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Friday, December 5, 2014

Welcome to the Grasslands Literacy Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide a way of sharing what the Grasslands Public Schools literacy initiative looks like across the district and to share our journey as we work together to improve students' critical literacy skills. Each post will focus on a different topic, usually regarding questions that I've received most recently as I work elbow to elbow with teachers throughout the district. If you would like me to visit you in your classroom during the day or after school, please don't hesitate to email me.  I look forward to your comments and want to thank each of you for welcoming me into your classrooms.

BAS Assessment FAQs 

In this first literacy post you will find some frequently asked questions about using the Benchmark Assessment System.

What form do we use to record our class results? 

If you are teaching Gr. 1 - 6  then please use your Class Record Form showing the Instructional Reading Levels of each student in your class as determined by the FnP Benchmark Assessment. Record the students first and last names in alphabetical order by last name according to your PowerSchool class roster.

If you are teaching Kindergarten then please use the Class Record Form for KG. Record the first and last names in alphabetical order by last name according to your PowerSchool class roster.

What do the columns labeled  Accur. Comp. Fluency mean on the Gr. 1-6 Class Record Form?

These columns are used to record the scores for Accuracy, Comprehension and Fluency of the Instructional Level Text only.

What does the Benchmark Placement Level column mean on the Gr. 1-6 Class Record Form?

This column is only filled in when a teacher chooses to use their professional judgement to determine the student's instructional level. One reason for this may be that the student jumped from an independent to a hard level (i.e. there was no instructional level found) so the teacher might choose to "place" the student at the hard level if they feel the accuracy was close to instructional and the comprehension was strong. Another reason why a teacher may choose to "place" a student at a certain instructional level is due to an issue with fluency. For example, a student who scores "independent" on a text level but is reading with little to no fluency might be "placed" at that level for instruction even though their actual instructional level may be higher.

How do you determine the text level as Independent/Instructional/Hard?

The following table can be used to determine the level of the text.

Why is there no column to record the Hard text level on the Class Record Sheet?

Knowing where the student is able to read independently (the Independent Text Level) allows a teacher to provide reading materials that allows the student to be freed from the burden of decoding in order to focus on comprehending the text. Knowing the student's Instructional Text Level allows the teacher to know what level of text the student is able to read with guidance/support to improve both decoding and comprehension skills. The student's Hard Text Level does not give the teacher any pertinent information because when the text is hard, comprehension breaks down as the student is focused too much on decoding, therefore the Hard Text Level is NOT recorded on the class record sheet.

I hope this post adds some additional clarity to the BAS data collection process but if you have other assessment questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Enjoy your weekend!
Crystal 

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