Mad ramblings of a Literacy Specialist

Starting a Kindergarten Coaching Cycle January 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — madhotliteracy @ 11:31 AM
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Our kindergarten teachers are being required to switch over from the DRA as an assessment of reading to the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System. While I don’t find them all that terribly different at that reading level — the change is challenging for the teachers.
We’re also facing a challenge this year to improve our end-of-year performance on the district reading assessment. We’re a high performing school and the district leadership wants our early readers to be challenged and performing. Since our kindergarten staff is deeply committed to developmentally appropriate instruction, this too, is challenging for us all.
With that as my impetus, I’m beginning a 6 week coaching cycle with my kindergarten teachers. We’ll be using the CAFE book by Joan Moser and Gail Boushey, and Small Groups by Debbie Diller as professional resource materials, along with the assessment guide book from the Fountas and Pinnell benchmark assessment kit that the district issued to each teacher.
Here’s what I’ve set for our work together:

o Week 1 (1/3- 1/7) Goal — begin administration of the F&P assessment
o Week 2 (1/10 – 1/14) Goal: analyzing assessment information to create initial goals for students in reading
o Week 3 (1/18 – 1/21) Goal: using assessment data to form small groups for instruction
o Week 4 )1/24 – 1/28) Goal: instruction in small groups
o Week 5 (1/31 – 2/4) Goal: reinforcement and progress monitoring in conferences
o Week 6 (2/7 – 2/11) Goal: solidifying routines for continuing small group instruction


Common Assessments August 18, 2008

Filed under: assessment — madhotliteracy @ 1:13 AM

I worked on a couple of committees this summer and the same theme kept rising over and over again — we need some kind of common assessment.  And it was followed each time by the echo:  something that means something!!

Currently, we have some standardized assessments like the DRP and the SAT and of course we have the good old Connecticut common assessment, the CMT.  But we don’t have assessments that give us real-time information about our kids.  We don’t have information to really know how effective the teaching we’re doing really is.  Who really got it?  Who sorta got it?  Who is sitting there behaving and seeming to get it and doesn’t actually have a single clue what “it” even is?  (I seem to encounter at least one of those every year!)

Common assessments do that.  Good common assessments, anyway.  We surely don’t need another standardized test.  We don’t need to collect another piece of data that no one looks at, no one analyzes, no one even cares about.  We do need information that helps us to teach, helps us to adjust our instruction on a day-to-day basis and makes what we do EASIER

So — I got to looking at the latest new publications from Stenhouse — and whadda-ya-know?  They have a really practical book out on COMMON ASSESSMENTS.  And right now — you can read the whole book online (I do adore Stenhouse for this!!)

So check it out here — and we’ll have something to add to the conversation when it gets going this fall (and I’m betting my bottom dollar, it will get going this fall — hint, hint)