Making Accurate Reading Assessments

June 9, 2015

Reading is one of the central pillars of the education that we provide to the young people of Strathfieldsaye. Our school has a history of strong reading achievement for our students in all year levels and this is due to a number of factors including explicit teaching, teacher professional development, parent reading in classrooms and our home reading program.

For a number of years our school along with many others has used the PM Benchmark Kits as our main means of matching students to instructional (just right) books.  No doubt, you will be familiar with the numbers of these levels from 1 to 30 as children progress through the school and the coloured dots which help us distinguish the levels of books suitable for students at their own level.

Recently the school has purchased a number of assessment kits which we believe give us even more accurate information as to what level books students are best suited to at a given point in time. In particular, the kits rely more extensively on identifying the degree of understanding students have about the text they have read. The new kits also assess students much further along their learning than the PM kits did so that we are able to apply the assessment throughout the school and identify comprehension strategies to teach at the point of need.

The new kits are arranged alphabetically and go right through to ‘Z’. As we adjust our assessment tools you may notice that your child may appear to be on the same level as they were at the end of last year. This does NOT mean that they haven’t made progress.  The reading levels are used, along with teacher observation, assessment and other complimentary data sets to provide evidence based teacher judgement which appears on each child’s report.