What role does assessment play in teaching children to read?
Timely and reliable assessments tell us which children are falling behind in critical reading skills so we can help them make better progress in learning to read. Reliable and valid assessments support teachers in monitoring the effectiveness of instruction for all students. Through regular assessment we can tell which students are responding to the instruction being delivered as well as know which students need additional help, or if the instruction is being effective for these students. Three types of assessments have been employed in the 3-Tier Reading Model.
Screening tests provide the teacher a beginning assessment of the student’s preparation for grade level reading instruction. They tell us which students are on solid ground for grade level instruction, as well as which students will need extra help to make progress.
Progress monitoring tests are a measure designed to continuously inform the teacher as to how the student is responding to instruction. They are a quick sampling of the critical reading skills that tell the teacher if the child is on target to make the grade level reading ability by the end of the year.
Diagnostic tests can be used to measure or pinpoint reading skills that are not at mastery level. They will usually be given if a child falls behind in adequate progress. They are designed to provide a specific and detailed picture of where the skill gaps are so that instruction can be given to correct the gap.