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Reading Testing
Old 01-12-2019, 03:40 PM
 
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Hi,

I am asking this as a parent. Our school does Fountas-Pinnell testing at a few points during the year. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with that testing? Do you stop after testing one level at a perfect score without going on, or do you continue the testing until they don't perform as well to find their reading level? Just wondering because my son was only tested at a level D, he got a perfect score, and then he was no longer tested and just tossed into the next level, where he's been held at since November. He told me the other day when he came home with another book from teacher center that "teacher center is boring" and he was tired of reading "baby books" and wanted to read something that didn't repeat so much. I try to let him read all he wants at home and he loves to read but I'm afraid that this stagnation is going to turn him off to reading in school. He's only in kindergarten so that's pretty early to start disliking school. I borrowed some leveled readers from the reading teacher in the school building where I work and he's been independently reading and highly enjoying the level "L" readers I brought home. At school his teacher has him stuck at a level E. Are they only allowed to move him one level at a time with the testing? Just curious...


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Old 01-12-2019, 04:34 PM
 
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I do not know what policy the school may have set, but with Fountas-Pinnell, you do not stop at the first passed test. I take my second graders to the point where I know both their independent level and their instructional level. Keep in mind that the comprehension and fluency must be there for me to move them forward. You may have to watch some of the content if your little one is in kindergarten and reading L (DRA 24) and moving higher.

When I say I do not know what policy your school may have set I mean I do not know their cap for testing. In my district, I am not allowed to test a second grader beyond a level 40. That does not mean that I cannot instruct them at that level, it just means they should not be exposed to the testing materials beyond a 40 in the second grade.

If your son is really a level L and he is learing at a level E (DRA 8) I bet he is bored. Good luck
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:06 PM
 
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Thank you for your reply. That's what I thought the testing was supposed to be like from what I'd seen in the past as even just a substitute teacher. I was able to snag a level J, "The Problem with Meli", and two level L, "From Milk to Ice Cream" and "Jack and the Beanstalk" from the reading teacher in my building. Having never seen the books, he opened them up and read all three independently with no problems and was able to answer questions I asked him. Maybe those aren't really the type of books they would look for if he were to be placed at that reading level? Our school is supposed to be doing testing this month, so hoping they will do it properly this time unless they aren't looking to find his potential. I know his teacher laid out to me her "plan" to have him at an H at the end of the year. Why must it be so if he can already do it now? Maybe they want him to have read a couple of chapter books first? I have no idea.
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We've used Fountas-Pinnell for years
Old 01-12-2019, 06:16 PM
 
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The student would be reading on an independent level at that level if he scores
95-100 percent and can answer comprehension questions. If he scores 90-94 percent, he is on his instructional level, and anything below 90 percent is considered frustration level. If he is tested on a book where he is considered on the independent level, he should be tested on a higher level, and continue until they find his frustration level, keeping in mind that he must answer comprehension questions correctly, and have acceptable fluency.
I would say that you might want to get lots of books from the library, and read with him at home. It could be that there are no other kids in his class that are reading on is level, and they don't have a group he can fit into. It's no fun to read without a group.
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Reading testing
Old 01-12-2019, 08:49 PM
 
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We used DRA, which quite similar. Our instructions were to continue testing to the next grades end of year benchmark.

For me,it made more sense to continue testing until I knew exactly their level. Otherwise, how will I know what to teach them? Just because they tested out of their grade level doesn’t mean you stop teaching them.

I would go to teacher and ask her to continue testing him.


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Reading tests
Old 01-13-2019, 09:02 AM
 
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I’ve learned that schools use F&P testing differently.

I start with assessment book based on last K level that was tested. I can tell very quickly if the book is too easy or too hard. I keep going up or down until I find the instructional level for each child.

We expect at least 96% accuracy (prefer 97%) fluency score of 2(out of 3) and satisfactory comprehension. I assess again often for lower levels. So for my kids at level F that started at C or D, they have been assessed four times so far this year. I decide to do assessment by doing running records on kids reading their guided reading books.

You could ask your son’s teacher to allow him to bring in books from home to read independently. Also, maybe she would be willing to let him begin to write responses to the easy group books. In 25 years, I have never seen a super K reader be equally skilled at writing (not talking about handwriting) so that’s a way to challenge him. Good luck and keep advocating for your child!
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:59 PM
 
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Thank you for all of your feedback--it is very helpful!

linda2671--Thank you for the additional information about the testing. We go to the library alot...may be why we're in this mess now! But we will keep visiting the library and hopefully continue to foster his interest in reading at home.

