At East Kingston Elementary, classroom teachers gather information about students in a myriad of ways. Standardized assessment, formal assessment, and informal assessment and classroom work are triangulated so we can inform our instruction and monitor student progress. Each grade level team then meets at least once a month, to review data and monitor student progress in reading, writing and math, to insure our instruction is meeting the needs of all of our learners, and that every child is progressing through the New Hampshire Competencies*.
Standardized assessment occurs in the intermediate grades, grades 3, 4, and 5, with the New Hampshire State Assessment System. All students in NH public schools in these grades take a technology- driven standardized test in reading, writing, and math. In fifth grade, an assessment for science is added as well. Families are informed in the spring before the assessments take place, and the results are shared privately with families as soon as the school receives the scores.
Formal assessments occur in all grades in literacy. For reading, three times a year, all classroom teachers use the Fountas and Pinnell Baseline Assessment System, an individualized, in-person assessment, to monitor each child’s decoding, comprehension and fluency, against grade level expectations and New Hampshire Competencies. For writing, all EKES classroom teachers use a modified versions of Lucy Calkins Units of Study Writing Benchmark Rubrics, in Narrative Writing, Informational Writing, and Opinion Writing, that are currently being aligned to integrate the SAU 16 Competencies. For additional literacy screening, the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening, (also known as PALS), can be employed to screen and monitor a student’s ability to recognize letter names, letter sounds, rhyme, segment, blend and other phonetic knowledge. In fact, all kindergarten students are given the PALS assessment as an entering kindergartener, to establish baseline data, and to meet the requirements of the new NH Dyslexia Law.
For math formal assessments, primary teachers are using the Primary Number and Operations Assessment, also known as the PNOA, three times a year. Like our reading assessment, this is a one-on-one interactive assessment, where a student’s knowledge is assessed. For intermediate students, the iReady math technology-driven assessment is used each trimester, to diagnose what strands of math a student has strengths in, and what skills need to become instructional goals.
Schoolwide informal assessment to form instructional goals is ongoing at our school. This includes work samples, anecdotal observations, running records, skill checks, math unit tests and students documenting work in digital portfolios (such as SeeSaw). At EKES, we incorporate student ownership in this form of assessment, to empower students to metacognitively reflect on what skills they have and in what skills they need. This form of assessment is also utilized to progress monitor students in their Together Everyone Achieves More times, which EKES teachers use as an intervention/extension half hour instructional block four times a week.
Hence, as you can see, EKES teachers assess and monitor each student progress in a variety of ways.
For more information on the aforementioned New Hampshire Competencies*, please visit this website.