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  the primary environment allows primary teachers to observe students interactions in literacy 
across a range of Key Learning Areas, particularly "values and attitudes" outcomes.
All teachers need to be teachers of reading 

"........  We should be measuring what kids can do with knowledge, not how many right answers they can give to questions. 
Seymour Papert 
Assessment and evaluation practices must be well planned, tied to the curriculum and capable of meeting student needs. Student evaluation is an integral part of good teaching practices and must inform instruction. Assessment tools are needed to guide students and teachers in setting appropriate learning goals........."
Constructivism: Knowledge Building In The Secondary Classroom, Regina Public Schools and Saskatchewan Learning, 2004
  No one type 
should be used to

different methods

Assesses Knowledge, Understandings, Skills and Values

reading bingo

 Where possible opportunities should be time efficient, by addressing more than one outcome at a time.

 checklists / observation

  adaptation may be necessary dependent on the age or skill of the students.

cloze exercises


standardized tests

running records

Blooms stems- novel study

A range to suit different learning styles e.g Gardner's multiple intelligences

adaptative dimension in the high school

multiple options

Be conscious of the particular needs of ESL students : vocabulary development; field knowledge; comprehension.

 graphic organisers

student centred with opportunity for student self assessment and reflection on achievement and progress.

Oral Reading Rubric


 a number of times, and in varying contexts.

comprehension levels

School Approach
decisions need to be made collectively relating to curriculum, class groupings, timetabling, programming and resource allocation

Scope and Sequence, 
Running Record admin,
cooperative planning, basic skills recommendations

   ICT inclusive 
and non-linear



The teacher's role:  Observing, interacting and analysing
Different assessment methodologies
comparing students' work against a standards framework of syllabus outcomes
anecdotal records
     using Excel spreadsheets


  formalised tests


conferencing/reading circles

a developmental continuum

graphic organisers



  multiple choice- BST, Ella

sequencing activities

reading journals

Reading Bingo
Checklists  /  Observation
Checklists and rating scales have the advantage of being relatively easy to design, undemanding of time, and applicable to more than one child at a time, but they are limited to the specified traits or behaviors, lacking information on the context or quality of the behavior, and they are subject to the observer's interpretation.  Teacher made checklists can be an integral part of the teaching and learning process when they are clearly linked to the syllabus outcomes and exist in the lesson as a normal classroom activity. Separate components may be cumulatively assessed and dated.
cloze exercises
A "fill-in-the-blanks" activity where the learner uses clues from the context to supply words that have been deliberately removed from the text.  Responses (dependent on words omitted) reveal both text comprehension and language mastery levels.  The performance criteria should specifically relate to the relevant syllabus outcome. 
clever cloze   involves students drawing on their understandings of the political nature of texts to deconstruct and then reconstruct texts from a particular ideological position. 
Schools Group, Department of Education, Science and Training, GPO Box 9880, Canberra City, ACT 2601.
Standardized tests
A standardized test is one that is administered under standardized or controlled conditions that specify where, when, how, and for how long children may respond to the questions or "prompts." They present the same tasks and require the same response modes from all test takers.  They provide tables of norms to which the scores of test takers can be compared in order to ascertain their relative standing. comparing their prior and current learning achievements, or comparing their achievements to those of other students.  Indicate not only areas of strength, but areas of need.
The Burt Word Reading Test - is a measure of single word recognition still provides a good reliable measure of relative reading gain over time. Note that the maximum reading age possible on the Burt is about 13 years.
Waddington Diagnostic Spelling Test 
The South Australian Spelling Test  (SAST), printed in Peter Westwood, 1999, Spelling: Approaches to teaching and assessment. ACER Press. This test assesses spelling performance from age 6 to over 15 years and is popular because it has Australian norms. 
The Torch Comprehension Close assists teachers to interpret performance in reading comprehension skills and provides the opportunity to compare student performance with an Australia-wide sample of over 7000 students from Years 3-10. 
The Nonword Reading test  Martin and Pratt Nonword Reading Test (MPNRT), Martin, F. & Pratt, C., 2001, ACER Press. Regular word structures are used for nonword items to enable the student to employ phonological recoding strategies to produce the combined sound of letter strings. Phonological recoding is the ability to match a sequence of letters to its corresponding sounds (decoding) and is indicative of a student's ability to read novel or unfamiliar words in text. The use of non-words in a test such as this allows for the detection of those students who are largely relying on compensatory strategies rather than  decoding strategies, when attempting to read. The test consists of pseudowords,  ranging from simple three letter  to multisyllabic "non-words". The test assesses performance between the ages of 6 to 16 years, and is a good test of phonological coding containing norms and "discontinue" rules.  Children may stop before experiencing a sense of failure.
Running Records

