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Informal Reading Assessments: Examples

By: Reading Rockets
The following are sample charts you can use when assessing students informally in the classroom. Most of the assessments here should be given one-on-one.

It is important that you have a non-distracting, comfortable testing environment for students, and that the rest of the class is engaged in a task or assignment and working quietly. It's even better if you can arrange for another teacher to be present while you are performing assessments.

Concepts of print

Sit in a quiet corner of the room with a student. Give the student a storybook and ask the questions on the form below.

This form can be used several times over the course of the year. Write the date in the space marked yes or no. Tasks that are not successfully completed should be periodically tested until the student can accomplish all tasks with ease and confidence.

Task successfully completed by student? Yes No
1.Recognizes the front of a book    
2.Recognizes the back of a book    
3.Able to identify the title of a book    
4.Able to identify a word    
5.Able to identify a letter    
6.Able to identify a space    
7.Able to identify where teacher should begin reading   
8.Able to identify the end of a sentence (punctuation)    
9.     
10.     

Rhyming

Teacher: "Do you know what rhyming words are?" If the child says "yes" ask him or her to tell you two rhyming words. If he or she answers "no" or incorrectly then explain: "Rhyming words are words that end with the same sound. For example, the words cat and mat rhyme. I'm going to say two words. I want you to tell me if they sound alike at the end."

Teacher: "Sun/Fun"

Say each word pair listed below. If the student responds correctly, circle Yes. If the student responds incorrectly, circle No.

Do these two words sound alike at the end? Child's Response
1. bag bunYesNo
2. hen pen Yes No
3. foot bam Yes No
4. rat sat Yes No
5. pig wig Yes No
6.     Yes No
7.     Yes No
8.     Yes No
9.     Yes No
10.     Yes No

Identifying initial sounds

Teacher: "Sometimes words start with the same sound, like in the words: fat and fun. Both of these words start with the sound /f/. I'm going to say two different words, and I want you to tell me if the words start with the same sound. Let's try one."

Teacher: "Do the words bag and boat start with the same sound?"

Say each word pair listed below. If the student responds correctly, circle Yes. If the student responds incorrectly, circle No.

Do these two words start with the same sound? Child's Response
1. hat comeYesNo
2. pen pig Yes No
3. bake stem Yes No
4. cut cap Yes No
5. mop man Yes No
6.     Yes No
7.     Yes No
8.     Yes No
9.     Yes No
10.     Yes No

Blending words

Teacher: "Let's play 'Guess My Word'. I'm going to say a word but I'm going to say it slowly. I want you to see if you can guess the word I'm trying to say. For example, can you guess this word?" /s/-/at/

If the student responds correctly, circle Correct. If the student responds incorrectly, circle Incorrect.

Can you guess this word?Child's Response
1. /c/ /ap/CorrectIncorrect
2. /r/ /un/ Correct Incorrect
3. /j/ /ump/ Correct Incorrect
4. /p/ /ig/ Correct Incorrect
5. /b/ /all/ Correct Incorrect
6.     Correct Incorrect
7.     Correct Incorrect
8.     Correct Incorrect
9.     Correct Incorrect
10.     Correct Incorrect

Phoneme segmentation

Teacher: "Now let's try something different. Let's play another word game. I'm going to tell you a word. I want you to stretch that word, like you do a rubber band, into the different sounds heard in the word. Let's do a practice one. If I said the word cat you would say /c/- /a/- /t/. Let's try another."

Can you stretch this word? Correct Response
1.pig /p/-/i/-/g/
2. at /a/-/t/
3. bag /b/-/a/-/g/
4. sun /s/-/u/-/n/
5. pop /p/-/o/-/p/
6.    
7.    
8.    
9.    
10.    

Phoneme manipulation

Teacher: "Let's play another word game. I'm going to tell you a word. I want you to say the word with the /m/ sound at the beginning. Let's do a practice one. If I said the word bat you would say mat. Let's try another."

Can you say this word with the /m/ sound at the beginning? Correct AnswerChild's Response
1. ran manCorrectIncorrect
2. rap map Correct Incorrect
3. pop mop Correct Incorrect
4. pen men Correct Incorrect
5. rat mat Correct Incorrect
6.     Correct Incorrect
7.     Correct Incorrect
8.     Correct Incorrect
9.     Correct Incorrect
10.     Correct Incorrect

Phoneme deletion

Teacher: "Let's play another word game. I'm going to tell you a word. I want you to say the word without the first sound. Let's do a practice one. If I said the word fan you would say an. Let's try another."

