These Assessments are the KEY to teaching your child to read!

There are a variety of assessments that are important for teaching reading and meet a variety of needs such as comprehension, finding a child’s strengths and weaknesses in reading, learning their fluency rate, self-correction rate, etc. Here you will learn about all the different types of tools you can use to know your child’s abilities better in reading. Then, once you know your child’s skills in reading, you will be able to better plan your child’s reading lessons to meet their specific needs.
Here you will find a brief description of each assessment.

1. Observation

One of the first things you need to do is simply observe your child reading. So, what do you need to observe? Ask yourself these questions… How does her reading sound? Does it sound fast and fluent or word-by-word and very choppy? Is my child making reoccurring errors that I can hear? What is the error(s)?

2. Note taking

Like Observing, note taking is extremely important to your child’s reading success! You need to write down as many things as you can about what you observe your child doing during reading. It is best to keep a daily notebook of some sort to keep your notes. Don’t forget to put the date on your notes. This will allow you to keep your notes organized and be able to return to your notes later when you are planning your reading lessons for the next day or week.

3. Running Records

Running Records were created by Dr. Marie Clay as a way to record a child’s reading behaviors while the child is reading a book or passage of a book. They are an extremely important tool to teaching reading! The information obtained from a running record include things like a child’s reoccurring errors, how often a child self-corrects, types of errors a child makes, how often a child repeats when reading, etc… Further information would include a child’s strengths and weakness in reading.

4. Reader’s Response Journals

Have your child keep a Reader’s Response Journal. A notebook will be an effective way for them to keep up with their responses and you will be able to go to one place where they write their response. They can write things such as their favorite part of the book, a new word that they learned, or something interesting about one of the characters.

5. Literature Circles

Another way to assess your child’s reading abilities is through a very engaging tool called Literature Circles. In order to use this tool, though, you will need a group of students. Therefore, if you are homeschooling, you may want to start a Literature Circle group in your home school with other parents of children approximately the same age. Each member of the group has a job such as Director, Word Wizard (vocabulary search), Question Keeper,etc…

6. Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers are great tools for assessing reading as well as helping students to organize their thoughts. You will want to demonstrate how to use the graphic organizer first by using a different passage or characters than the passage or book you want your child to use.

7. KWL chart

KWL charts are easy to make and very effective tools for assessing what children learn during their reading. You can make one on chart paper by simply writing a K-W-L at the top, spaced apart so you can write lots under each letter. Draw a vertical line between each letter to keep the information under each letter separate. If you would like your child(ren) to keep a copy of what you write, then get a copy of a KWL chart here.

Reading Assessments are important to the planning of future lessons, assessing of skills, and planning of reteaching lessons for skills not obtained. You should be assessing your child’s reading every week especially with running records. Please continue return to this page for more information on running records and other assessment tools as I am adding more valuable information daily.

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