ASSESSMENTS

‘Think2Read’s baseline comprehension is the only one I know that
assesses children’s literal, inference, evaluative understanding
as well as summarising, clarifying and prediction skills…’
Robert James, Head teacher of Coed-y-lan Primary school, South Wales

Independent thinking, collaborative learning.

Assessing Comprehension Skills

The purpose for assessing reader’s comprehension and asking them a range of questions is to find out what they need to be taught to support in-depth understanding of text.

Comprehension assessment should reveal whether readers…

  • can make sense of any given information at their appropriate reading age;
  • are able to infer, evaluate and justify responses to questions about the text;
  • understand and are able to personally relate to the author’s meaning;
  • can consciously generate their own range of questions to monitor their understanding as they read.

The Think2Read Comprehension Assessment links to different types of comprehension question and answer that are directly linked to the criterion of National Curriculum objectives.

The Comprehension Assessments provide a useful baseline assessment and teaching focus to help teachers more easily and accurately assess their pupil’s reading progress and comprehension competencies .

Programme resources

Programme package includes:

  • Think2Read Comprehension Assessments for R.A. 5 -7 yrs, 7- 9 yrs, 9 – 11yrs  
  • Benchmarks based on National Curriculum Band Levels 2B, 3B, 4/5 with…
  • Full colour extract from award-winning children’s books
  • Question sheets,
  • Score sheets (that correlates with QCA marking),
  • Class record sheet
  • Teacher Assessment Guidance booklet
  • Digital Scoring System.
Assessment FocusComprehension Question TypesPurpose of question
AF2Literal questionsto identify whether they can locate the main who, what, where information from text to answer questions
AF3Inference questionsto identify whether they can infer, deduce and provide evidence for their answers from text
AF3/6/7Evaluation questionsto identify whether they can empathise with characters using their own life experience and knowledge to explain the characters behaviour or possible motives
AF3/5/4Clarification questionsto identify whether they can explain meaning of vocabulary and reason for the author’s use of language

Think2Read’s assessment tools have proved very useful as a baseline because they are the only ones I know that assess evaluative, summarising and prediction skills….

Robert James, Head Teacher, Coed-y-lan Primary, Pontypridd, Wales

…..some really exciting materials to support teachers with both assessing and teaching the key reading comprehension and thinking skills.

Rebecca Cosgravelead Literacy Consultant KS1/2, Devon Education Services

I believe that teachers need an assessment that provides them with a teaching focus for reading with understanding. Helping children to make connections through the use of thinking skills is very important.

Beverley BannonLiteracy Advisory Teacher, Blaenau-Gwent LEA

TEAM Skills Assessment provides teachers with an insight into their children’s view of group-work
and how they feel about interacting with others during group tasks.

TEAM Skills Assessment

The Think2Read TEAM Skills Assessment provides teachers with an insight into their children’s view of group-work and how they feel about interacting with others during group tasks. The questions are designed to highlight the trouble spots that are all too familiar during group work and to give you the opportunity to reflect on how TEAM Skills instruction can support the children’s approach to group reading and learning.

The TEAM Skills Assessment links questions to the National Strategy Speaking and Listening Assessment Focuses to help teachers more easily and accurately assess their pupil’s ability to interact and work together in guided reading groups and in other learning situations.

Programme resources

The SPECtacular Assessments for Teaching and Learning  programme package includes:

  • Quick, easy print out question tick sheet
  • Teacher Assessment Guidance booklet
LevelSpeaking and Listening Assessment Focuses
AF1Talking to others
Talk in purposeful and imaginative ways to explore ideas and feelings, using non-verbal features for clarity and effect.
AF2Talking with others
Listen and respond respectfully to others in pairs and groups – identifying main ideas, implicit meanings and viewpoints.
Understanding that meanings and responses are communicated through suggestions and suggestions, questions, expressions, and gestures.
AF3Talking within role-play
Create and sustain different roles, adapting techniques in a range of activities to explore texts, ideas, and issues.
Adapt and vary structures and vocabulary according to purpose, listeners and what is spoken about – selecting and using language appropriately.
AF4Talking about talk
Make a range of contributions when working in groups, shaping meanings through suggestions, comments and questioning, and drawing ideas together.

Think2Read’s TEAM-building approach addresses the following speaking and listening group-work issues for children in the classroom…

  • I find it difficult to discuss my ideas and feelings – I’m not sure how to explain myself or express my feelings clearly.
  • I find it difficult to listen to others. I don’t always understand the main point of what they are saying or what they mean in general.
  • I find it difficult to choose the correct sort of talk for different situations and people say they can’t understand what I’m saying sometimes. I don’t join in much – and that makes me feel left out.
  • I am uncomfortable working in a group. Sometimes the opinions of others upset me and I cannot find the words to explain my ideas or how I feel about the other children’s views.
  • I do not feel confident about exploring ideas, texts and issues in a group without an adult being there.
  • I don’t understand how to debate an issue or discuss a problem with others.

