Monday, February 17, 2014

Catching Readers - Assessments

I wanted to write about one last chapter in this book:

{Well, that is unless I read something else that is really good!}

Chapter 10 is about assessments. When I brought this up with my little in-service group, there was some discussion about teacher observation versus testing data. Our school is going more and more toward testing data as the final authority - the teacher's thoughts/observations/anecdotal notes don't really mean much. 

Having said that, however, I feel like my thoughts, observations and anecdotal notes go a long way toward what should happen in my class - together with the testing data. In my guided reading group, I need to work with students, based on what I'm seeing throughout the week. And I need to move students around, based on that, too. 

Here are two quotes:

“assessments must be authentic, ongoing, and informative in order for teachers to effectively use it while instructing children.”

 “We must be intensely aware not only that they are struggling but also of what is contributing to their struggle.”

As to the first one - my school does running records on below level kids ever week - but I'm not given those results. Hmm, does that make sense? I didn't even think about it until I read this, but I think it's something I need to bring up and ask for. Why should I do this to my kids again, when the information is already there?

The 2nd quote - ouch - I'm working on this. I do at least weekly anecdotal notes on each of my kids. I've also started noting "what's next?" What do I need to work on with this student. I want to be more aware of what each of my students' struggles are, particularly my lower kids. Haha, that's one of my struggles!

This is a great book and an easy read. If you get it, you might want to make sure you have a highlighter with you as you read. 


  1. The assessment chapter is so very good and challenged me to up my game for sure.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. The whole book! I've gotta read the chapter about doing running records - and I left the book at school again! Sara

  2. "What's next" is my biggest struggle. I feel like I am making it up as I go. :( Thanks for reviewing this book. :)

    1. Oh, Alyce - me too! I'd love a little book to tell me exactly what to do to help them each become readers! Sara