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Reading Test Questions for 1st-3rd grade teachers
Old 10-05-2018, 03:48 AM
 
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Sooooo I teach third grade. This is my 17th year. Through the years I have noticed my students coming to third grade even more and more unprepared. My third grade team and I notice a HUGE gap between second and third grade. We recognize that second graders are very young and shouldn't be expected to take on what a third grader is capable of doing. However, we also feel the burden of getting these kids ready for the state test at the end of the year where in Florida... they must pass the reading test to be promoted to fourth grade. With that said, we have heard through the grapevine that first grade teachers at our school read the weekly reading test to their students and that some of the second grade teachers also read the reading test for a good part of the school year. We find this absurd.... after all.... it means the test is nothing more than a "listening" test than an actually reading test. No wonder the students are coming to third grade and they are bombing the weekly reading tests and can't sit for a sustained amount of time to attend to it independently. My question is... What are your thoughts on this. Am I not seeing the big picture? Why should a reading test be read to a student? I am NOT talking about studens with IEPs who have accommodations outlined in a legal document. That is a whole other situation. I am talking about every single student being read questions and answers and they just choose after "listening" to it. Thoughts?


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Old 10-05-2018, 04:34 AM
 
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I agree that is a topic your staff needs to visit.

We do not read reading tests to students. It does test a very different skill, and does help the students learn to comprehend the texts independently.

Since we started taking PARCC, and using CCSS, plus tying evaluations to test scores, I believe our students have become less capable of thinking. That is not helpful in anyway. I don't know if there is another reason, or if it directly ties to the things I mentioned, but weird how every year I have to work harder and harder and the students drop each year. Very frustrating!
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:50 AM
 
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The argument for reading the test to students is to try to focus in the target of the assessment. They are probably trying to determine who has learned the target comprehension skill for that week. Reading the tests takes the decoding out of the equation so that they can assess the skill without also including decoding proficiency. Because what if you can identify the main idea and details in a grade level passage, but you read a year below grade level?

They may also view the whole group test administration in this format as a way to teach test taking strategies. Or attempting to develop test taking stamina this way (where in theory students are attending to the test during the entire administration).

You can probably tell, this has been a discussion at my school too!!!

There are definitely different + and - to this and I believe that your administrator should be guiding a discussion and setting the philosophy/rationale for testing so that everyone is on the same page. If you are seeing a decline in third grade readiness since this practice has started, that is evidence that it needs to be reviewed.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:43 AM
 
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I'll tell you my pet peeve is my pet peeve is writing. We have second graders coming in still putting capital letters in the middle of words (because is always capitalized no matter where it is in the sentence and that makes us insane ) and not writing in complete sentences. I don't think it's too much to ask 2nd grade teachers to start teaching and expecting this in January.
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Another Thought...
Old 10-05-2018, 09:56 AM
 
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I am going to assume that there are a variety of reading levels in second grade. Some students are above grade level, some are at grade level, and others are below grade level.

If every child in the room is taking the same weekly reading test (and I hope they are not), then not all students would be able to read it. I would bet the above grade level and some at grade level students would succeed at reading it. However some at grade level and all the below grade level would not succeed. How fair is that?? IMHO, not all students should be taking the same test!!! These tests should be differentiated by reading level. That may mean that some at grade level and all the below grade level might still need the test read to them for at least part of the school year.

It sounds like this is a building issue that needs discussion with your reading specialist, RtI interventionists, special ed staff, general ed staff, and administration.


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Old 10-05-2018, 10:44 AM
 
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First of all, Connie, how can a teacher determine who is meeting grade level standards if they give all the students a different test? When you assign grades it should be either letter grades based on grade level standards or standards based grades based on grade level standards. Everyone should take the same test so you can understand who is meeting those standards.

I saw teachers reading to students in 2nd grade with schools using Treasures and Wonders. Usually there was a test each week that assessed the vocabulary, comprehension concept, and other things specific to the text they read that week. If that's the test then I think it is fine to read it to anyone who needs it. You are assessing what they learned based on the story everyone already read several times as a class. However, if it's a new passage they have never seen before then students should be reading it themselves. I still think it would be okay to read the questions to them as often questions are written at a higher level than the text itself.

When I did Title I I had constant frustration due to all of the reading tests being read to students. I had students reading far below their peers who had As and Bs in reading and language arts. If they have a good grade parents don't understand why their student would need Title I services. It is one thing to adapt things to students and make accommodations but everyone should always understand the goals and where their student is related to them. When students and parents don't understand where the standards are it makes things more confusing.
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:37 PM
 
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If youíre assessing grade level standards then you need to give a grade level test. How else will you know if kids are meeting grade level expectations?