Keltikmom--I love the way you approach the testing with your own students. I guess at the end of this week or beginning of next week they will be testing all of kindergarten, so fingers crossed that they continue to test rather than stopping at the level he's already at when he gets a perfect score.

Marcimcg--I love the writing idea! You are right, that would really challenge him if his teacher will go for it. I think he would love to learn how to construct a sentence and put his ideas into words. Maybe I will do that with him if his teacher won't. I used to send in books from home, but that would get him in trouble because he would read them at snack time and I guess he would take too long eating his snack. Besides recess, I think that's the only other down time they have and no way would she let him read a book from home in reading group.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:00 AM
 
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The "test" is called the Benchmark Assessment System and is designed to determine a child's independent, instructional, and frustration levels. So, no, the teacher (and school) are not using it correctly. Some Kindergarten teachers resist placing kids at higher levels and honestly, the content in some L level books would not be appropriate for your child. That does not mean he should not be receiving instruction within his zone. Perhaps this teacher is inexperienced and doesn't know what to do with a high reader like your son?

Last edited by readerleader; 01-14-2019 at 05:46 AM..
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:04 PM
 
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readerleader--Thank you for your input. My son's comments about how boring reading is at school and how he doesn't want to go to school and have to read baby books are making me wonder if this experience is going to set him up for failure. If he was simply allowed to read more, that would make school a much better and more interesting place for him right now. There must be a selection of books at his level that would be appropriate. The two that were labelled "L" that I brought home seemed to be fine. But, maybe they want him to be writing better before they move him up in reading so he can construct responses on paper? I'm trying to rationalize this. His teacher actually specializes in reading but she is new to being a K teacher, so it's probably new territory for her.
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:35 AM
 
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I am wondering just how invested your son’s school is with Fountas & Pinnell? The info you got from others is correct (assessing to get his highest instructional level— which basically equates to frustration level ). In our district we do not instruct more than 1 year above their current grade level. Now, there are of course many students that may be reading more than a year above grade level, but what F&P recommend is to dig into the Continuum and go deeper into the With In, About, and Beyond the Text Reading Behaviors and find your teaching points for instruction there. There is a month by month progress monitoring chart that lets teachers know which Guided Reading level students should be at for each grade level. Their website has that as well as a lot of other interesting info (for literacy geeks like me )

With him being an advanced reader, his teacher should be progress monitoring him at least once every 4 weeks. Below level readers need to be progress monitored more frequently. Not with the Benchmark Assessment System ( that should only be used about 3 times a year) but with informal running records. Those could be done with leveled guided reading books. Some of the book titles you mentioned sound like they came from the LLI kit. Those are used generally used for tier 2 or 3 interventions.

Here is a link to the month by month progress monitoring chart https://www.fountasandpinnell.com/Au...el_OCT2017.pdf


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Old 01-30-2019, 12:15 PM
 
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Bear in mind that the scoring of F &P Benchmark Assessments takes into consideration every error the student makes, fluency/prosody, and comprehension. The comprehension questions are very specific and become increasingly difficult as a student progresses on the continuum. It’s not unusual for students to sail through the text (decoding) only to score ‘unsatisfactory’ on the comprehension questions.

Also, ‘instructional’ level by definition indicates a level of reader frustration - the level that is deemed acceptable. Offering texts that have an even higher level of frustration is not a good use of my time (or the students). Benchmarking is supposed to be based on cold reads, and if I have exposed a student to a text beyond their instructional level, then it skews the validity of the cold read in future testing.

At home you can work with your student on building vocabulary - for example a level L book might have words such as ‘chandelier’ or ‘acquiesce’. Many primary students simply haven’t developed the background information to comprehend these texts. And that’s okay! It’s a process. Continue to expose your child to quality experiences that build knowledge. Feed his love of reading at the library and at home.

Lastly, students who are gifted will almost certainly face impatience and frustration at school (and at future employment) at one point or another. The challenge as a parent is to help the student find ways to deal with these feelings while advocating for supports. In the long run, a successful student is one that is resilient.
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