In order to fully understand and meet the needs of learners, teachers must be knowledgeable in using a variety of methods for assessment purposes. What is important is that teachers are able to understand and use assessment in a way that meets ‘best practice’. As students learn their knowledge expands and their skills develop, and for that reason teachers must use a combination of strategies to meet best practice in assessment. Not only must assessment follow learning in order to gauge a student’s performance for example, but there is also a place for using assessment before instruction in order make informed future instructional decisions.
In order to demonstrate best practice in assessment, an intervention plan has been developed around three Kindergarten students’ who need additional help to develop their phonemic awareness and letter- sound correspondences.
Three students’ from a local Kindergarten class are being utilised for the purpose of this assignment.
Student A - The youngest student of the group and his class having not yet turned five. This may be playing a factor in his falling behind in areas of learning. He is able to name most phonemes but is struggling to learn both consonant and vowel digraphs.
Student B - Generally a sound achiever and can identify most phonemes that have been introduced to this point. However, he is having trouble with several digraphs and blends and needs some assistance in these areas. He becomes easily frustrated when attempting blends.
Student C - Generally a sound achiever and can identify most phonemes and digraphs; he makes sound attempts at blending. Nevertheless, his reading should benefit from extra assistance to increase his ability in this area by working on several digraphs he has problems with.
Process of Identifying Learning Difficulty
The support teacher of learning difficulties (STLD) at the local school was able to assist on finding children who would benefit from extra assistance. After then talking to the Kindergarten teacher, both teachers decided on three students’ who would benefit the most.
The Kindergarten teacher was able to point to the area where the boys needed guidance and provided some work samples (Appendix A). The first session was then able to take place.
In order to create an intervention plan it was necessary to do an initial assessment within the first session. McMillan (2007, p. 5) states, “pre-instructional decisions are needed to set learning goals, select appropriate teaching activities, and prepare learning materials”. Therefore, using the worksheet samples, a list was made of all the incorrect digraphs from all three samples (Appendix B) which were then used as a means of assessing to what extent the sounds were still troubling the students’ through an activity with flashcards (Appendix C).
This initial assessment was used not only to establish a rapport, but was also a means of planning future...