And really this etests should only be read to them if itís part of an IEP accommodation.
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Thanks for responding!
Old 10-05-2018, 03:12 PM
 
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Wow! Thanks for the sparked conversation. It sounds like this is a hot topic at schools other than mine. I agree our principal needs to be in on this decision and believe me our third grade team has brought it up. Someone in this thread mentioned handwriting... declining... and yes we are seeing that in third grade as well. I see students putting capital letters within a word, putting all the letters under the mid line on handwriting paper, and beginning letters from the bottom up (incorrect formation). Then of course there is the dreaded pencil grip! UGH! I need wine. It's Friday!
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:56 PM
 
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At my school, the mantra is: K-2, they are learning to read; 3-5 they are reading to learn.


If I'm assessing their ability to read, of course I don't read it to them. But if it's comprehension/recall/retell, then I do read it to them.


I teach K, FWIW.

Last edited by Zia; 10-06-2018 at 03:33 AM..
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To Answer Your Question...
Old 10-05-2018, 07:47 PM
 
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Classroom grade level standard's assessment is not a standardized test.

A student's reading level does not mean that they cannot meet the grade level standards. If the teacher carefully chooses reading material at the child's reading level, the grade level standards can apply and be taught using that particular text no matter its level.

The grade level standard can be taught in a mini-lesson. If a third grader is reading at the beginning of second grade, the second grade text they are reading in their guided reading group should be used to review, reteach, and assess the grade level standard that was taught in the mini-lesson.

Other students in the class may be reading at grade level or above grade level in their guided reading groups. Whatever their guided reading level, the grade level standard can be reviewed, retaught, and assessed using that text.

Another approach would be to test the grade level standard, but be sure that each child's test is written using new text (not the stories being used all week). This would provide differentiation. The new text would be at the child's reading level. This would mean the child is applying the grade level standard to different text, which in the whole scheme of things, is what we want our readers to do. In this case, each child would be able to read independently, with some assistance in reading the questions and answers.

When it comes to grading, the report card should reflect the child's reading level, and the comments should clearly state what that level means in terms of the grade level. During conferences, parents could be reminded of their child's reading level, and that their minimal, basic, proficient, and exceeds grades reflect how the child performed based on that reading level.

We should be teaching and differentiating based on the needs of the child, and not all students should be reading the same text or taking the same test. If they are, those below grade level readers are always going to fail. Failure is not going to improve a child's self-esteem.

As already stated...a grade level standard can be applied to any reading material at any guided reading level. For students to achieve, they should be tested using materials at their reading level.



Last edited by ConnieWI; 10-05-2018 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:01 AM
 
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Iím a teacher in NY. Our report card says able to read and comprehend a grade level text. So, even if they can apply the skill to a text on their level that is not enough.
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:40 AM
 
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This is a huge thing in my school as well. We have students coming to third grade with great grades, who cannot do anything and are not able to be independent.

I understand part of my job as a third grade teacher is to help them become more independent, but there are certain things they should be able to do by the time they come to me.

Our K-2 teachers also read directions and tests to them. My third graders come to me constantly ask what to do, when I ask if they read the directions they look at me like I have two heads! Last week I gave my students morning work that had a short paragraph (3 sentences) about how ice cream cones came to be and it had one question: Where were ice cream cones invented? One of my students said "How am I supposed to know?" When I asked if he read the paragraph above, he said "Oh, I thought those were the directions!"

I agree with you that reading tests should NOT be read to students. If you are reading a test to your students you are actually assessing listening comprehension, not reading comprehension. I have had students who cannot read a word who can retell a story almost word for word and I have students who can read anything you put in front of them, but can't remember a thing.

I understand that we want to make sure our students are successful and we are supporting their learning, but we (at least at my school) are making students who cannot think for themselves.

Just Thursday, I asked my students to line up for Library. When we got to the Library, several students asked to go back and get their Library books in their lockers. I asked why they didn't get them when we passed our lockers, and they said "You didn't tell us to!"

Writing is an issue for us too! Since we started HWT, my students seem to not be able to write correctly. I have 5 out of 23 students this year who cannot even hold a pencil the correct way.
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Absurd is the word!
Old 10-06-2018, 04:43 AM
 
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We can make this complicated and there are a number of adjoining and intertwined issues. There was another post on the topic of "gradeless" schools that raised many similar questions.

Personally, I'm extremely frustrated by our obsession with accommodating because I think it becomes very easy to cheat the kids. When you combine the obsession with accommodating with a similar obsession with assessing... Let's also stir in that we think the goal of education is to build a child's self-esteem by giving every kid a trophy... well, I find myself sorta wondering where/when it stops being about teaching.

Quote:
Through the years I have noticed my students coming to third grade even more and more unprepared.
Enough said? Well, maybe not quite.

