Last Wednesday, before I went to my trainings for two days, my aide did alphabet and number assessments on all my kids. It took pretty much the whole day. I’ve done DIBELS with them and that gives a pretty good indicator of where they are at. But this tells me exactly what they know. Well, barring the the inconsistencies of testing 5 year olds, but this is about as good as it gets.
I had a chance to look over the results the other day and they aren’t too bad. Most of the kids actually know something….. Most of the kids know at least half of their letter sounds and most of their letters. The ones who don’t know much, for the most part aren’t a surprise although there were a couple of surprises. Interesting how some kids come across as knowing more than they actually do. Besides the letters and sounds, most of them know the six sight words that we have done in Trophies so far too.
One of the interesting things I thought was the aide’s perception that more of my kids knew more of the letters and sounds than the kids in the other classes. I’m not in a competition, nor am I interested in out performing the other teachers, it’s just that I do wonder how, what I do, compares in it’s effectiveness with the rest of the world. And I want to be doing a good job. I want to know that what I do or think works actually does work.
Sure, we have an adopted reading program, but I think that I supplement it a lot. I think I pick better worksheets for the seat work than the series does, and I think I sometimes push a little different focus or approach things a little different than the set packaged program. A lot of my phonics comes from this program by Fountas and Pinnel and I think it works very well.