Well the easy answer to finding out what students need is…assessment. The next question is what assessment? Most schools have some type of diagnostic assessments for Literacy and Math. If you have DIBELS, DRA2, or Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment…you probably have no problem grouping your students for small group instruction. Most Math programs also come with pre tests or benchmark assessents to assist you with intervening. You may need to dig a little deeper in the test results to create targeted groups for intervention…which by the way should be no more than 5 students in each group. Ideally, the smaller the better…just don’t create your groups based on even numbers…it MUST be targeted for specific needs in order to be effective!
Here are some free assessments you can use in addition to what you have…or in case your have none.
- DIBELS: Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of assessments used for universal screening and progress monitoring in grades K-6. They are standardized, efficient and extensively researched. These assesments are available for FREE- all you have to do is register! Follow this link to find them https://dibels.uoregon.edu/measures/
- Intervention Central is a comprehensive website for everything RTI! The assessments they have available are extensive and include Literacy and Math. Click this link to see them http://www.interventioncentral.org/curriculum-based-measurement-reading-math-assesment-tests
- The Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) Programs integrate easy-to-use instructional strategies that are specifically designed to improve students’ reading fluency. Fluency is the prerequisite for comprehension. The more fluent the reader, the better the comprehension will be. This program is also FREE with registration and makes available a full manual with instructions, passages, progress monitoring forms, and reward system for download. Videos are also available as well as a Spanish version of the program! Click here to get there http://www.helpsprogram.org/materials.php
- Phonological Awareness Skills Test (P.A.S.T) is an assessment for primary grades to determine reading needs, or even upper grades to locate gaps in learning. Many students above 3rd grade who are struggling readers may have one missing piece to their “good reader” puzzle. This test is a great choice to locate and fix those gaps! All you need to administer are some colored chips. Here is the teacher script past_teacher_script, the student recording form individual-PAST-assessment-form, and the frequently asked questions phonological awareness skills test FAQ.
Have fun and happy assessing!!