Aspen Ridge and SVVSD use the i-Ready® Diagnostic to provide our students with an innovative diagnostic assessment in both reading and math. All 1st-6th grade students at Aspen Ridge complete reading and math assessments in the fall, winter, and spring. Results are shared at conferences in the fall and winter and are sent home with students in the spring.
iReady is an adaptive test which means it automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions according to each student’s performance in order to determine his or her abilities in each given area. The diagnostic efficiently assesses students across multiple grade levels, allowing for identification of root causes of students’ struggles or for identification of areas where a student is ready for further challenge. This information helps teachers to provide instruction based on each student’s unique needs.
During the reading diagnostic, students are assessed in the following skill areas:
- Phonological Awareness is the understanding that a spoken word is made up of different parts and that each of these parts makes a sound. For example, the word bat includes the sounds /b/, /a/, and /t/, and the word batter can be broken into two syllables that make the sounds /bat/ and /ter/. Phonological Awareness is an important building block for Phonics. Readers need to be able to distinguish, or make out, the individual sounds in spoken words before they can fully master matching sounds to letters.
- Phonics assess how students connect the sounds they hear in spoken words to the letters they see in written words. For example, a student who can connect sounds to letters knows to read “th” in then as a single sound /th/, rather than the sound /t/ and the sound /h/. Students have to learn many different connections between sounds and spelling patterns.
- High-Frequency Words are the words that appear most often in what children read. Words such as the, and, and it are high- frequency words. Because these words appear so often, readers must learn to recognize them automatically. Also, these words are often spelled in ways that can be confusing. Words such as could and there do not follow the rules that connect sounds to letters in most words. Learning to recognize these words automatically helps students read more quickly and easily, which gives them a better opportunity to understand what they are reading.
- Vocabulary is the name for the words a student knows. The more words a student knows, the easier it is to understand what he or she reads. Good readers know the meanings of many words. Students grow their vocabularies by hearing and reading new words, talking about words, and being taught specific words.
- Comprehension: Literature describes a student’s ability to understand types of writing that are usually fictional. Stories are the literary texts that students read most often, but plays and poems are also examples of literary texts. A student who understands literature might identify the sequence of events in a story, discuss the meaning of a poem, or explain the lines a character speaks in a play. As a student develops as a reader, he or she is able to understand stories, plays, and poems that are increasingly complicated.
- Comprehension: Informational Text describes a student’s ability to understand types of writing that are usually true. Books about science or history are examples of informational text, as are newspaper articles or magazine articles. This kind of writing is often structured differently than literary texts. Informational text often does not tell a story, and it is usually organized into sections with headings. Additionally, it might contain charts, diagrams, and graphs that are important to understanding. A student who understands informational text might identify the main idea and supporting details, describe the way the writing is organized, or draw information out of a photograph or diagram.
This thorough reading assessment also ensures that Aspen Ridge is compliant with the Colorado READ Act. This act requires teachers to assess the literacy development of students in kindergarten through third grade. If a student scores below state provided cut scores on the i-Ready test, they may be identified with a significant reading deficiency and then placed on an intervention plan (READ plan). This plan outlines priority areas for instruction, establishes a system of progress monitoring, and also provides strategies for the student’s parents to use in assisting the student to achieve reading competency.
During the math diagnostic, students are assessed in the following skill areas:
- Number and Operations refers to the math skills often thought of as arithmetic, from reading and writing numbers to adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing different types of numbers. This includes whole numbers, decimals, fractions, integers, and irrational numbers.
- Algebra and Algebraic Thinking refers to math skills related to seeing number patterns, understanding the meaning of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and using symbols to write and solve equations including those used to solve word problems.
- Measurement and Data is a wide range of math skills related to collecting, organizing, and interpreting numerical information, from telling time or using a ruler to measure the length of an object to using formulas to find volume or surface area. It also includes understanding tables and graphs.
- Geometry refers to a variety of skills related to analyzing two- and three-dimensional shapes. These include naming and classifying shapes using characteristics such as symmetry, number of sides, and angle measures, and in later grades, using congruence and similarity.
iReady math scores provide teachers with another measurement of your student’s progress in math. When combined with classroom observations, homework, and in-class tests, these scores help teachers get a whole picture of your student’s strengths as well as root causes of struggles.
Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Testing and Assessment Coordinator, Laura Loomis, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or your child’s teacher. For more information on i-Ready Diagnostic, please visit the Curriculum Associates website at www.CurriculumAssociates.com.