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Topics surrounding general assessment and the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems.

How many levels until we stop? Messages in this topic - RSS

ckread
ckread
Posts: 1


24 days ago
ckread
ckread
Posts: 1
Hello--This has been a question that has been answered in a few different ways. Does anyone know for sure when we should come to a stopping point when benchmarking? We have heard 2 levels above, 1 year above, and we have also been told to go two levels above grade level "meets expectations" and then stop and do the written assessment. Thoughts? Thank you in advance!
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Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 511


24 days ago
ckread wrote:
Hello--This has been a question that has been answered in a few different ways. Does anyone know for sure when we should come to a stopping point when benchmarking? We have heard 2 levels above, 1 year above, and we have also been told to go two levels above grade level "meets expectations" and then stop and do the written assessment. Thoughts? Thank you in advance!


There are no definite guidelines because it always depends...on the student, your purpose, your school/district. The best guideline is to use the Literacy Continuum. Check the text characteristics for those that match the student being assessed. Would instruction with the content, themes, vocabulary, sentence structures, literary forms benefit the student, be too difficult? Why go too high where those may not have been taught (fully, if at all)? Also note the behaviors for thinking within, beyond, and about the text. Are there bullets that could be of benefit to the student? Stop at that level for instruction. It is not a race through the alphabet but dig deeper into interesting and engaging texts for deeper understanding and learning. That's the kind of lifelong reader we want, one who chooses to read many genres for many purposes at many levels with interest and engagement.

Fountas and Pinnell have said there may not be a reason to go higher than one grade level if you have texts that could interest and engage the student at that level. Often if you go too high the content is not age appropriate or interesting to the student. Especially in higher levels, the literary language or forms may not have been taught and thus not fully understood by students. Hence there are no set guidelines by Fountas and Pinnell. It depends....!

Best wishes for success!
Debbie
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Erica S
Erica S
Posts: 1


12 days ago
Erica S
Erica S
Posts: 1
Is there a page in the assessment guide that talks about this? I know I have seen this before, but can't seem to find it now!

Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant wrote:
ckread wrote:
Hello--This has been a question that has been answered in a few different ways. Does anyone know for sure when we should come to a stopping point when benchmarking? We have heard 2 levels above, 1 year above, and we have also been told to go two levels above grade level "meets expectations" and then stop and do the written assessment. Thoughts? Thank you in advance!


There are no definite guidelines because it always depends...on the student, your purpose, your school/district. The best guideline is to use the Literacy Continuum. Check the text characteristics for those that match the student being assessed. Would instruction with the content, themes, vocabulary, sentence structures, literary forms benefit the student, be too difficult? Why go too high where those may not have been taught (fully, if at all)? Also note the behaviors for thinking within, beyond, and about the text. Are there bullets that could be of benefit to the student? Stop at that level for instruction. It is not a race through the alphabet but dig deeper into interesting and engaging texts for deeper understanding and learning. That's the kind of lifelong reader we want, one who chooses to read many genres for many purposes at many levels with interest and engagement.

Fountas and Pinnell have said there may not be a reason to go higher than one grade level if you have texts that could interest and engage the student at that level. Often if you go too high the content is not age appropriate or interesting to the student. Especially in higher levels, the literary language or forms may not have been taught and thus not fully understood by students. Hence there are no set guidelines by Fountas and Pinnell. It depends....!

Best wishes for success!
Debbie
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Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 671


11 days ago
Erica S wrote:
Is there a page in the assessment guide that talks about this? I know I have seen this before, but can't seem to find it now!

There are no definite guidelines provided because it always depends...on the student, your purpose, your school/district. The best guideline is to use the Literacy Continuum. When we assess, and make a placement decision, we should verify that the children are proficient in ALL of the strategies and behaviors up to that gradient text level, otherwise there is still much to teach. Please refer to Section 3 of the Benchmark Assessment Guide for the Recommended Placement and Looking Beyond the Numbers to explore this topic further.

The opening paragraph states, “The Recommended Placement level is the level you decide is most appropriate for reading instruction. It reflects your thinking about all of the data gathered during the assessment. Most of the time, the placement level will be the same as the instructional level, but sometimes a look at the reading behaviors and the specific data will lead you to a different decision.”

Best Wishes for success,

--
Helenann Steensen, Official Fountas & Pinnell Consultant, Heinemann
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