The Think2Read Team assessment has given us a valuable opportunity to review our children’s collaborative skills and their attitudes towards group-work. It has highlighted the importance of teaching team skills to develop co-operative learning, self-esteem and effective communication in the classroom.

Bea GillYear 3 / 4 teacher, Literacy Co-ordinator, Dartington Primary School

Related research and articles

Reading Comprehension: Nature, Assessment and Teaching

24 Apr 2012 - Snowling,Margaret. A1 - Cain,Kate. A1 - Nation,Kate.   The…

Guiding Classroom Instruction Through Performance Assessment

Journal of Case Studies in Accreditation and Assessment, Carol…

Why develop thinking skills and assessment for the classroom?

Welsh Assembly Government, 2010   The ability to learn…

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Q&A’s – Team Skills Assessment

How important is it to assess group-work before starting the Team-building programme?

It is helpful to assess group-work before starting the programme because responses to the questions can reveal why particular children disengage during group work.  Speaking and listening difficulties, group dynamics and self-esteem issues can then be carefully supported during the team-building process.

Is the Team-building Assessment appropriate for primary children of all ages and abilities?

Yes, the questions are informal, inclusive and suitable for all children aged 6 – 11 years old.  The children are reminded from the beginning that there is no ‘right or wrong’ answer – they are simply being asked which of the questions is true for them. There is the option for children to respond with a show of hand (younger children) or by ticking a box for YES or NO (older children).

How does the Digital YES/NO scoring system work?

Click the number of YES or NO responses to each question into the boxes for the scores.

  • The score in each box is automatically totalled during the assessment.
  • You can print off the end result.

When I have the results from the assessment - what do I do next?

If the majority of your children’s answers to these questions are YES – then go to T.E.A.M – Building programme, www.think2read.co.uk for solutions and further information.

Q&A’s – Comprehension Skills Assessment

How important is it to assess group-work before starting the Team-building programme?

It is helpful to assess group-work before starting the programme because responses to the questions can reveal why particular children disengage during group work.  Speaking and listening difficulties, group dynamics and self-esteem issues can then be carefully supported during the team-building process.

How does Think2Read’s Assessment differ from other comprehension assessments?

The Think2Read assessment differs from other comprehension assessments because it offers teachers a detailed record of their children’s knowledge of key comprehension strategies (summarising, predicting, clarifying, enquiry) and question types (literal, inference and evaluation). The assessments also provide a baseline assessment before comprehension skills instruction and monitors children’s progress half way through and at the end of the programme in line with QCA scoring and NLS Assessment objectives. Unlike other assessments, Think2Read also encourages children to identify and ask/answer their own strategic questions to demonstrate their ability to independently monitor their understanding as they read – and provides teachers with a Digital scoring system and bar graph display that highlights individual and whole class comprehension strengths and weakness at a glance.

Does the comprehension assessment banding provide a benchmark for decoding as well as comprehension?

No, the emphasis of this assessment is not to assess decoding ability, but rather to identify the pupil’s ability to understand the author’s meaning.  Teachers are provided with two assessment procedures to achieve this:

  • Oral comprehension procedure (for ‘average to struggling’ decoders – who may have greater comprehension ability but be unaware of this).
  • Written comprehension procedure (for more competent decoders and writers who may struggle to understand text in depth).

How does the Think2Read’s Assessment link to National Literacy Strategy Reading Assessment Focuses

The Think2Read Assessment links different types of comprehension question and answer (Clarifying, Literal, Inference and Evaluation) to National Literacy Strategy AFs 2 – 6 to help teachers more easily and accurately assess their pupil’s reading progress.

How does the Digital scoring system work?

The excel document included in the comprehension assessment package is a quick and easy way for you to record and analyse the comprehension results of individual children and whole classes.

Marks correlate with the QCA marking system and are awarded for appropriate answers to a range of comprehension skills questions that link to National Curriculum objectives. Teachers are given a question and answer score sheet with Assessment Focus links to questions and a marking guide.

Teachers can print out bar graph results that identify….

  • individual and whole-class comprehension strengths and weakness.
  • teaching focuses across the school
  • skills needed to consolidate comprehension in a sustainable way.

How does the Think2Read Assessment provide evidence of progression for teachers and pupils?

The Band Levels assess the reader’s ability to understand the author’s meaning and intention at an easy, instructional or hard level.  Each Assessment Focus on the teacher’s question and answer sheet is linked to a set of comprehension skills, marks and percentages. At a glance you will be able identify your children’s progress and whether they require more explicit comprehension instruction at the level they have been assessed or whether they need to be challenged at a higher level of text.

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