Institute on The Relationship between Assessment and Supporting Beginning Readers: Grades K-2

Monday, March 9 - Wednesday, March 11, 2020
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Grade: K-2
Featuring: Amanda Hartman, Katie Lindner, Casey Maxwell, Sarah Picard-Taylor

Assessments in the primary classroom can be life-changing, for both students and teachers. When assessments are efficient, systematic, and purposeful, students can make hold-your-hat progress, and teachers find themselves using this information to outgrow their own practice. This institute will focus on assessments for primary-level readers, so that you learn how formal and informal assessments can ultimately power an entire balanced literacy program. Not only will you develop the ability to collect data such as running records or spelling assessments in a way that is systematic and efficient, you’ll also learn what those assessments mean for your whole-class, small group, and individual instruction across an entire day, week, and month of literacy teaching.

Part of this institute will be devoted to learning to take running records in ways that ensure that your classroom is a place of simultaneous, continuous teaching and assessing. You’ll learn about ways to take informal running records, methods for coding running records, and what reading behaviors to look for as you study running records and learn about students’ strategy use. You’ll also learn about how running records exist within the context of other assessments. Across the institute, the presenters will help you plan the orchestration of a range of assessments to address spelling, phonics, and comprehension. They will help you consider not only how these assessments help to inform student goals and progress, but how you can use these data points to triangulate data and gain a broader understanding of the students in your classroom. Above all, you will leave with an enhanced understanding of the ways assessments are incredible teaching tools, not simply a box to be checked on an assessment calendar.

Research has proven over and over again that feedback can be one of the most powerful levers in promoting student growth, and the information found in your assessments, be it in phonics or running records, provide the perfect opportunity to help young readers set goals that are both ambitious and attainable. The presenters will help you think through ways that running records, writing and spelling assessments, as well as other quick assessments can illuminate powerful goals for students across various components of balanced literacy. You’ll see models of goal-setting conferences, teacher record-keeping, and other student-led systems, that can help your students keep their goals front and center.

We’ll show you how to keep student goals prominent in your teaching, knowing that achieving ambitious goals requires massive practice. You’ll learn about how to give students purposeful practice by utilizing all of the components of balanced literacy. Expect to see, and learn to plan for, teaching of the same goal across read aloud, shared reading, conferences, and minilessons. You’ll also be given the chance to practice some of these methods, and use data from your own classroom to begin to think through teaching plans for not just one week in the future but the next several weeks with your students.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY