I wanted to make a comment about the pretesting going on in the English 1 classes. It is very important that we as teachers know what our students know and don't know. For this reason we decided to give these three assessments to help set our goals for the year. We have asked students to write us an essay (Writing Sample), today my classes took a Reading Skills Diagnostic Test, and tomorrow they will be taking a Reading Level Diagnostic Test.
The writing samples will let us know what writing skills most of the students already know, and where we should put our focus when it comes to writing. The Reading Skills Diagnostic Test will tell us what parts of Reading students are good, or not so good, at. Some of the areas the test looks at are basic decoding, vocabulary, fact versus opinion, chronological order. Then there is the Reading Level Diagnostic Test that will tell us about what grade level each student is reading at.There is always a wide variety in every class, but this is an important piece of information. Altogether we will look at the information and verify that students are placed correctly, and then get planning for the year!
I know that taking 2 tests and writing an essay all in the first week of high school seems like a bit much, but I promise, each test has a purpose! The more we know now, the better we can plan the year to meet the needs of the students.
I promise it's almost over :)