Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us

 

 

Lessons Plans

Our lesson plans are written and reviewed by educators using current research and the best instructional practices and are aligned to state and national standards. Choose from hundreds of topics and strategies.

More

 

Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.

More

 

HomeProfessional DevelopmentStrategy Guides

Strategy Guide

Making the Reading Process Visible through Performance Assessment

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

Making the Reading Process Visible through Performance Assessment

Grades 6 – 12
Author

Scott Filkins

Scott Filkins

Champaign, Illinois

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

Strategy Guide Series Differentiating Instruction

See All Strategy Guides in this series 

 

Research Basis

Strategy in Practice

Related Resources

Effective differentiation begins with purposeful assessment.  In this strategy guide, you’ll learn how to construct an authentic performance-based reading assessment that will give you access to students’ thinking before, during, and after reading.

Research Basis

 

The NCTE/IRA Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing contend that “reading very short passages and answering a limited number of multiple-choice questions is not a good measure of what literate people normally do when they read. Authentic assessments of reading employ tasks that reflect real-world reading practices and challenges” (p. 46).

Teaching when informed by well-structured, authentic assessments  “feels very different from our typical approach because it takes gaps in and variations of student development as a given, not something to be afraid of or surprised by. Assessing ‘for the gradebook’ therefore naturally takes a backseat to assessing to improve teaching and learning” (Filkins, 2012, p. 53).

 

Filkins, S. (2012).  Beyond standardized truth: Improving teaching and learning through inquiry-based reading assessment. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

 

Joint Task Force on Assessment of the International Reading Association & the National Council of Teachers of English. (2010). Standards for the assessment of reading and writing (Rev. ed.). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English; Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

 

Strategy in Practice

back to top

 
  • When getting to know a group of students as readers, select a manageable passage from a text they will be reading in the future.  Use the Reading Performance Task Template to format the text.  The text itself will go on the second (and following) page(s).
  • Decide whether wish to leave the prompt for annotation relatively broad (e.g., “Tell me what you're thinking as you read”) as in the Template and Sample Reading Performance Task.  Alternately, you may wish to frame their annotations around a specific purpose for reading and learning (e.g., “Share your developing understanding of the character's internal conflict”).
  • Next, construct a few pre-reading questions that will ask students to generate background knowledge and set a purpose for reading.  See the Sample Reading Performance Task for ideas.
  • Finally, develop some post-reading questions that ask students to summarize and reflect back on what they expected to learn or glean from the text.  If you chose a specific focusing question for the annotations, they should synthesize a response to that prompt or question somewhere after they read.
  • When you are satisfied with the assessment, give it to students one section at a time:  the pre-reading section, the text itself, and then the post-reading section.  Ahead of time, encourage them to share as much of their thinking as possible by annotating in the margin as they read.
  • After students complete the assessment, use their work (in addition to everything else you know about them as readers) to decide what skills and habits to model in full-class think-alouds or how to group students based on different strengths they showed.
  • You may also wish to return the assessments to students and ask them to analyze their annotations.  Where were they summarizing or restating?  Where were they making connections or drawing conclusions?  When did they ask questions?  And did they ever answer the questions they asked?  Have students share their observations in small groups and then write reflectively about the kinds of thinking that supported their understanding as they read.
  • After a unit of instruction, construct and use another Reading Performance Task to look for growth in understanding and the habits of effective reading.

Related Resources

back to top

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Sonic Patterns: Exploring Poetic Techniques Through Close Reading

Students develop close reading skills connecting sound with sense in the poem “Those Winter Sundays,” and write an original text that reflects their new learning.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Teaching Student Annotation: Constructing Meaning Through Connections

Students examine text closely and create annotations to make personal and meaningful connections with the work.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Modeling Academic Writing Through Scholarly Article Presentations

Students prepare an already published scholarly article for presentation, with an emphasis on identification of the author’s thesis and argument structure.