Reading Assessment Used at Prospect Elementary SchoolAimsWebThis is an assessment program used at Prospect School. The purpose of this assessment is to give educators the insights they need to help students learn, identify students at risk, monitor, and set goals for students in the areas of both reading and math.
Evidence suggests that reading competence is influenced by a foundation in beginning reading. This foundation consists of skills and strategies that are prerequisite and fundamental to later reading success. A child who masters the following skills by the time he or she is in third grade will be more likely to become a successful reader in future years.The foundational skills are:Phonemic Awareness: The ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken language. Without this skill, children do not understand the relationship between letters and sounds and have great difficulty learning how to “sound out” words in print. Alphabetic Principle andPhonics: Knowing the sounds that go with printed letters. This skill is important for a child in identifying words he or she has not yet learned.Fluency: The ability to read smoothly and automatically. This skill is important so that children can focus on the meaning of what they are reading, instead of being hindered by slow and labored reading.Vocabulary: Knowledge of words and word meanings. This skill is important in two ways. First, children with larger vocabularies are better able to call up an unfamiliar printed word from their memory when trying to sound it out. Second, knowledge of words and word meanings help children to understand what they read.Comprehension: Understanding what is read. This is the ultimate goal of reading instruction.All students at Prospect Elementary School are given an individual short assessment designed to measure a student’s progress on many of these foundational skills. This assessment is called AimsWeb. This assessment helps us screen for children who may be having difficulty and who are at risk for future problems as well as monitoring student progress toward reading. This assessment helps to identify a student at risk for reading problems earlier than many other types of tests. This assessment is easy to administer and takes up very little valuable teaching time. It is also standardized meaning that the same directions and items are read to every student, and everyone is scored in the same way.AimsWeb measures are given in September, January, and May to all students to assess progress. Students who are determined to be at risk for reading difficulty are serviced by a Literacy Specialist in a small group lesson. These students are also given additional measures every two weeks to track their progress or lack thereof.