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

When to stop assessing Messages in this topic - RSS

FPUser162723
FPUser162723
Posts: 2


5/28/2020
FPUser162723
FPUser162723
Posts: 2
Some teachers are complaining that assessment takes up too much time. But some teachers are spending a lot of time assessing students who are way above grade level, they are trying to pinpoint a specific level to record. For example, in grade 3 students need to be at level P yet teachers are trying a find an instructional or independent level at levels T, U or V. Is there a point when a teacher should stop assessing?
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Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 747


5/28/2020
FPUser162723 wrote:
Some teachers are complaining that assessment takes up too much time. But some teachers are spending a lot of time assessing students who are way above grade level, they are trying to pinpoint a specific level to record. For example, in grade 3 students need to be at level P yet teachers are trying a find an instructional or independent level at levels T, U or V. Is there a point when a teacher should stop assessing?



Great question! This is actually a FAQ. The response found in the FAQ can be found at the following link. http://fpblog.fountasandpinnell.com/faq-friday-how-high-do-you-test-students-in-the-benchmark-assessment
It is best and most time efficient to only have each student read 3 books to get the 3 levels of difficulty in order to determine the recommended placement for instruction and set goals for instruction. Always check the Literacy Continuum to see if you are making the best decision. It is not just a look at the accuracy rate or numbers/scores. (See the Assessment Guide section "Looking Beyond the Numbers") The analysis is the key to deciding which levels to use in assessment, when to stop, and where to begin instruction.

Best wishes!
Debbie
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Patti Powell
Patti Powell
Posts: 1


5/31/2020
Patti Powell
Patti Powell
Posts: 1
I have the same question and the FAQ didn't truly answer what I am looking for. I thought previously, the BAS had ceilings for various grade levels. Kindergarten teachers should not go above Level K, Grade 1 not above Level L and so forth. I can't seem to find the FAQ around this. When teachers have readers above grade level benchmark, what is the most appropriate stopping point?

Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant wrote:
FPUser162723 wrote:
Some teachers are complaining that assessment takes up too much time. But some teachers are spending a lot of time assessing students who are way above grade level, they are trying to pinpoint a specific level to record. For example, in grade 3 students need to be at level P yet teachers are trying a find an instructional or independent level at levels T, U or V. Is there a point when a teacher should stop assessing?



Great question! This is actually a FAQ. The response found in the FAQ can be found at the following link. http://fpblog.fountasandpinnell.com/faq-friday-how-high-do-you-test-students-in-the-benchmark-assessment
It is best and most time efficient to only have each student read 3 books to get the 3 levels of difficulty in order to determine the recommended placement for instruction and set goals for instruction. Always check the Literacy Continuum to see if you are making the best decision. It is not just a look at the accuracy rate or numbers/scores. (See the Assessment Guide section "Looking Beyond the Numbers") The analysis is the key to deciding which levels to use in assessment, when to stop, and where to begin instruction.

Best wishes!
Debbie
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Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 887


6/2/2020
Patti Powell wrote:
I have the same question and the FAQ didn't truly answer what I am looking for. I thought previously, the BAS had ceilings for various grade levels. Kindergarten teachers should not go above Level K, Grade 1 not above Level L and so forth. I can't seem to find the FAQ around this. When teachers have readers above grade level benchmark, what is the most appropriate stopping point?

Debbie Magoulick, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant wrote:
FPUser162723 wrote:
Some teachers are complaining that assessment takes up too much time. But some teachers are spending a lot of time assessing students who are way above grade level, they are trying to pinpoint a specific level to record. For example, in grade 3 students need to be at level P yet teachers are trying a find an instructional or independent level at levels T, U or V. Is there a point when a teacher should stop assessing?



Great question! This is actually a FAQ. The response found in the FAQ can be found at the following link. http://fpblog.fountasandpinnell.com/faq-friday-how-high-do-you-test-students-in-the-benchmark-assessment
It is best and most time efficient to only have each student read 3 books to get the 3 levels of difficulty in order to determine the recommended placement for instruction and set goals for instruction. Always check the Literacy Continuum to see if you are making the best decision. It is not just a look at the accuracy rate or numbers/scores. (See the Assessment Guide section "Looking Beyond the Numbers") The analysis is the key to deciding which levels to use in assessment, when to stop, and where to begin instruction.

Best wishes!
Debbie




You may have seen ‘caps’ that have been set and posted by others. Our charts and posts provide Instructional Level Expectations per grade level linked here: http://www.fountasandpinnell.com/resourcelibrary/id/334 I have heard Fountas and Pinnell speak several times recommending that most children should not be instructed more than a grade level beyond their current grade as there is generally much more depth to the books that can be taught and gained at each level. They encourage us to tighten up administration and score with rigor. I believe what Fountas and Pinnell are saying is that if the Literacy Continuum is used with understanding there will be no need to set caps. As books become higher the concepts and storylines require increased background knowledge and life experiences to comprehend with any depth. (Sometimes concepts and storylines at those higher levels are even written towards a certain audience.) Background knowledge is always important not necessarily of a specific topic but of topics related to that topic that will support understanding. We suggest that staffs do a frequent calibration activity, such as taking the texts from the BAS that match a grade level and comparing those to the texts from their grade above. Identify the new challenges at the higher level. Next, compare the texts to the expectations outlined for those levels in the Literacy Continuum. This would perhaps build understanding of the text features of these levels of texts and the strategies needed for proficiency. It might also set the stage for fine tuning instruction. When we determine a child’s instructional level, our determination must go beyond the numbers and rest on analysis and must include all books at that level.



I hope this helps to clarify,
Helenann

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