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Literacy Assessments and Flexible GroupingJaleesa RobinsonWalden UniversityDr. Althea JordanLiteracy in Academically Diverse Classrooms – READ 6609May 7, 2020
Literacy Assessments Part 1: Literacy Assessment ToolsMy school’s student population is quite unique. We house over 1,000 students. The student population is compromised of students from six out of seven continents. Representing over 40 countries and speaking 45 various languages and dialects, our school is very diverse. Despite the language barriers, cultural differences and low socioeconomic status of our students, the expectations for their academic success is no different from their American born and English-speaking peers. As the nation continues to push reading initiatives and programs to increase the reading literacy proficiency of students; it is critical for educators to understand the specific needs of the learners they teach. In order to determine what learners know and where their deficits lay, teachers must assess students throughout the school year. Meaningful assessment data reveal what students know and are able to do, and provide teachers with the information they need to track student progress and to identify and support students who are struggling (Star & Spellings, 2014). Assessments are the foundation of academic success. They provide teachers with instructional guidance for optimal student support.At the beginning of the school year, my students have limited English proficiency. Their English progresses throughout the year; however, test language can be complex and tricky for learners to process and understand. Because of this, district mandated test such as the MAP test, which assesses the students’ foundation skills, language and writing skills, reading literary and informational skills, as well as student vocabulary acquisition and usage, does not provide a true measure of my students’ academic capabilities. These assessments are also administered using computers, which works against the students who lack computer proficiency. By administering informal, oral reading literacy assessments such as the Middle of the Year (M.O.Y.) reading comprehensive reading assessment, I can evaluate what all students learned and what content needs to be revisited.The literacy tool I used for this assessment is the M.O.Y. Comprehensive Reading Assessment. This assessment assesses the following skills: upper and lowercase alphabet recognition, letter sound recognition, and sight word recognition. It also assesses students’ knowledge of rhyming words, syllables, as well cvc/cvcc word blending. This is a strength of this assessment. Because itassesses numerous skills, it allows me to identify if students possess any underlying phonemic awareness or other phonics development issues that the student may require remediation.