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Moving towards reporting Progress..... Personal Coaching Notes

– Beate Planche Ed.D. June 2019

How do I assess/collect evidence in Reading?

We collect evidence through oral reading fluency and comprehension:

  • Observations/conversations

  • Reading conferences with students

  • Having students do an oral retell

Assessment Tools for Independent Reading: Before reading -Anecdotal notes may be made on observed behaviours such as: comprehension, reasons for self-selection of independent reading materials, ability to retell, ability to summarize areas of interest

During reading - reading conference, oral retell, reading response journal

After reading – reading conference or interview, written response, reading log or portfolio

Reading Conferences can be used with independent reading as well as guided reading practice.

In Reading Essentials: The Specifics You Need to Teach Reading Well, Regie Routman discusses a framework of specific questions and prompts that are used routinely so that students become familiar with what is expected of them during a reading conference. Routman also provides comments within this list to suggest possible interpretations for each question/prompt.

  • Why did you choose this book? (Does the child take recommendations from peers? Is this a favourite author or series?)

  • What is the reading level of this book for you? (Does the child know that understanding requires reading easy and “just right” books?)

  • Tell me what the book is about so far. (Can the child give an adequate retelling that shows she understands the gist and main ideas of the text?)

  • Let’s discuss your strengths and what you need to work on. (Always note what the child has done successfully so she will continue to do it and be affirmed for her efforts.)

  • How long do you think it will take you to complete this book? (Has the student thought about it and set a realistic goal?) (Routman, pp. 104-105, 2003

We collect evidence through Guided Reading:

Assessment Tools for Guided Reading:

  • Comprehension of leveled books

  • Oral retell of main points

  • Ability to think-aloud about main points

  • Check-in’s through Running Records re reading level

  • Notes from Reading Conferences

  • Notes re student’s understanding vocabulary and how it is applied

As a general rule during an oral retell, have students address the following questions for fiction and factual texts:

FICTION TEXTS: setting, characters, problem, one or two events, plot resolution, ending

FACTUAL TEXTS: topic, a few new elements/what they have learned from their reading


• What is the problem in the story so far?

• What’s the main character like?

• Tell me about the setting of the story.

• What’s your favourite part so far?

• What’s happening in the story right now?


• What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far?

• What’s your favourite part?

• What else are you hoping to learn?

• How is this book organized?”

(Routman, 2003, p. 104) When assessing, keep in mind that the student’s ability to retell may be influenced by factors such as:

  • the level of experience with retelling, and understanding what is expected, the level of difficulty of the text, the student’s interest level in relation to the story, the student’s prior knowledge of the topic the student’s ability to recall

Guidelines for Assessing a Student’s Comprehension When a child understands what he’s read, he may:

• begin by summarizing what happened • use illustrations to support what he’s saying

• refer to the text to back up what he’s saying • give examples • appear confident and at ease • spontaneously give information about the story or text • respond emotionally to the text. He may love it or hate it. He may laugh or express how sad it made him feel. • make connections between this book and others he’s read, or relate the book to experiences he’s had

When a child doesn’t understand what he’s read, he may: • begin with a lot of details – getting very specific about what happened in the first couple of pages. He may have only understood that part, or think this is what he’s supposed to do. • over-rely on illustrations to tell what happened • refer to the text too much or not at all • give no examples • appear uncomfortable – sort of trapped. He may hesitate a lot, with many “ums.” • rely on the teacher’s prompts to get through the retelling • not respond emotionally • make no connections between this and other books, or between the book and his experiences

(Taberski, 2000, p. 70)

We gather evidence through Writing about Reading: Before, During, and After

Before Students write to: • activate prior knowledge of a topic • clarify their focus on a topic • make predictions about the text

During (on jot notes or sticky notes) Students write to: • help make sense of their reading

• confirm predictions • identify specific vocabulary • record inferences • make connections with the text After

After Students write to: • confirm predictions • review/retell/synthesize what they read • deepen understanding • consider how what they have learned applies to the world around them (Material adapted from – Online teacher resource)

Prompts for a Reading Journal

  • Has anything like this ever happened to you? Tell your story.

  • What does this text/story remind you of?

  • What questions do you have about the text?

  • Write a letter to the author, sharing your thoughts about the story.

Write a letter to the author about a character in the story. What did you learn about ___

Compare characters:

– from this story, or

  • – from this story and another story by the same author.

  • How is this story like/different from another story that you have read? Predict what will happen next.

  • Describe a scene from the story.

  • What did you like/not like about this story

  • What text features were used in your book?

  • If you could change one part of the story, what would it be?

  • What changes would you make? Why?

If you were one of the characters, how would you have acted?

Describe the setting of your story. Tell about the author’s writing style.

What was the best part of the story? Do you know someone who acts like one of the characters in your book? Write about how they are alike. List things that were important and things that were interesting in the text.

(Independent Reading – Assessment Tools – User’s Guide © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2005. P.16 )

After a time of formative assessment and practice - We gather evidence through our decisions about whether the work is at level one, two, three and four (summative evidence for reporting purposes).

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