Skip to main content

How to Assess a Student's Reading Needs

Over the years, when I have worked with struggling readers, I have found that they all come with knowledge as well as knowledge gaps.  In fact, each student presents their own unique patchwork of knowns and unknowns.  I believe that it is my job to quickly evaluate, uncover, and fill the pits an pockets so I can forge a strong foundation and play catchup to a forward bounding curriculum.
 The Good Sensory Learning Reading Assessment
Why Should I Assess the Reading Needs of a Struggling Reader?
I have found that no two students have the same strengths and weaknesses.  Likewise, struggling readers, even those that come with diagnoses such as dyslexia, all come with a different knowledge base and areas that require instruction and remediation.  Unfortunately, many reading programs make all participants go through a lengthy process from square one and progress can be slow and time-consuming.  In contrast, evaluating foundational reading skills at the beginning of any program can uncover accomplishments and establish specific needs so that any remedial reading program can be tailored for quick and effective results.  What's more, repeating the assessment after an intervention can help define new proficiencies as well as continued areas that require attention.

Finding a Simple Assessment that Covers All the Foundational Reading Skills is Hard to Find
 GSL Reading AssessmentAlthough there are many reading assessments that are available, they are often geared toward general reading skills such as reading speed and reading comprehension.  Although this information is helpful, it does not define an appropriate remedial approach. The Good Sensory Learning Assessment offers teachers, reading specialists and parents a simple evaluation instrument that helps guide instruction so remedial needs can be targeted. It offers a comprehensive selection of subtests that can be used to measure student abilities with: letter names and sounds, rhyming words, syllable divisions, word blending, beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds, blending sounds to words, dropping the first sound, dropping the last sound, 1st grade sight words, 2nd grade sight words, 3rd grade sight words, nonsense closed syllables, nonsense open syllables, nonsense silent e syllables, nonsense r-combination syllables, nonsense consonant le syllables, vowel combinations, syllabication, blends, digraphs and trigraphs, ending blends, compound words, prefixes, suffixes, and multisyllabic words.  It's a comprehensive tool that can be used in entirety or subtests can be select for a more focused approach.

What are Homeschooling Parents and Reading Teachers Saying About The Good Sensory Reading Assessment?
  • "This is awesome! I am always looking for something to use to assess various phonological skills, and this is wonderful! It covers everything in one well-organized package. Wow! I wish I had found it a long time ago."
  • "I have been looking for an assessment like this, so finding it was a great delight."
  • "Great for my use with children who haven't yet been identified with dyslexia. I use it as a screening tool prior to beginning tutoring with different Orton-Gillingham-based reading systems."
  • "BEST...RESOURCE...EVER! So targeted! My go-to assessment."
I hope you found this helpful!  Reach out any time.
Cheers, Erica

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Copying from a Board is Ineffective for Dyslexics

Having to take notes by copying from a board or projection while a teacher is lecturing is challenging for any learner, because it requires students to multitask and constantly shift modes of learning. The process demands students to read, listen and write while making sense of the material. However, for students with dyslexia this teaching method can be disastrous. How Has Technology Impacted Note-taking?
Before the rise of educational technology, students used to copy while the teacher wrote on the blackboard, however, with the use of devices such as the Smartboard and software like PowerPoint, the words just magically appear. As a result, many teachers lecture while the students are trying to read and write from the projected image, and what often happens is confusion, shoddy notes, gaps in knowledge, and frustrated learners. But what about students with dyslexia that are also dealing with weaknesses in language processing and memory? According to the British Dyslexia Association, …

Do I have dyslexia - Explaining Symptoms and Myths for Kids

What do you do when you learn that your child has dyslexia? Should you hide this diagnosis to protect them from labels and misunderstandings, or should you tell them? If you do decide to tell them, how do you do this? Can you help them to overcome any potential fears or misunderstandings? These are the questions that I will answer in this blog that includes kid-friendly graphics. What are the Benefits of Telling Your Child That He or She Has Dyslexia?
Educating your child with dyslexia about the common signs and misconceptions can help them to:
understand that they learn in a different way than other kids that don’t have dyslexia. shed negative labels such as stupid, careless, unmotivated and lazy.correct any misunderstandings.identify with other successful people that have or had dyslexia.acquire the needed intervention and instruction in school.learn that many people with dyslexia have strengths that others do not have. Individuals with dyslexia are often:great at communicating their…

10 Free Ways to Improving Visual Tracking for Weak Readers

While reading, tracking across the page from one line to the next can be tricky when the text is small, but for students with dyslexia or weak reading skills, it can be a problem regardless of the font size.  So why is this the case?  Perhaps one of the problems is poor tracking skills.
What Exactly is Tracking? Tracking is the ability for one's eyes to move smoothly across the page from one line of text to another. Tracking difficulties happen when eyes jump backward and forward and struggle to stay on a single line of text.  This results in problems such as word omissions, reversals, eye fatigue, losing your place while reading and most importantly it can impact normal reading development.  
Can Tracking be Improved? Tracking can be improved by strengthening eye muscles as well as getting your eyes and brain to work cooperatively.  There are three eye movements that need to be developed:   Fixations: The ability to hold one's eyes steady without moving off a target.Saccades: Th…