In our data-driven society, no matter where you go, everyone cares about the same thing: results. If you can’t quantify your gains, then too bad for you.
The same goes for reading instruction. It’s the end of the year, and I’ve been thinking a lot about results. Have my efforts made a difference? Are my students better readers than there were back in September? And if they are, how do we know?
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Tests matter most. Therefore, I’m relieved that students performed well on our online reading assessment, and I’m particularly pleased that Kindlers improved more than non-Kindlers.
But tests are just tests. They don’t paint the whole picture.
That’s why I believe that several measurements are necessary to assess student progress in reading. This year, we’ve tried these data points:
- How many books / pages the students have read,
- Reading stamina
- Reading fluency
- Whether students say they enjoy reading,
- Whether students identify as readers,
- How well students can independently use the reading strategies we’ve taught.
My goal next year is streamline this list down to 2-4 key indicators. That way, all teachers and students can track their progress on common, agreed-on criteria.
Which data points do you think are the most important? Or, do you suggest others?