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October 27. 2017

FAQ Friday: Why Is It Important That the Child Not Have Read the Benchmark Assessment System Books Before?

Q: Why is it important that the child not have read the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) books before? 

A: BAS is a standardized, formal assessment administered with an unseen, unfamiliar text so that the teacher can obtain observable evidence of what the child can do independently in terms of processing and understanding. In Part 1 of the assessment (oral reading), the child works through a new text while the teacher gathers reliable information on how the child solves problems. Part 2 of the assessment (the comprehension conversation) yields data on the child's ability to communicate information within, beyond, and (at Levels L-Z) about the text. In the optional Part 3 (writing about reading), students use another mode of expression to communicate their thinking about a text. The complete assessment conference provides information that helps teachers determine the appropriate instructional text level for each student and to group students for guided reading instruction. If the text is familiar to the child, or if the content is discussed previously with him or her, the assessment will not provide valid data for placement.

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