Hi everyone! I’m here today to chat about reading comprehension. We teachers are always searching for ways to check assess a students’ comprehension of a particular book or passage. You may be considering the following:
What materials do I use with my students?
Is the assessment tool I’m using appropriate for their level?
How do I keep myself and materials and notes while I assess organized?
How much time do I have in reality to check all of my students individually, how frequent should I be assessing, and what are the logistics for the rest of the class?
After assessing, what do I do with my new found data or anecdotal notes, and how do I plan instruction from here?
If you are a new classroom teacher or new to a grade level, I know the process of ongoing assessment can be a little daunting. Assessing reading comprehension is just one piece of the puzzle, and you have lots of other little pieces to fit into that puzzle.
How do we get it all done?
I like using quick comprehension checks when I want to briefly assess or get a pulse on my students’ comprehension. Here are some ways I’ve worked them in and how I stay organized.
I keep a bin of printed out and copied quick checks organized by level in hanging file folders. Then if I conduct one during a reading conference or during a guided reading group, I have them at my fingertips.
I may do more frequent comprehension quick checks on someone who needs reading intervention. Perhaps weekly, instead of biweekly will give you a better understanding of how they’re progressing with the tools you’re using with them. If I see little to no progress with a child during a comprehension quick check, I know I need to change my instruction or the tools I am giving that child.
If you have read some of my other posts on how I keep organized, you’ll know I really love using binders. They’re the most portable and helpful to me. I assign a number to each child alphabetically at the beginning of the year purely for filing purposes. They are aware of this as well. I allocate space for each child in my class in the binder with tabbed sections. I have copies already made for note-taking, notes for conferring with a child, and any other progress monitoring sheets I wish to keep an eye on a regular basis. Find a system that works for you. When you do, you’ll be so much more relaxed, especially at parent teacher conferences. It will all be organized in a binder!
You might be wondering about materials. We know you don’t have a lot of time. And the beauty of the quick check is…it’s quick! So choose brief reading passages and have just a few questions instead of something longer. I promise you will gain valuable information from quick checks just as much as the lengthier reading assessments. 🙂
Using Four In One Reading Comprehension may be a helpful tool to use as a comprehension quick check. The fiction and non-fiction passages are brief, and have opportunities for checking vocabulary skills and reading strategies in both short answer and open response. Here are a few ways to use them.
As an exit ticket
A literacy station task
Conferring with a child. They can be read orally, to a child, or done independently.
As a short, whole class, share reading lesson for modeling a skill or strategy
Here are a few photos of Four In One in action. I like how you have a chance to cut them apart and staple all four boxes into a booklet, or simply keep it printed out on a single sheet of paper. That’s a big time saver. Note the use of the SMART Board when using them during a whole class shared reading time. Students could be responsible for completing portions of the Four In One alone or with a partner. Depending on what you’re looking for, they can complete one or more of the four boxes in a short period of time.