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March 20. 2018

Teacher Tip: 6 Ways to Save Time During the Assessment Conference

To save time during the assessment conference, consider the following suggestions:

  1. Starting Point. Knowing where to start will save the student from having to read numerous texts. Use last year's reading records to get an indication of where to start, or what will be an independent text for the student. Then have in mind the next text, an instructional text, for the student.
  2. Organized Materials. Keep you Benchmark Assessment books and Recording Forms well organized in a hanging file next to you so you can "hit the ground running."
  3. Familiarity with Books. When you know the Benchmark Assessment books and key understandings well, you can move the comprehension conversation along briskly.
  4. Fluency. If your readers are fluent, the reading will take less time.
  5. Hard Text. As soon as a student's text reading shows the number of errors indicative of hard text, discontinue the reading. There is no need for the student to struggle through the whole text.
  6. Comprehension Conversation. If the text is hard (based on accuracy), do not have the comprehension conversation.

From the BAS Assessment Guide, 3rd Edition by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (C) 2017 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.

March 9. 2018

Why the Comprehension Conversation is Critical to Assessment

Students' talk reveals their thinking, which helps you know them as learners. One-on-one assessment is a great time to talk with students to learn their thinking, because what they're thinking will inform your instruction. Without talking to them and learning where they are, there's no way to know how to bring them forward. It's for this reason that the Comprehension Conversation is vital to assessment.

The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System stands out from other assessment systems because it incorporates a rigorous and important Comprehension Conversation. The purpose of this Comprehension Conversation is to enable teachers to sharpen their observation of students' reading behaviors by hearing their thinking through talk and strengthen the connection from assessment to instruction. Here's how. More...

February 16. 2018

FAQ Friday: Is There a Lexile Correlation Chart for Fountas & Pinnell Levels?

Q: Is there a Lexile correlation chart for Fountas & Pinnell levels?

A: No, there is no correlation chart. There are several approaches to determining a text's level of complexity. Metametrics, the company that provides Lexile measures, takes one approach by measuring text complexity with a proprietary computer algorithm that measures sentence length, syllables, and word frequency.

The levels in the F&P Text Level Gradient™ are based on ten text factors: Genre/Form, Text Structure, Content, Themes and Ideas, Language and Literary Features, Sentence Complexity, Vocabulary, Words, Illustrations, and Book and Print Features. A level obtained from a Benchmark Assessment differs from that obtained with a Lexile assessment in that comprehension is a key factor in the Benchmark Assessment. A student might very well be able to decode high-level texts, but a Benchmark Assessment also determines if the student's comprehension is good enough for instruction.

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