Phonics International Forum Index Phonics International
an International Online Synthetic Phonics Programme
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Step Two - assessment

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Phonics International Forum Index -> Guide to using the programme
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:46 pm    Post subject: Step Two - assessment Reply with quote

July 2013 update:

Please note that any references to the Alphabetic Code Charts being found in 'unit 1' are correct only in that the information in unit 1 will now lead you to a purpose-designed Alphabetic Code Chart where you can find your preferred teaching and learning alphabetic code charts. The site is:

www.alphabeticcodecharts.com

[These charts have been really well-received and are used in settings all over the world including as training material for student-teachers. I have now designed charts specifically for student-teacher information and have included some charts with the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols (IPA) for adult information and for international friends and colleagues.]



Please note that there is a section about 'Assessment' in the Overview and Guidance booklet which is free to download in unit 1.

There is a comprehensive assessment package for code and word level assessment (alphabetic code knowledge and phonics skills) available for 'free' on the Free Resources webpage of this Phonics International website:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/assessment.html

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/new_free_resources.html

Assessment is important particularly for learners who are not at the very beginning stages of learning to read. The teacher (be it professional teacher, parent or tutor) needs to gain an insight into the code knowledge and skills and 'reading reflex', spelling and handwriting skills of the learner at the start of the programme to identify just 'where' best to start.

If the learner is literally a 'beginner', then it is straightforward to start using the Phonics International programme from the very beginning without the need for a 'starting assessment'.

Having said that, in a pre-school (Reception class, perhaps, as in the case in England), the teacher is likely to want to know what her new pupils can, or can't, do - even at a simple level. For example, does the pupil know any letters at all? Does he or she recognise the letter shapes? Does he or she link a letter 'name' (ay, bee, see, dee) or a 'sound' (/a/, /b/, /k/, /d/) with any letter shapes? The pupil may have attended a nursery setting and/or may have parents who have taught some basic letter shapes, names and/or sounds. The pupil may also recognise some common words from experience of words in the environment or from frequent reading of favourite books by a family member.

Increasingly, parents are realising that it is better to associate letter shapes with the sound they represent (letter 's' is "sssssss" - rather than the letter name - "ess". The 'sound' is useful for reading and spelling whereas the letter 'name' has no real use for beginning to learn how to read and spell.

Thus teachers may want to undertake some simple assessment with their Reception (or kindergarten) children. In the free unit 1, there is a simple assessment consisting of the letters of the alphabet provided in a random order (not alphabetical order). This is because some children may have learnt to say the alphabet in rote order, but may not really know which letters to associate with which letter names. It is quite an achievement for a young child to 'say the alphabet' - so well done - but this is a discrete skill in itself and not the direct route to learning how to read through 'sounding out and blending' the sounds the letters represent. It is one piece of the jigsaw puzzle of learning about letters, however, so I am trying not to sound disparaging about this piece of learning. As you can see from reading the Overview and Guidance booklet in unit 1, it is important that learners are taught about both The Alphabet and The Alphabetic Code and the roles of each.

A simple type of single-letters assessment gives the teacher a quick idea of 'prior knowledge' and this has a twofold benefit: It creates a 'baseline' (at this point in time, this child knew this information) and it informs the teacher of the appropriate starting point for teaching. You can provide a copy to place infront of the learner to work from and tick off and make notes on your own second copy dated with the same colour pen. At a later date, you can use a different colour pen (date) and repeat the exercise to measure learning.

You can use the simple alphabet letters assessment for finding out the learner's knowledge about 'sounds' and knowledge about letter 'names'. It is better to test for these separately, however, to avoid confusion.

Having said that, it may well be that a young child or an older learner may confuse letter names and sounds - this is very common indeed. The adult must ensure from the outset that the learner really understands what is being asked of him or her. The adult, therefore, needs to be very lighthearted about the assessment occasion and provide a clear explanation of what is required and provide an example (or several if necessary) of the difference between a 'sound' or 'name'.

For a very young beginner, don't get complicated about asking for the 'difference'. You might simply say, "Have you seen any shapes like these before? Yes, they are letters - well done. Yes, we do see them in books. I wonder if you can tell me about any that you recognise. Oh - well done. And do you know what this one is?"

If the learner gives you the impression that he or she doesn't know what you are referring to - then don't pursue this exercise any further but say something like, "Isn't it exciting. As you get older, we are going to teach you more and more about these letter shapes and help you to learn how to read and write all by yourself [just like mummy, or daddy, or your big sister!]".

