Jan. ’18 Elementary Literacy Show – Foundational Skills and Mid-Year Diagnostics

Interview: Kim Wiggins (District Assessment Coordinator)

Segment: Julie Butrick (K – Fall River Elementary School)

Panel: (Lyons Elementary School) Sara Pike (Literacy), Andrew Moore (Principal), Sara Barone (G2), Darcey Pierce (G3)

Reflection Questions:

  • What data sources do you use?
  • How do you prioritize the data?
  • What resources do you use to work with students? How do you collaborate with your colleagues on analyzing the data, a goal, and creating an action plan?
  • How do you differentiate in your classroom based on the student mid year diagnostic data (technology, platforms)?


Assessment Aided by ReadyGen

The Obligation to Write

The Gist:

ReadyGen combines reading and writing assessment. The teacher’s assessment guide outlines some options for administration of assessments. These assessments include the District’s traditional writing samples.

The Whole Story:

In the same way we know the more authentic opportunities students have to read and write, the better they are at reading and writing, we know the more information teachers have about their students’ learning, the better they are at implementing quality instructional practice.

This is why one of the exciting features of the new ReadyGen curricular resources is an increased opportunity for teachers to collect student writing samples. While the District has provided three writing sample prompts for teachers to use in the past, ReadyGen includes writing sample prompts as part of each unit assessment – including the beginning-of-the-year baseline assessment.

What’s more, these writing samples are connected to the reading assessments students are completing, providing context to the writing they are being asked to do. Rather than a random sample from an isolated prompt, students will draft writing that is connected with the vocabulary and comprehension tasks they’ve already worked through.

Another important shift to reduce scoring confusion is the inclusion of a single rubric across grade levels. Teachers can use the rubrics provided (aligned to PARCC expectations) to assess student writing in a common language. This can become a common language we use to help students think as writers, simplifying expectations and creating a shared culture for students and teachers and across grade levels.

Where to Start The best place for a school to start planning their reading and writing assessments is with the Baseline Assessments provided as part of ReadyGen. Teachers can find several administration options outlined in their grade-level Teacher’s Manual Assessment Book either in print or online. I’ve included relevant page numbers below.

Grade Page
K T19
1 T35
2 T35
3 T35
4 T37
5 T37

How to Help One of the best aspects of learning and teaching in a district the size of ours is the brain power available to help improve everyone’s instructional practice. As you and your colleagues consider writing instruction and samples throughout the year, please share your ideas with me so we can connect them to the Unit Plans where they align and share our practices.

Connection to iReady Since the iReady Diagnostic assesses grade specific reading domains and standards, teachers and school leaders can use data regarding foundational skills, vocabulary, and comprehension of both informational and literary text from iReady to make instructional decisions. Teachers and school leaders can determine which elements of the ReadyGen suite of assessments complement iReady data to support learning and teaching through progress monitoring, interventions, and enrichment.