Using Assessment Data Effectively to Inform Instruction for Early Readers

The purpose of this project was to explore ways of identifying skills needed by early k-2 readers and to direct instruction based on the data obtained to help develop essential early reading skills and prevent serious reading failure. Many times the schools and or districts dictate the assessments that need to be given, yet the data is not used to direct instruction nor is it sufficient to help identify skills that are needed. The goal of the project was to describe assessments that would allow educators to identify early readers who need extra help in reading before they experience serious failure, and to offer some insight on how to analyze the data to develop instructional strategies that will address the needs of each student. Beginning teachers are often overwhelmed with the differences in reading abilities, and the trainings they are given on using assessments and programs are often insufficient to reach the various needs. For this reason, the focus of this project was to develop a handbook for teachers that would offer methods of assessing the reading skills of young readers in k-2 as well as offer scenarios that would describe analyzing data and planning instruction from the information obtained. Based on recent literature the handbook addressed three key areas. First, elements of essential reading skills were identified and discussed. Second, the handbook addressed four main purposes of assessments and why knowing the purpose is important. Finally, methods of analyzing the data, creating instructional plans and monitoring progress were provided.