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K-2 Skills Block: End of Cycle Assessments

This video shows 1st graders participating in the end of cycle reading and spelling assessment with their teacher in our K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block. It specifically shows the spelling portion. The teacher administers the assessment with a small group, evaluates their responses, and confers with each student to set an individual goal. End of cycle assessments are used throughout Kindergarten-2nd grade, typically weekly.


- Simone, with her book box and pencil. And Makai with your book box and a pencil.

- [Narrator] At Polaris Charter Academy in Chicago, Illinois, Susan Preston is meeting with her first grade students in groups of four, to conduct end of cycle reading and spelling assessments.

- [Susan] Number seven, fall.

- [Narrator] The purpose of the assessment is to assess students’ progress with both reading and spelling, and develop individual goals. In this video we see the spelling portion. There are three steps to each end of cycle assessment: administering the assessment, evaluating student responses, and conferring with students to set individual goals.

- We’re going to take a little spelling test today. You’re gonna just try your best. Listen to all the sounds you hear in the word. And when we’re finished, you’re gonna quietly read your books, okay? Your first word, number one, an, an. Rip, number four, rip.

- [Narrator] During the skills plot, the teacher assesses students in all four phases.

- Number five, cuts.

- [Narrator] Students not being assessed work on literacy activities, suggested in the curriculum.

- The three of you may pull out your book boxes.

- [Narrator] The students meeting for the assessment read independently while Susan evaluates the assessments and conducts goal setting conferences. To help students recognize patterns of misunderstanding in their spelling and decoding, Susan lines up correct spellings with student answers and annotates mistakes with circles.

- Where you see circles is where we made some different choices with our spelling. You wrote the letter “a” and I wrote the letter “e.” What does that tell you?

- I used a different vowel.

- [Narrator] Susan confers with each student to set an effective goal for spelling and decoding.

- Alright, Makai, let’s look.

- Okay.

- [Susan] What I did was I took the way you spelled the word and I put it in the boxes, okay? Just like we’ve been doing. And then I wrote how I would spell the word above it, okay?

- Okay.

- What was different about how you spelled and how I spelled, okay?

- Okay. But I got this correct.

- [Susan] Did you think I said the word and?

- I think so.

- So when I say the word an, an, how many letter sounds do you hear in that one? Two, so I just wrote two sounds- an, okay?

- Okay.

- See this word rip, “ritp.” Tap that word out together, ready? R-i-p.

- R-i-p. Rip.

- Rip. How many sounds do you hear in that word?

- Three.

- I hear three sounds, too. How many letters did you write in your word rip?

- Four.

- Yeah, you wrote four. You threw in a “t” in there. Rip.

- Rip, is kinda like C-E-C.

- Exactly, it’s that consonant, vowel, consonant. Good. So I have a goal in mind for you, but do you have a goal in mind for yourself, what you want to work on with your spelling?

- Draw up the letters correctly, so we can hear which letter is in the word.

- Okay, so what was helping you a little bit, was stretching out the words. Sometimes it helps to tap it out, so you can hear exactly how many sounds you hear in the word, okay?

- Okay.

- So I’m gonna say a good goal for you, Makai, would be to tap out your words, and why do we want to tap out those words, Makai?

- So we can hear each letter, what’s in the word.

- So I can hear each letter in the words. That’s a great goal. Give me five.

- [Narrator] End of cycle assessments give teachers useful data to inform instruction and empower students to own their learning.

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