In my adult classes, I introduce tests (yeah, I still call 'em that) with the explanation, "I can help you understand a question if necessary." Some of the issues I'm seeing with many of my younger adults is poor reading skills, limited vocabulary, and a lack of thinking skills. The good news is many are trying to improve on their own. The bad news is many expect accommodation. I have actually had adult students ask if it would be possible for me to read questions to them. I might add that these students are preparing for a career that will require them to read and interpret contracts and reports.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:14 AM
 
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I also teach third grade in Florida. We recently had a 1st grade teacher move to third and it has been a huge battle reminding her to not read to these third graders, unless they have 504/IEP accommodations. And even then it’s NEVER the passage. Most kids have much higher listening comprehension than reading comprehension.

Also, even though ESOL students don’t have a full grasp of English yet... they can’t be read to either!

At my school, in 1st grade the students are read to. However, that stops in 2nd grade.

I also disagree with Connie, maybe your school/state does it differently. We give common grade level assessments in both reading and math. The assessments must be a grade level text with standard based questioning that matches FSA test specs for third grade.

I couldn’t imagine a student receiving all A/Bs on their report card based on everything being on their individual reading level... then failing our state test. They are NOT meeting grade level standards if they are reading significantly below grade level.

We DO give our students differentiated center work which is their reading level with grade level activities/questioning for the first half of the year. However, come January they begin seeing and working with all grade level text as (unfortunately) they must all take (and hopefully pass) a state wide assessment that’s on grade level.

Florida also has mandatory retention for 3rd graders who don’t pass FSA so it’s not an option to only give them work on their current level. They would freak out upon seeing the state test and perform even worse than had they been exposed to and worked with grade level material all/most of the year.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:42 AM
 
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I have taught third and fourth grade. In the past five years, I cannot believe the amount of students unprepared for third grade. We have never had so many students unable to read at a third grade level. We work extremely hard the first marking period getting them to work at a third grade level. I agree there is a huge gap between second and third grade. The first grade teachers also read the test to students. My grade partners and I have spoken to the first and second grade teachers to give questions similar to the type that we use, but they don’t. They tell us they don’t have a state test. We try to explain that they are also preparing them for the third grade state test, but they don’t see it that way. My district now realizes there is a problem in first and second grade. They are implementing a phonics program and having more trainings this year for teaching language arts. I hope that will help.
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Hot button topic
Old 10-07-2018, 03:59 AM
 
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So the OP asked about reading tests to students. That is a listening comprehension test, isn't it?
But a lot of responses addressed other important issues too.

Its a conundrum! I believe in guided reading and differentiation. But our standards are that students read in the grade four five band by the end of the year. So we make sure to get at grade level reading with scaffolding as needed , especially in s.s., science and even math.

Our nine weeks test are also grade level. We try to teach test taking strategies too. For some below level readers, it helps to learn those.

But for everyday reading, I want them to be successful learners. Giving a student materials he can't navigate doesn't make sense. So we group them by levels and interest or skills needed, to give experience to keep getting better and able to read more and more challenging texts.
The goal is by the time we give state tests at end of year, students can read and answer the questions. Are all successful in passing? No. But I also blame the tests when I have gifted who test poorly too
A whole other conundrum...
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:46 PM
 
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There are plenty of opportunities to teacher reading and test taking strategies. A test has a different purpose. It is to see how a child is performing independently based on grade level standards. It is not appropriate to read passages to students. Questions should only be read to students having that accommodation in their IEP or 504. I teach in Florida also. The FSA is very clear as to what can be read and what can't . Passages definitely cannot be read. Therefore, they should not be read on classroom tests.

I understand reading a math or science test to a very young child (K or 1st). You are testing their understanding of that content, not their reading ability.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:32 PM
 
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I'm a 2nd grade teacher and would never read a reading assessment aloud to my student. However, I will read word problems to students during a math test because I'm assessing math not reading. Even that support for math tests usually fades by January, unless the student has an IEP.
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Reading tests to students
Old 10-13-2018, 01:17 PM
 
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I teach second grade and I do not read reading tests to the students. I insist that that they read tests independently. I also insist that they put capital letters where they belong, not in the middle or the end of words. I have many, many parents who fight me on these issues and complain to my administrators. They believe that I'm being too hard on their kids, after all it's only second grade...I also try to explain that I'm trying to prepare them for third grade, but they just don't get it. They think second grade should be "fun".
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2nd grade
Old 10-13-2018, 03:48 PM
 
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I taught 3rd grade for a long time, and this is my first year to teach 2nd. I can tell you that we do NOT read the test to the students. Even students with IEP's are not read to. Inclusion teachers can read the questions to them, but not the passage itself.

We're also raising the bar with the reading tests to mirror the 3rd grade tests, but on a lower lexile level. They started off doing poorly, but now they're doing well!
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