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6-8 Week Skills Assessments

Why Assess Every Six to Eight Weeks?

"Frequent assessment is the key to planning instruction that is appropriate to students' needs and to determining whether students are meeting or exceeding standards. ...Assessment should help teachers learn what students know and how well they know it. Frequent assessment should be included to help teachers determine whether students are learning and retaining what has been taught. Because assessment measures what students have been taught, the tasks in the assessment should parallel those in the instructional materials." (Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools p. 256)

Monitoring of Progress Defined

Monitoring of progress assessments "focus on the general skills and knowledge students are to acquire according to the standards. ...The domains and strands of the standards are assessed at the end of each major set of lessons. The tests, which are curriculum embedded, should be administered [every 6-8 weeks] and scored ... by the teacher. The results should be analyzed for each student and classroom on the basis of established levels that identify (1) who is at mastery; and (2) what percent of students are at mastery. The results should influence how teachers modify or emphasize parts of the curriculum" (Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools pp. 216-218).

"Because of the large number of skills and strategies students are to acquire in each grade, a critical decision has to be made to determine what knowledge to assess and when. In the early grades, key indicators or predictors can be used to identify students making adequate progress toward literacy standards and those likely to have continued difficulty in learning to read. Those key indicators are derived largely from research on students who learn to read easily in comparison with those who do not. ...The purpose of the measures is to identify students who need additional instruction and assess the effectiveness of instruction over time." (Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools p. 217)

Purpose of the 6-8 Week Skills Assessments

The Skills Assessments for both the English and Spanish versions are curriculum embedded and administered to students approximately every 6-8 weeks. They are designed to help classroom teachers and grade-level teams determine how effective their delivery of instruction is meeting expected student-learning goals in relation to concepts and skills taught in the program's theme/unit. They provide teachers with data related to the academic progress of individual students as well as an entire class. This information is then used to guide and plan instruction for the next theme/unit.

Content and Rationale of the 6-8 Week Skills Assessments

Download the Content and Rationale of the Skills Assessments for Districts using Open Court Reading and Foro abierto. [192K pdf]

Download the Content and Rationale of the Skills Assessments for Districts using Houghton Mifflin Reading and Lectura. [190K pdf]

6-8 Week Skills Assessments
Developed by the Reading Lions Center

The Skills Assessments are aligned with the sequence of instruction for Houghton Mifflin Reading (HMR) and Lectura, and Open Court Reading (OCR) and Foro abierto. They have been developed by the Reading Lions Center and are available for purchase for districts using these.

Sample images of 2004-2005 Skills Assessments [9.2MB pdf]
As presented by Teri Poppleton


Grades 1 through 3


Grades 1 through 3–Spanish

Grades 4 through 6

Training Materials

List of available training materials.

On-line Sample 6-8 Week Skills Assessments

Sample 6-8 Week Skills Assessments for districts using Houghton Mifflin Reading, Houghton Mifflin Lectura , SRA/Open Court 2000, SRA/Open Court 2002, and SRA Foro Abierto Para La Lectura are now available on-line. Each program will include one copy of the teacher and student materials for each grade and each theme/unit.

• Kindergarten Teacher Monitoring Booklet
• Kindergarten Teacher Materials Booklet which includes the Fall, Mid-Program, and Spring Assessment
• Grades 1-3 Teacher Materials
• Grades 1-3 Student Booklet for each theme/unit

Each Reading First LEA ordering these assessments will receive a complimentary one-year licensing agreement. It will allow the district to download or view the on-line sample 6-8 Week Skills Assessments. This complimentary licensing agreement only includes the 2006-2007 Kindergarten through Grade 3 6-8 Week Skills Assessments. Reading First districts will receive a password via e-mail that will allow them to go on-line and view the 6-8 Week Skills Assessments. Non-Reading First LEA’s must purchase a one-year licensing agreement for $75.00. Grades 4-6 Skills Assessments will also be viewable on-line. All districts using grades 4-6

6-8 Week Skills Assessments must purchase a one-year licensing agreement for $75.00. Thus, for non-Reading First LEAs, the cost for a one-year licensing agreement to copy the sample 6-8 Week Skill Assessments for grades K-6 is $150.00.

For further inquiries, please email Mark Drewes at mdrewes@scoe.net or call (916) 228-2678.

Skills Assessment Packaging and Price Lists