Program: Professional Development
In this climate of accountability, it's not surprising that teachers cast about for pencil and paper tasks and assessments that appear to serve up sound data about a student's reading performance. Yet, Hattie (2007) suggests that Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement. Therefore, it is time to reclaim what we know is a stronger measure of progress: ongoing, authentic, formative assessment. Readers and reading are too complex to be diagnosed in a single sitting, with a single task, or with a series of tasks - assessing a reader takes time. In order to move a reader forward, we must uncover how a reader holistically approaches reading and shift our mindsets to assessing the reader as opposed to reading tasks.
This process includes looking at how the student initiates reading, how well the student reads, and how the student shares their reading with others. Therefore, we must assess a reader through multiple lenses. We must consider the student's attitude towards reading, his habits, book selections, reading identity, stamina for sustained independent reading, volume of reading in a single sitting, independent problem-solving skills, reading process, literal and inferential understanding, fluency, writing about reading in both short simple jottings and longer notebook entries, and book talk in partnership or club conversations.
In this presentation, teachers will walk away with a deeper understanding that reading instruction must be authentic, holistic, and natural in its approach rather than restricted to skills taught in isolation and assessed by worksheets and tasks. Additionally, teachers will have a clear systematic approach to conferring with students using a step-by-step method and a clear definition of the variety of skills that can be assessed within each step of the process.