analysis of reading strategies

currently administered at our school at the beginning and end of each term up to level 30.  Once children achieve this level, they are deemed to be independent readers and monitoring progress takes alternative forms.  Assessment of comprehenson continues to be a prioty.
Some of the skills evident during a running record are:

fluency word recognition decoding    intonation
word meaning  comprehension oral reading rate   confidence
  knowledge of punctuation conventions

underperforming readers  - strategies to assist specific problems


Blooms question stems

graphic organisers
They combine both thelinguistic mode of learning (using words and phrases to describe) and the non-linguisticmode (using symbols and arrows to represent relationships)  They permit the visual comparison of student understanding to expert knowledge.  (They are ususally quick, child friendly, not restricted by writing skills and  can be adapted ) e.g a spider webSince many graphic organizers use short words or phrases, they are ideal for many types of learners, including English Language Learners with intermediate proficiency.
A rubric is a key that describes varying levels of quality from excellent to poor for a specific assignment.  All rubrics have two features in common: a list of criteria and gradations of achievement.  The criteria are chosen to define and guide the teaching and learning.
Create a New Rubric or one based on a Template
sample rubric works to help you integrate technology into your classroom by offering FREE online tools and resources. 
High Plains Regional Technology in Education Consortium
Multiple-choice or short-answer tests can overemphasize low-level reading skills isolated from a context of meaning. They may  neglect critical or higher order thinking and problem solving.  "........  After reading, teachers need to use a range of strategies which ask questions at three levels of comprehension. This will promote comprehension atseveral levels: literal; interpretive/inferential(between the lines) and applied/critical (making connections beyond the text). These comprehension activities may be extended to accommodate the creative level.  These activities could include using a 3 level guide, dictagloss and guidednote-making........."

The Teaching of Literacy in Sydney Catholic Schools, A submission to the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy.Catholic Education Office, Sydney, 21st March 2005.

Incorporation of ICT
response to webquests, webpage construction, powerpoint presentations, a school scope and sequence, 
department guidelines

The optimist says assessment will drive instruction in the future and new and better assessments are being developed to do this job. But the cautious optimist says this will only happen if educators at all levels understand the difference between sound and unsound assessment and can integrate sound assessments into the instruction process in effective ways.
Stiggins, R. J., and Conklin, N. F. (1992).In teachers' hands: Investigating the practices of classroom assessment. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Changes in Reading Assessment
Significant changes are being made in the way reading and writing are assessed. Tests given to large numbers of students, even state and national reading measures, are moving away from the exclusive use of multiple-choice items to items that require students to actively construct and examine the meaning of reading selections.
Classroom assessment procedures, those used by classroom teachers on an ongoing basis, are also changing. Less emphasis is being placed on formal test measures, and more emphasis is being placed on teacher observations, samples of student instructional products, and student self-evaluation. Meaningful collections of such observations, work samples, and reflections are assembled into portfolios, which document student achievement and progress in literacy.
Copyright © 1997 Houghton Mifflin Company

Any monitoring effort has three basic components: collecting information on a regular basis, analyzing and evaluating that information, and taking action to improve student performance 
Copyright © North Central Regional Educational Laboratory