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

BAS after pandemic where to begin? Messages in this topic - RSS

Rslothower
Rslothower
Posts: 3


6/2/2020
Rslothower
Rslothower
Posts: 3
The Reading specialist in my district are attempting to establish an assessment plan to begin the 20-21 school year. One of the biggest debates is how to begin the school year. In the past we administered the BAS the first month of school. Due to the Pandemic we thought perhaps given a 6 month lag in good literacy practice we should begin the year with students previous (January 2020) F/P level. With that being said teachers would use running records, anecdotal records, and the COL (Continuum of Literacy) to move students. The thought would be to allow students to settle in for the first couple of months and then assess in November, unless a student appears to be meeting most requirements at their instructional level. Would this be considered best practice? Would you recommend an alternative?
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Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 887


6/3/2020
Rslothower wrote:
The Reading specialist in my district are attempting to establish an assessment plan to begin the 20-21 school year. One of the biggest debates is how to begin the school year. In the past we administered the BAS the first month of school. Due to the Pandemic we thought perhaps given a 6 month lag in good literacy practice we should begin the year with students previous (January 2020) F/P level. With that being said teachers would use running records, anecdotal records, and the COL (Continuum of Literacy) to move students. The thought would be to allow students to settle in for the first couple of months and then assess in November, unless a student appears to be meeting most requirements at their instructional level. Would this be considered best practice? Would you recommend an alternative?



I understand your quandary and celebrate that you are already thinking about next year! We have not yet received suggestions regarding return to school and when, where and how to start up again with assessment. In the past, as you indicated, it has always been ‘the earlier the better”. This is such a different time we are in! We are also still unsure what the new school year is going to look like. If you are using many literacy contexts incorporated into your instruction, you may find children advancing quickly. However, with a new teacher who begins instruction without assessment, you will not know your children. As you indicated, they will be coming from many different experiences over the last months and to continue where you left off, or from your January information, may be an additional handicap. Please take a look at the comments in these links: http://fpblog.fountasandpinnell.com/response-to-using-fountas-pinnell-benchmark-assessment-systems-during-remote-learning and http://fpblog.fountasandpinnell.com/the-power-and-purpose-of-assessment These may help you consider the additional resources available as well as help develop your district plan. Without administering the BAS quickly, we may not see the strengths or gaps that have occurred which would definitely impact instructional decisions. You have to ask the question, “will lack of interval assessment information at the start of the year strengthen or weaken my instruction?” Please stay tuned to the blog: http://fpblog.fountasandpinnell.com/tag/daily-remote-learning-tip for additional information.


I hope this has given you some things to think about as you make decisions.
Best Wishes,
Helenann

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Helenann Steensen, Official Fountas & Pinnell Consultant, Heinemann
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Rslothower
Rslothower
Posts: 3


6/3/2020
Rslothower
Rslothower
Posts: 3
Thank you for your time and response. One additional question/concern. If we begin the year with the BAS assessment and we know, for example, that a student left us in March at an instructional level of L, we administer level M and its hard therefore we would need to make the assumption that the student is at a level L. Correct me if I'm wrong, based on my understanding we would not test back. This is where the concern falls. Many students may not have maintained their current instructional level and could have potentially had a slide of two or more levels. YIKES. What to do? Perhaps administer the word placement test and start again? At this point I'm thinking of our 1st grade students who were just starting to take root in reading and may have lost significantly. I feel a bit more confident in our third-fifth graders but still fear that many of them may have regressed.
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Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 887


6/3/2020
Rslothower wrote:
Thank you for your time and response. One additional question/concern. If we begin the year with the BAS assessment and we know, for example, that a student left us in March at an instructional level of L, we administer level M and its hard therefore we would need to make the assumption that the student is at a level L. Correct me if I'm wrong, based on my understanding we would not test back. This is where the concern falls. Many students may not have maintained their current instructional level and could have potentially had a slide of two or more levels. YIKES. What to do? Perhaps administer the word placement test and start again? At this point I'm thinking of our 1st grade students who were just starting to take root in reading and may have lost significantly. I feel a bit more confident in our third-fifth graders but still fear that many of them may have regressed.


Very good thinking! Based on the lengthy absence the word placement assessment would be a great tool. With your lowest first graders, you might also want to administer some of the early literacy optional assessments as well. It is going to be crucial to find the strengths to build on and weak areas needing instruction as soon as possible. We have never been in this situation before. I am hoping that we will have more conversation concerning this issue. That said, our schools across the nation have experienced such diverse situations that it is going to be very hard to predict the next best steps for everyone. Fall will be a challenge for us all. If we determine, according to your example that a student finds text level M hard, we could not assume that L is instructional. I understand the dilemma you are facing and as you suggested, perhaps a great tool would be the Where to Start Word test. Again, this is new territory and we do not want to get bogged down using several texts by having to drop several levels. The Where to Start Word test is an excellent tool.


Great conversation! Thank you!
Helenann

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Helenann Steensen, Official Fountas & Pinnell Consultant, Heinemann
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Rslothower
Rslothower
Posts: 3


6/3/2020
Rslothower
Rslothower
Posts: 3
Thank you very much! This will definitely help guide us as we work with administrators and teachers to develop our assessment plan.
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Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 887


6/4/2020
Rslothower wrote:
Thank you very much! This will definitely help guide us as we work with administrators and teachers to develop our assessment plan.



We are always glad to help! Keep up the great work!
Helenann

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