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

Multiple Instructional Levels Between Ind and Hard Messages in this topic - RSS

MPalmer3
MPalmer3
Posts: 3


10/5/2021
MPalmer3
MPalmer3
Posts: 3
At several of our schools, teachers are finding multiple instructional levels between students' Independent and Hard levels. I found on pg. 67 of the Assessment Guide a statement that the independent level will be one or two levels below the instructional level. However, some teachers are finding 3-5 instructional levels, not 1-2. Can you give any further advice? Is it normal for there to be so many instructional levels? Could it be an error in scoring? We want to be sure we are using the assessment in the correct way. Thank you for your help in advance!

Michelle :)
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Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 982


10/6/2021
MPalmer3 wrote:
At several of our schools, teachers are finding multiple instructional levels between students' Independent and Hard levels. I found on pg. 67 of the Assessment Guide a statement that the independent level will be one or two levels below the instructional level. However, some teachers are finding 3-5 instructional levels, not 1-2. Can you give any further advice? Is it normal for there to be so many instructional levels? Could it be an error in scoring? We want to be sure we are using the assessment in the correct way. Thank you for your help in advance!

Michelle :)


Hi Michelle,
There should only be 1-2 levels between the Independent and the Instructional levels if we are to see children becoming more and more proficient in the reading process. A large range in instructional levels can indicate many gaps remaining in processing behaviors. This may be due to a variety of issues. As you suggested, it could be errors in scoring or a lack of rigor being used in administering the assessment. That challenge is met through understanding and using the Literacy Continuum. When we assess, and make a placement decision, we should be able to prove 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.”


A staff calibration activity is often suggested where teachers look at the the expectations of the level including the text features and characteristics, the behavioral strategies required for proficiency and then compare the listed strategies with those used by the student to determine expectations for instruction and proper placement.


I hope this helps.
Best Wishes,
Helenann
edited by Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant on 10/6/2021

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Helenann Steensen, Official Fountas & Pinnell Consultant, Heinemann
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