Let's all just take a moment and acknowledge why this is a problem for these kids: if they aren't proficient readers, they will become further and further behind as they progress through school. This sets them up for a huge struggle throughout their school careers. Just sayin' that it's important, and all teachers need to be empowered to do what is best for their students. That's my soapbox, so now y'all know how I feel.
series to empower classroom teachers, especially in the upper elementary grades. In this series, we will take several baby steps together to empower you, the classroom teacher, to identify the needs of your struggling reader and implement an effective course of action to help these students without reinventing the wheel at every turn. No worries - I'm with you every step of the way. :)
Today we will tackle your assessment area. I know, I know, I know. You have so many binders and folders, and they clutter up your work area. Trust me - this will save you time in the long run! Here's what you will need:
- A binder with dividers and page protectors or another organizing system with dividers, hanging files, etc. This is to organize the assessments so you can assess when needed rather than having to search for 10 minutes so you can assess for 5 minutes. Whatever you choose, make it work for you!
- Data. We have mountains of data nowadays, don't we? It doesn't need to be kept in your assessment area, but it should be easily accessible so you can track progress later.
- A list of the students who are struggling readers. This might be reflected in benchmark assessments, standardized tests, report cards from prior years, or your own professional judgement. Yeah, I said it. You should use your professional judgement. You are a highly qualified professional educator, or you wouldn't be teaching students.
There are many cute binder covers you can download or design for yourself for free, but here's another, just in case you need something in a hurry! :) There are 2 versions, one color, one black and white. That way you can print it on colored paper (or have your kiddos color it for you!) if you don't want to print in color. Click the image to download for free.
Up next, the Assessments for Struggling Readers in Grades 3-5, Part 2.
If you have any questions you want answered in this series, feel free to email me or leave a comment below. I'll do my best to address everyone's questions throughout these posts.