Literacy Assessment Information

  • There are many tools that educators use for reading documentation at the Singing Hills Elementary. Each assessment varies in length, purpose, and implementation. However, all provide the ongoing monitoring a teacher gathers while building a “body of evidence” to determine a child’s reading ability. With quick analysis, all provide direction for the next critical steps teachers use to guide a student toward continued reading success. The four assessments mentioned below are recognized by the state of Colorado as valid and reliable tools for gathering reading data:

    DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is a reading readiness test used by K-1 teachers to see if a child has basic skills in place to begin the reading process. The children are tested at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year with corresponding benchmarks. Kindergarten students are assessed with one-minute subtests of beginning sounds, letter naming, sound segmentation, and short vowel sounds in nonsense words. First grade students have additional reading passages at the middle and end of the year to show oral reading fluency. Each subtest provides the teacher with indicators for predicting future reading success.

    MAP (Measures of Academic Performance) is a computerized assessment for all Kindergarten-5th grade students in the content areas of Reading, Language Usage, Math and Science. This test compares a student’s progress with other children in his/her school, district, and participating students across the nation. Beginning, middle, and end of the year benchmarks show progress so teachers can differentiate instruction for each child’s academic needs. There are no time restrictions with this assessment, but children work independently without teacher assistance. It also plots a child’s steady growth through multiple school years.

    DRA2 (Developmental Reading Assessment) is a comprehensive tool that measures both oral reading and comprehension. This test is administered three times a year usually near parent conferences, report cards, and the end of the school year. Each grade level has multiple leveled texts for each semester that gradually increase in difficulty to show growth throughout the year. By the third semester of first grade, a reading rate is added to the oral read to document speed and fluency. By the end of second grade, a written comprehension component is added to show how a child responds in written form to the text. This assessment is especially helpful for teachers because it combines all components of the reading process into one tool. It provides fiction and non-fiction levels passages to document advanced, independent, instructional, or emergent readers.

    CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program) is the state’s premier tool to see how well all Colorado 3rd-10th graders are performing when measured against state standards and benchmarks. This assessment is the reporting tool for the nation’s NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND program. Third, fourth, and fifth graders are tested in Reading, Writing, and Math with fifth graders taking an additional Science exam. It is given once a year following a tight testing window and specific administration protocols for reliability and validity purposes. It is the primary tool, coupled with other school factors, to assign each school a yearly Excellent, High, Average, Low, or Unsatisfactory rating.

    These brief assessment descriptions provide a general glimpse of the data gathering tools used at Singing Hills to document student growth. For in-depth analysis, please refer to the School Assessment Data sheet included in the student report card.