Another word of caution. If the child has not been at pre-school or school for very long and doesn't yet know the teacher very well, silence and shyness may be misinterpreted as absence of any knowledge of letter shapes/names/sounds. If you really want an accurate picture of prior knowledge and understanding, you may want to allow the child sufficient settling-in time to a new setting or with a new teacher and you may want to consult with the parents about any learning that has been undertaken at home.

You will realise that I am very, very keen to get a working partnership between 'teachers' and 'parents' through the Phonics International programme. It is important that there is a two-way flow of information and that, where possible, everyone works together for the common good of the learner. The resources of this programme are designed with this very much in mind and I don't apologise for mentioning this although I hope people don't interpret this as me being patronising or lecturing people in how to conduct their relationships! I apologise if this is the impression I give. I am, however, both a professional teacher and a parent (and now grandparent!) and I know only too well how easy it is to miss opportunities to work cooperatively!

You may already be familiar with assessment sheets with single letters provided in a 'fun' way. This might be something like a 'string of beads', a 'snake' or a 'tree with apples'. This is fine for younger pupils if the letter shapes are well-formed with a suitable font, but a plainer assessment like the one I provide may be more suitable for older learners. It is particularly important for older learners who are struggling with their reading that they do not feel like they are doing their "ay, bee, see baby stuff". You need to make it very clear that phonics for reading and spelling is very much adult stuff! It is likely to be what proficient adults apply with new unknown words, technical words and longer words.

Of course it is perfectly possible to use letter cards shown one at a time to assess prior knowledge in which case you can use the alphabet assessment record sheet in unit 1 to tick off what is known. An alternative way of using letter cards is to lay out a small selection at a time and ask the learner to "point to the /s/, /a/, /t/" and so on. To know letter sounds and shapes from 'sound to print' is a sub-skill needed for spelling.

Quite frankly, you could get a bit obsessed with the detail of your testing and for young learners, you really do just need an indication for your 'starting point'.

Such an indication for writing can be obtained by setting up some fun drawing and 'writing' activity or role-play activity to see what the young learner can do independently with suitable encouragement. You'll soon get a good enough idea of knowledge and capability!

For older learners, the single alphabet letters, some common digraphs (two letters combined representing one sound) and some simple real words and nonsense word assessments are provided in unit 1. These do not include all graphemes but they will give you an indication of the basic knowledge and skills of the learner.

If you want a far more detailed grapheme by grapheme picture, then you can use various resources to assess this. There are 15 'Say the Sounds' posters in units 1 to 5, for example, which will assess for my version of a 'simple code'.

There are flash cards of the 'simple code' free in unit 1. There are flash cards of the complex code in unit 6. There are 'grapheme cards' for each unit provided in each unit.

These resources can be used for print to sound (for reading) assessment and for sound to print (spelling assessment).

Then you can simply say the sound or letter name to see if the learner can write the letter shapes correctly.

If you want to assess using word level standardised tests, you can use the Burt word reading test (revised) and the Schonell spelling test which are free to download from the homepage of the following website:

www.rrf.org.uk (the UK Reading Reform Foundation website)

In terms of 'reading behaviours' for older learners who are struggling with learning to read, you may wish to provide an ordinary reading book and identify whether the learner has a tendency to guess words from picture clues, word shape and the context of the sentence and story-line. If this is the case, remember that this is likely to be product of the absence of good systematic phonics teaching, the direct teaching of these guessing strategies (as this has been prevailing teacher-training for a number of years) and resorting to guessing because the words are beyond the code level of the learner and the skill of blending is not sufficiently developed.

In school settings, existing standardised reading tests should not be abandoned if the school wishes to compare reading standards from a change to synthetic phonics teaching, or a change to a new programme such as Phonics International. But it is noted that here, in England, there may be a tendency for 'over-testing' learners. The key is to ask what assessment is appropriate and when. Just what is being tested and why.

It is important to be able to measure both pupil progress but also teaching effectiveness.

A word of caution - learners can 'regress' as well as 'progress'.

'Teachers' need to use the resources thoughtfully with sufficient repetition and rehearsal to ensure that new learning is not lost over time - but that it is constantly built on - and then 'old learning' revisited. Is the prior learning still secure?

