A Literature Based Classroom Begins with Assessment

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High-quality reading instruction in a literature-based classroom begins with assessment. The need for assessment stems from the fact that children are not all identical. If all children were identical, instruction would be a whole lot easier. We could just figure out what lessons needed to be taught, and teachers could simply deliver the same curriculum to all of the students in the same way. One reading program would work for every child. Many different types of assessment techniques can be used to measure development in reading to help teachers better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their students. Realistically, children arrive in class with extremely diverse levels of understandings and experiences, especially when it comes to reading. Teachers cannot make any assumptions about what the child knows and what the child still needs to learn when it comes to developing literacy skills. To be effective, teachers must be well versed at making a quick assessment of each child's reading and pre-reading skills, furthermore, teachers must be skilled at using that assessment information to make decisions about what instruction each child should receive. Some children may need instruction in letter knowledge, while other children may not. Some children may need phoneme awareness instruction, while others may already have phoneme awareness. Effective teachers teach children what they are ready to learn, and do not waste time teaching children what they already know. Assessments facilitate teachers in keeping track of the development of each child, so instruction can be designed which neither is too easy or too challenging. Many different types of assessment techniques can be used to measure development in reading to help teachers better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their students. The type of assessment that informs instruction does not necessarily need to be a formal reading test that was purchased from a publisher, although it...
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