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reading assessment

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by clockrow, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. has anyone used the p m benchmarking/reading assessment with foundation stage children? would be interested to hear how other people have assimilated the benchmarking levels with the 'reading' statements of the profile.
  2. I don't know much about assimilating with the profile statements but I do have experience of PM benchmarking. The PM Benchmark is essentially an assessment based on the PM reading scheme, promoted, at least in my area, by Reading Recovery and ECaR. The PM scheme relies on repeated phrases, predictable text, using picture clues and whole word memorisation as taught strategies. This is clearly at odds with teaching reading using systematic, synthetic phonics. It claims to "book band" readers and provide "Reading Recovery levels" for each child. Books are then matched to this information.

    The main difficulty is that this assessment tells the teacher very little about how beginning readers use synthetic phonics when reading. It is also produces wildly different results even between the two versions of the assessment and so lacks validity and consistency.

    It is much better to find out how much of the alphabetic code the child knows and how well they blend letters to decode words. When you know this you can allocate cumulatively decodable books alligned to where each child is at so as to provide practice of that knowledge.

    In my view, Book Bands and Reading Recovery levels should be disregarded as indicators of reading capabilities. The only thing you need to know is: how much of the alphabetic code does the child know and how efficiently they blend this knowledge to read words.

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