I truly believe that the Alphabetic Code posters - with word examples and without word examples - can play a very important role in organising the code to be learnt and to be remembered. Remember that all my versions of The Alphabetic Code posters are provided for free in unit 1 and they should be suitable to use throughout whole schools and with any synthetic phonics programme - not just Phonics International. Please do tell other people about them.

You can use them with the learners and show them how to tick which letter/s-sound correspondences have been introduced to date and which correspondences they have learnt to date.

Engage the learners with the importance and fun of their own achievement. Wink
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since writing the above piece on assessment, I have added SAY THE SOUNDS posters in different versions (the order letter/s-sound correspondences are introduced and 'jumbled up' order) for units 6 to 12.

This means that these extremely handy posters are available throughout the programme in units 1 to 12.

You can use these in so many ways:

Glue the appropriate version in the learner's Sounds Book which goes backwards and forwards to 'home'.

Send home looseleaf versions instead of glueing into the Sounds Book.

Use as A3 display posters around the classroom or at home - as appropriate.

Use as an assessment sheet for reading. The learner 'says the sounds' reading off a copy of the Say the Sounds sheet infront of him or her whilst the adult ticks off what the learner knows (and possible annotates the sheet with the mistakes that the learner 'says') on another copy. Colour-date the assessment.

Use as an assessment sheet for the spelling sub-skill. The adult says the sound, the learner points to the correct grapheme (or graphemes - there could be alternative spellings).

My current Year Two children start off their spelling lessons by 'saying the sounds' reading off their own copies of the Say The Sounds resource which they keep in their spelling files. These ring-clip files go backwards and forwards to home daily. I simply punch holes in all our paper-based resources as they are used and they are then kept in these files. There is also a copy of a 4 side Alphabetic Code Overview Chart kept in the front of these files for each pupil.

The children underline any graphemes they are unsure of. They are happily involved with their own learning and progress! Wink
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please note the free assessment package which is accessible from the 'Free Resources' webpage of this PI site:

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/assessment.html

These include a simple guidance document and:

*an alphabet letters assessment (jumbled letters),

*a nonsense word assessment which includes a simple code page and a further page with additional code and longer words,

*a unit 5 SAY THE SOUNDS POSTER assessment (a choice of three sheets with the graphemes in different orders),

*two choices of word lists (A and B) with different levels of complexity for reading and/or spelling for each of the twelve PI units,

*a proforma with lines for spelling assessments of the assessments immediately above.

There is also a choice of cursive or non-cursive letter 'k'.

I am now designing some helpful resources for assessing 'word bank' knowledge. Once learners understand that there are different spelling alternatives for words, they also need to build up their word bank memory for those different spellings.

For example, the 'word bank' knowledge of a five year old for the spelling 'oa' is not going to be very big - but as learners get older and read wider, their 'word bank' knowledge for 'oa' words will increase.

For some learners this may happen very naturally and very easily - but for other learners this will not be the case.

Not everyone reads widely and not everyone absorbs which words are spelt with which spelling alternatives.

It seems to me, then, that we need to raise learners awareness of these word banks and to increase them over time - and we need to organise activities which raise the possibility of learners recalling these word banks - and adding to these word banks.

Do we really do this as teachers? Or do we just expect all learners to note and remember which words are spelt which way?

Once we raise the profile of the need to remember such word banks, however, there may well be an increase in learners' natural observation and memorising skills for this purpose.
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have now added two additional assessments to the free assessments accessible via the 'Free Resources' page:

There is a 'Say the Sounds' assessment which covers letter/s-sound correspondences for units 1 to 5.

There is also an 'Oral segmenting' assessment with both real words and nonsense words.

These are part of a battery of tests which we are using in a Phonics International study in a primary school.
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/new_free_resources.html

The additional assessments are now on the PI 'Free Resources' page.

The 'Free Resources' page has been developed to include many additional free resources for users of the Phonics International programme.

There are also many free resources, however, that may be useful to people not using the full Phonics International programme.

It is really worth a visit! Wink
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.rrf.org.uk/resources.html

The Burt (revised) word reading test and the Schonell spelling test can be found via the link above.
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2465
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/assessment.html

This link provides the Phonics International additional assessment.

I say 'additional assessment' because teachers can use the pupils' various resources to provide ongoing assessment from code level through word level to text level for the three core phonics skills and their sub-skills.
_________________
Debbie Hepplewhite
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Phonics International Forum Index -> Guide to using the programme All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group