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Improving Student Reading

Reading Assessment Initiative using easyCBM

During the 2022-23 year, we had a hunch that the reading levels of many of our students were not at grade level. That year our teachers used a reading assessment tool that was felt to be time consuming and not an efficient way to garner student reading results.

At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year our Resource Team met and decided to complete a school-wide reading assessment using the easyCBM, leveled assessment tool developed at the University of Oregon and recommended by our district.

This decision to assess all our students’ word and passage reading fluency happened to correspond with a District initiative where District Support Teachers would be attached to a group of schools over a period of eight weeks to assess student reading levels. The District Learning Support Teacher assigned to our school started by doing school wide reading assessments implementing the easyCBM with the rationale that it would be quick (students read for one minute) and it would give a snapshot of student fluency level.

Once we identified the students who were not reading at grade level, we did a little bit more prodding with some phonic assessments to see where they needed extra support. This allowed our Resource Team to cumulate the results and identify any students who required extra support with their reading. We learned that finding the right assessment tool is what allowed us to quickly determine those students who required intensive support. The easyCBM is a district approved resource tool that allows for quick and accurate assessment and is user friendly to both Resource Teachers and Classroom Teachers.

Grades 2 and 3 saw the largest percentage of students in need of reading intervention. Fifty percent in grade 2 scored in the range that required intervention. But we also found that the lower the grade level, the less amount of resource support/intervention is needed to enable students to catch up and improve their reading scores.

With that information, we formed small reading intervention groups, or led one-to-one sessions, to target the skills students are still developing. The students were pulled out for 15 to 20 minutes and taught the skills such as phonemic and phonological awareness. Resource teachers were mentored by our District’s Reading Intervention Specialist and began working with the groups.

By the end of December, many students who had been struggling with their reading fluency were starting to improve. This can be seen when we compare the easyCBM reading assessment results from the beginning of term 1 with the end of term 1.

We plan on doing at least one more assessment before the end of the year which will supply us with the data needed to see how effectively our reading intervention program is working.


Updated: Thursday, July 4, 2024