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LaVerne LaVerne is offline
 
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LaVerne
 
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Title reading student placement
Old 02-24-2007, 08:51 AM
 
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Hello!
Since this is my first year with Title I reading students, I have some questions about how the rest of the world places students into the Title I Reading program. Here is my situation: I replaced a 30+ year veteran who, I am coming to find out, did her own thing. She pretty much ignored new guidelines because of how the state monitoring went and several principals that she was able to 'snowball'. Great person, just didn't follow the rules. I work with Grades 3, 4, and 5, and a catholic school. My state guidelines tell me I need 3 subjective (number) placement criterion. Teacher referral comes after those 3 numbers. I ended up with 39 regular students this year with about 25 on the waiting list. I have had a productive but busy year.

In the past, a placement test was never given. I gave one to all students in the fall, which was about 400 students. Of course, this was a lot of work, but meaningful. I used that and last year's report card grade and their Star Reader grade. ( I have read that some of you can't use that, but our state thinks it is ok.) Of course the Catholic School doesn't have Star Reader, but with the placement test, I ended up with only 3 students anyway with the other scores.

I am asking for tips on what you use. We don't have DRA; I have done fluency tests this year on a regular basis with my kids, and all third graders. Those teachers got on board with the fluency idea ( new to some of them ) and had me test their students 2 times this year. I can't imagine testing 400 students in fluency to help place them....I could ask the teachers to do that but too many don't know how. ( I am an veteran teacher, but many of my peers haven't kept up with 'things'.) No one but me knows how to do running records...

Any and all advice is welcome. Do you have a preference on doing SPRING reading placement tests versus FALL reading placement tests?

Thanks for your help. I am pretty sure I will be monitored this coming fall and I would like to have most of my "ducks in a row".


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Old 02-25-2007, 05:35 AM
 
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Every spring I do testing on the 3rd graders because the 4th grade Title I teacher prefers some of the test results to be from the spring. In the fall I do my most of my testing for 3rd grade, because I think there is a huge difference in ability from spring to fall between 2nd and 3rd grade.

Our 2nd grade teachers, as a team, came up with a grade level assessment. They give the same test in fall and spring of 2nd grade. Each section has a subscore, and the 2nd grade teachers use it to show growth over the year, and to show what needs each student has for 2nd grade instruction. The test covers many subject areas and is given over the course of 4 days. I use some of the subscores (silent reading comprehension, sight word list) from spring. That means that every student who moves in will also have to take those subtests with me to determine eligibility.

I also use the TORC-3, but only the subtest for vocabulary. In it, children read a list of three words that go together. They read 4 choices of other words, and choose two that will go with the first three. The first example is:

Yellow, red, blue
a. black
b. grass
c. green
d. yes

It shows the unconscious working of the mind to place words together, so context learning is valued here. A student may know that a word means "something at a circus" but not exactly what it means, and get that answer correct. The students who were in Title I with me this year got direct instruction in this type of thinking, to the goal of bringing to mind the possible words for an unknown word, due to context.

You could teach the classroom teachers to give the fluency test to their students. They can fit it in in the odd moments in a classroom, and over the course of a day or so have results for you. Another idea is to have the students do it themselves. If there are several tape recorders, several classrooms can do this at once. Have the students go off, one at a time, to a quiet area of the room and read a fluency test passage. They can read it aloud three times into the microphone, with the instruction to make it sound like talking, and take the timing on only the 3rd reading.

I hope it has been a great year for you, LaVerne.
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LaVerne LaVerne is offline
 
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Thanks!
Old 02-25-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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HI! Now that I read your answer, I believe I asked this question before, earlier on in the year. I feel so much more comfortable now. Thanks for answering my question twice.

I am not familiar with TORC-3. Could you give me more information? It sounds like a part of the Gates-MacGinitie test that I gave early on, mostly because the teacher before me did.

How much do you rely on teacher referral? I would bet I would have 10 out of 20 students in some classes with requests to be in my room.

I am just having a hard time 'cutting' off the students in need, but 39 was a lot of kids to get to in a meaningful way. Any input??? I want to be fair to everyone, but the guidelines for placement seem so vague and wishy washy to me. I guess not like the LD placement when I had my regular ed room for 20 years. Of course I wanted to please everyone this year and I have made great progress in getting teachers to understand what title I is all about. But it is difficult to tell them NO as well.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:56 AM
 
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I don't use teacher referral at all. There is difficulty in my school with teacher personalities. For whatever reason, they will give a child a score of 5 in every area, whether he deserves it or not, if he's someone they just want out of the room. Teachers would even tell me that's what they do. When I had the opportunity, and the blessing from my director, I stopped using teacher referral.

Find the TORC-3 here: http://ags.pearsonassessments.com/gr...pInfoID=a19025
There is a silent reading passage, directions of schoolwork subtest, and others. It was recommended to me by another Title I teacher, and it isn't cheap. I only use the one subtest right now, but I've given the directions of schoolwork page. It was hard for the 3rd graders, and even good readers were getting low scores on it. You might want to use it for your upper grades, because it is a measure of functional literacy. I kept getting questions from kids, not about what a word was, but how to do the directions it asked for. It was measuring, in a sense, what the child's previous teachers had or hadn't taught.

I believe the state says 30-60 students is full-time caseload. I've done 60, and it doesn't do the kids any good. The groups are too large and the teacher is run ragged. Once my caseload dropped to about 45 or less, it's much better. That's where I try to keep mine. It depends on how many kids are in need.

Don't worry about asking more than once, it's not an easy job to just walk into, and there's a lot to keep track of. Anytime I can help, I'm glad to.
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