacy
  • Uses “leveled†readers – books written according to standardized criteria that help teachers gauge a student’s particular level of literacy development
  • Parallels the comprehensive Balanced Literacy Approach, in which shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, writing, and word work all play a role in developing students’ language arts skills
  • Most educators are using a tedious paper-based assessment method to complete Running Records, which involves stacks of papers and allows for teacher errors.
  • What is this book about?
  • What is the most important information?
  • What did you learn?
  • What details help you know that?
  • What did you learn from the pictures or charts?
  • Did you like the book? Why?
  • What questions do you still have about…?
  • What else would you like to learn about this?
  • Can you relate the book to your life?
  • Can you make a picture inspired by the book?

Rubric Scoring Level (1-4)

  • #1-Can't identify main idea, ideas are inaccurate, even with prompting
  • #2-Requires prompting, limited sense of main idea, some inaccuracies
  • #3-Adequately explains main idea, but limited detail without prompting
  • #4-Full grasp of main idea with no prompting required
  • #1-Does not describe any details
  • #2-Requires prompting to produce a few supporting details
  • #3-Adequate detail without prompting, connects details to main idea
  • #4-Grasps details and how they are connected. Uses pictures, charts, etc.
  • #1-No opinions, inferences or insights
  • #2- With prompting expresses opinions and makes inferences
  • #3-Has opinions and can express response to the book
  • #4-Thoroughly responsive to and opinionated about the book
  • #1-Does not connect the book to anything else
  • #2-With prompting can make loose connections to things outside the book
  • #3-Connects the book to own life, considers related ideas
  • #4-Makes sensitive connections to own life, prior knowledge, new questions

Lexington Elementary School’s data-driven goal was to move students into the Advanced and Proficient categories in ELA and to reduce the numbers of students scoring in the Below Basic category. What we found was that linking current, on-going reading assessment to daily instruction using mobile technology, could accelerate the learning of all students.

What our teachers say about using this mobile technology?
“Prior to using mClass I carried around a stack of folders, a calculator and a spreadsheet chart to find out information about the students reading level. Usually I would do this at home because of the time it took to analyze the data. Now mClass provides instant feedback that helps tailor my instruction for each individual student.â€

“I now have more time to plan instruction rather than spending my time juggling paperwork and it is helping my assessment to be more consistent.â€

“mClass Reading has improved my frequency of doing Running Record assessment, which will improve my instructional process.â€

“The ease of the one on one assessment has helped me to meet my students needs on an individual basis. The parent letters provide important information which communicate the reading level of their child and how parents can help with the learning at home.â€

“mClass makes sense; it takes much less time to complete the assessment on the handheld than using the paper and pencil method. The instant feedback makes it easier to individualize instruction.â€

Email: Wendy Gallagher

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