I preferred to work using the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) in cognitive assessment and the Reading Interest Survey in non cognitive assessment. RIS mode of evaluation has a collection of valuable information that students can enjoy reading. When preparing for a reading lesson, one should put into consideration the interests of the students to some extent. Due to the fact that my school has a lot of children from humble backgrounds, with a big number constituting children coming from military families, there is need to include content that help the learners develop a sense of self worth and be sensitive to their cultural needs (Hunsberger, 2007)
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Carrying out evaluations is an important aspect in learning. Therefore, it is crucial to choose an assessment criterion that enables you understand your learners as well as what they need or else your lesson will have no impact to them. RIS mode of assessment is important when it comes to this approach. It enables a teacher to find out for himself the texts that learners enjoy reading and the extent to which they can read. While using this approach, I will be able to plan an interesting lesson that will be characterized with high levels of exchange of useful ideas with the learners.
On the other hand, when I used SRI and RIS concurrently, I found out that one of my students did not enjoy the reading lesson. The student would be classified as a beginner and his reading skills indicated that of a learner below third grade level. The other student that I monitored had reading abilities of a learner slightly below fourth grade. Despite the fact that this learner enjoyed reading, she spent very little time reading when she was outside the school which contributed to her overall reading skills going below average. The next learner I chose was at intermediate level and his reading skills corresponded to that of a student at beginning fourth grade level. This student enjoyed reading at school as well at home. His ability to comprehend and think independently made the student a good reader. The learner showed interest in reading all types of literature (Afflerbach, 2007).
Another finding from my investigation is that the three students enjoy computer research and showed interest in electronic books with guidelines on hand held video games. All the students displayed the same level of understanding because all of them had a difficulty decoding words while using chunk words and several vowel patterns. In fact, one of the students is still sharpening skills on fluency and phonemic awareness.
In order to help students to distinguish between different instructions, I would ask the learners to collaborate as a group and complete KWL chart on facts that they already know concerning hand held video games. After completing this chart, I would instruct them to read appropriate books concerning this subject at their level of understanding. They would then conduct a group discussion to deliberate on the information they got from the independent readings. The final task that they would undertake is the completion of KWL chart to provide a visual aide.
Fourth grade students at my school use the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) model as a means of cognitive reading assessment as recommended by the district. SRI is a computer program that enables students adapt to reading and has been proven to provide reliable results. Students who used this program have been found to improve their reading levels over as specific period of time. Therefore, this approach of assessment would enable teachers and school administrators demonstrate high levels of accountability, classification of instruction according to student levels, target innovations that meet the needs of students, predict growth in grade level state tests and provide recommendations for students that match their placement (Wong, 1998).
This assessment criterion was selected as the most appropriate for evaluating fourth grade students due to the fact that it uses the same scale to scrutinize learners, identifies learners with difficulty in comprehension and uses norm referenced standards to determine student performance levels.
When I took time to review the results of the two assessments, I found out that it was important to have in mind the personal backgrounds of the learners. Whether their parents like to read and encourage reading at home, whether the culture of the learners interfere with their behavior patterns and the interest they have concerning reading. All these questions have to be addressed while conducting the research. In order to have the answers to the above concerns, I would engage in an activity that is characterized with fun and interesting to the kids.
From the discussion, it is evident that teachers give little attention to literacy activities of the learners. Culture and learning is integrated because they rely on each other for success. Failure by teachers to put into considerations the cultural activities of the learners would likely lead to their failure at school because it would be difficult for them to acquire literacy activities and patterns that teacher use (Tompkins, 2010). With all these considerations in mind, I decided to use the “Me Stew” activity to get to know the students better. The activities involved in this game are applicable to learners of all levels. Learners are requested to bring items about themselves to share with their colleagues in class. Depending on the items that each learner brings, their culture, personality and the type of family they come from can be known (Laureate Education, 2009). Through these activities, I can now provide the best approaches necessary for reading.
Afflerbach, P. (2007). Understanding and using reading assessment, K-12. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Hunsberger, P. (2007). “Where am I?” A call for “connectedness” in literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(3), 420-424.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009). Multiple Identities [DVD]. The developing reader. Baltimore, MD. Author.
Tompkins, G. E., (2010). Literacy for the 21st century. A balanced approach (5th ed.) Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Wong, K. (1998). The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher. Mountainview, CA : Harry K. Wong Publications.