This week begins the all important district and state mandated assessments that 8th graders at Pleasant View will be subject to. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week, and Monday of next week, we will be taking the Performance Series Assessments in Reading and Language Arts.
The Reading assessment will determine the skills each student employs as a reader, providing important feedback to teachers regarding reading level. The score can be used to recommend students for an Extended Learning Program outside of the English Language Arts classroom, and importantly, can be used to help support and direct the students as they learn self-regulation and discernment in self-selecting texts to read and interact with. In concrete terms, the assessment will result in the students being notified of a Lexile level and a Grade Level Estimate, from which their classroom score will be determined.
The Language Arts assessment will determine the skills each student exploys within the strict confines of usage of formal English. Because the Language Arts assessment does not allow or ask for the students to write even one sentence, it cannot, in my humble opinion, serve as a trustworthy indicator of writing ability, although it does indicate the knowledge of a student on the basic word and sentence formation level. In concrete terms, the assessment will provide a Grade Level Estimate, from which the students' classroom scores will be determined.
Following these important Performance Series Assessments in Reading and Language Arts, students will get to experience the district Writing assessment. With an effort to get through the Beginning of Year assessments and on to the teaching and learning, I may schedule the writing assessment next week. It could turn into a long two weeks for the students, but with the number of assessments scheduled this year for 8th graders, we must get through as many as we can, as early as we can.
Speaking of the number of assessments scheduled for 8th graders this year, the number is as many as 21. That breaks down to three every month, or, with 39 weeks in the school year, one assessment every 1.85 weeks. If you would like to look at the entire district assessment calendar, click here. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these assessments, please feel free to email me.