Foundations of Literacy: Assigning Responsibilities 
by Chase Young

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Assessment is the driving force behind instruction. It has the uncanny ability to follow a student through the goals and objectives set forth in the curriculum. The summative assessment shows a summary of the student learning, and is usually in the form of a standardized test taken near the end of a unit or school year. It is important to see this data for accountability reasons and for analyzing student achievement (Laureate Education, 2001). 

Although the summary is important, the process is equally important. The processes students use to meet a larger and broader goal can be monitored with formative assessment. This type of assessment is ongoing and can be obtained in a variety of formal and informal ways. This assessment follows a student to his goal (Laureate Education, 2001).
The collaboration between summative and formative assessment paints a clear picture of what a student knows, and how the student knows it. The two forms are necessary in accurately assessing all students (Laureate Education, 2001).   
Performance assessments are a great way of determining student competencies and strategies used in the literacy classroom. They are particularly useful when monitoring the various and vast amount of strategies used when decoding and comprehending text. They are often an extension of a mini-lesson, and can be done in a variety of grouping structures. 
A portfolio is reasonable way to show growth in the literacy life of a student. It can be updated when certain milestones are surpassed, and strategies mastered. A portfolio is a concrete and tangible body of evidence that the student is progressing, achieving, and working towards an ultimate goal while trudging through small obtainable ones.  

Performance Assessment Plan



2.9A  Use prior knowledge to anticipate meaning and make sense of texts

2.9D  Monitor his/her own comprehension and act purposefully

2.10C  Support interpretations or conclusions with examples drawn from text


Students should be able to make predictions based on text and prior knowledge in order to enhance comprehension while reading. Student should also be able to support their conclusions with examples drawn from text.

Texts and Materials

The text used for whole group instruction will be The Royal Bee by Frances and Ginger Park. The texts for the guided reading lesson will vary according to ability level. The whole group lesson will require chart paper and markers. The small group lesson will require leveled books for each student and sticky notes. 


The first activity will be a whole group lesson on predicting and confirming. Before the lesson, prepare at T-Chart with the following statements: Our Predictions and Why We Think So. Each student will be required to make a prediction, so to simultaneously require all student participation and manage their impulsivity, write their name on note cards and randomly pull the cards after proper wait time is given (Costa and Kallick, 2000). 
While reading the story, stop at predetermined stopping points to elicit predictions from the students. Make sure to ask about their reasoning behind their prediction. List the responses on the T-Chart (Miller, 2002).
The next lesson should be done in guided reading groups. Choose an appropriate text and reintroduce predicting and confirming. Discuss what it is, and why it helps comprehend text. Then, pass out sticky notes—not too many; always limit the amount—and ask students to mark the places in the story where they made predictions. Ask each reader about their reasoning and have them confirm or change their predictions accordingly (Laureate Education, 2001). 

Level of Performance
Components Being Assessed 

Making predictions 

1 Reckless predictions without foundation from any text element 
2 Literal predictions based on title, cover picture, and text 
3 Inferential predictions based on title, cover picture, text, and prior knowledge

Confirming predictions

1 Student cannot confirm or reject predictions 
2 Student is able to confirm or reject predictions 
3 Student presents proof of predictions confirmed or rejected

Changing predictions

1 Student does not revise predictions as he progresses through the text 
2 Student changes predictions based on the rejection of previous predictions 
3 Student changes predictions based on the rejection of previous predictions and revises or adds to previous predictions based on new information


Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2000). Activating & engaging habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2001). Strategies for literacy instruction, part 2 [Educational video]. Los Angeles: Author.

Miller, D. (2002). Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades. Stenhouse Publishers

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