Can you say this word without the first sound? Correct AnswerChild's Response
1. win inCorrectIncorrect
2. hand and Correct Incorrect
3. pup up Correct Incorrect
4. tape ape Correct Incorrect
5. rake ake Correct Incorrect
6.     Correct Incorrect
7.     Correct Incorrect
8.     Correct Incorrect
9.     Correct Incorrect
10.     Correct Incorrect
Reading Rockets (2004)

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Comments

Informal Reading AssessmentsAuthor, Mrs. Valerie ScottThe authentic and informal testing tool is an important tool I needed to test students. Yet, if teachers are not teaching students sounds, phonological awareness in the prior grades than this is margin of system testing error on the part of the state, school administration, previous or present teachers. This is a great test to evaluate language usage and to determine what students have not been expose to in the classroom at the beginning of the school year. In fact, generations of people have never been privy to learning language using this informal testing strategy. This is a primary assessment tool for teachers to create lesson plans for individual students. Moreover, this test should be available to teachers and mandatory throughout every state across America. When formal tests are given to students the evaluation of what students have not learned or have been expose to should be taken into consideration. Second Language Learners can speak other languages and are aware of their own phonological awareness. Students should be tested in their own language and this information should be available to teachers. There has to be a numeric value - counted for what students already know; and what teachers do not know about students abilities to understand language. Also, a numeric value should be given to students for what they were never taught for the benefit of the students. If prior learning is not taken into consideration then teachers may assume that students can not read because they are in apt when often times they are not illiterate and are capable of learning. If students were taught how to use these authentic and informal language technical skills by their teachers then students would not have low reading skills. This informal test will help teachers to assess student’s diversity using language. Learning these skills is an advantage for all students; however, it is most imperative for Native or Second Language Learners to gain the ability to comprehend the English language because these students are in class everyday. They do not understand what the teacher or their peers are speaking, that is, English. Teachers can help students to recognize sounds and compare similarities of phonological awareness used in other languages when teaching English to students. Creating boards of first constants, ending or beginning sounds, morpheme, phonemes, family words, pictures and site words together with written sounds could visually increase language development for all students. This information is so helpful for new teachers and veteran teachers. This tool should be given to every teacher and made mandatory for teachers to learn and explore even if the teacher’s major is in a different discipline. Language and literacy is intertwined into every subject area students learn. This comment was inspired by my own experiences; and the readings of (Jones International University, 2011).

The preference of many elementary school teachers for Qualitative Reading Inventories that dwell on how words are said is most understandable since this is what they think they are teaching. However this preference may be missing some facts that are essential to becoming Literate more so than merely not being Illiterate. Differences in the way words are read from one occasion to another are very unreliable, further they miss the most essential element in the developmental process of becoming a reader, namely in the "how" and "what" one comprehends. The lack of attention to addressing Comprehension issues and factors may in itself explain why there is a continuing crisis in comprehension that sets in about 4th reader level and grows worse with each passing year. The IR-TI was created to address this continuing crisis and does so in ways that do unfortunately create a bit of a quandary for those who are have an overly linguistic orientation with very little of an orientation toward content knowledge and cognitive development. The number of people that learn to decode words far surpasses the number who never learn to read the lines, read between the lines and read beyond the lines...each of which is targeted only in the IR-TI.The preference of many elementary school teachers for Qualitative Reading Inventories that dwell on how words are said is most understandable since this is what they think they are teaching. However this preference may be missing some facts that are essential to becoming Literate more so than merely not being Illiterate. Differences in the way words are read from one occasion to another are very unreliable, further they miss the most essential element in the developmental process of becoming a reader, namely in the "how" and "what" one comprehends. The lack of attention to addressing Comprehension issues and factors may in itself explain why there is a continuing crisis in comprehension that sets in about 4th reader level and grows worse with each passing year. The IR-TI was created to address this continuing crisis and does so in ways that do unfortunately create a bit of a quandary for those who are have a linguistic orientation more so than orientation to cognitive development. The number of people that learn to decode words far surpasses the number who never learn to read the lines, read between the lines and read beyond the lines...each of which is targeted only in the IR-TI.If you are interested in a proposal for a system to combat all this ambiguity about what is BEST please checkout: http://bestmethodsofinstruction.com/

This is an excellent informal assessment tool! With information such as this at educators finger tips, there is no excuse why students are not properly served reading wise!

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