The end of the year is quickly coming. I feel like a broken record as I type that, and I feel even more like a broken record as I tell my class about this multiple times a day. I don’t make this statement as a celebration or as a means of anticipation, but rather as a reminder of how much we have to do and how little time we have to get it done.
One of the things we have started as we approach the end of the year are reading assessments. Many districts, ours included, use the DRA, or the Developmental Reading Assessment, to monitor and assess students reading levels. The DRA is an incredibly useful, but also incredibly detailed, diagnostic tool. Students in the primary grades all complete the DRA, but we have decided to do something new this year for the intermediate grades.
Instead of using the DRA for everyone, we are going to use a couple of quick assessments and then use the DRA for more detailed information as needed.
We started yesterday with the first of these assessments, known as the San Diego Quick Assessment of Reading Ability. I was able to listen to each student read aloud for a minute or two and get a rough idea of where they are at in the reading levels. Using this information, I will know what resources to use for a more detailed, but still quick, assessment for reading.
While I am doing these assessments, my students are working independently on a variety of tasks, including reading, writing, and specific math skills. The goal is to finish these assessments in just a couple of days. The information I am able to collect as a result of these assessments in useful for me as we approach the end of the year and useful for the teachers my students will have in fifth grade as they plan for the coming year.