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Literacy Assessment- Harry

By: Taylor Fitzgerald

Harry is a 6 year and 1-month old Kindergarten student at Pebble Cottage Elementary School. He is a student
with a big personality who gets distracted very easily by the environment and others around him. He tends to
focus more when he is working one-on-one with another teacher. The following assessments were taken in a
separate classroom to avoid disruption and distraction. Harry was assessed by using a Spelling inventory,
Running Record, and a Rhyming Recognition assessment.

Spelling Inventory:
The Spelling Inventory that Harry performed
was the Primary Spelling Inventory from
Words Their Way (Bear, pg. 320). After
administering the assessment, it is gathered
that Harry is at the Late Emergent spelling
stage. According to Ms. McGonagall,
Harry’s teacher, Harry shouldn’t have had
any issues with spelling the first 4 words
correctly (Personal Communication, CT).
However, out of the first 4 words that were
assumed that he would get correct, he only
spelled 2 correctly. While looking at the
Spelling Inventory, I find it interesting how
he spelled Pet and Dig by adding an X at
either the end of the word, or in the middle of
the word. For example, Harry spelled the
word pet, PEPX. Also the word dig was
spelled, DXG. I’m very curious to know if Harry put the X’s in the
words because he thought that is how the words were spelled or if he
just didn’t know how to spell the word so he chose an X.
Furthermore, a similar occurrence happened when Harry spelled the
word gum, GPU. I think that when Harry was unsure of how to spell
a word, he would put letters in the spot that he was unsure of.

Harry seemed to not mind taking the Spelling Inventory at first and
was willing to help me with my “homework.” Harry said, “Your
homework is a two-person job!” Harry began the inventory on a great
start and really focused hard on sounding out the word. However, as
the words began to increase in difficulty, the longer it took Harry to
figure out the correct spelling and he began adding random letters.
Also Harry seemed to rush through the words rather than taking his
time trying to sound out the words. This is another reason why I think
he just put random letters in the spot that he was unsure of. Due to the way that the Spelling Inventory was
going, I decided to stop Harry after the eighth word because Harry was becoming a bit restless.

I learned a lot from this spelling inventory and I enjoyed learning about Harry’s literacy development.
According to the Virginia Standards of Learning, Kindergarten “students will use letters and beginning sounds
to spell phonetically words to describe pictures or write about experiences (Virginia Department of Education,
2010). Along with the objectives of writing for a Kindergarten student, it is very important to assess what the
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student’s level of spelling is to determine what the student needs further help on. According to Words Their
Way, “Spelling is a conservative measure of what students know about words in general, so if students can spell
a word, then we know they can read a word…However, in emergent and early letter name stages, students
might generate spellings they don’t know how to read” (Bear, pg.24). It is very important to give these
assessments for students because it gives a great insight on their learning and how to further their education.

Running Record:
For the Running Record, I used the book, “Look at
me” which is a level 1 book that is part of the
Rigby assessments. Harry seemed to do relatively
well and had an accuracy rate of 93.75% and had a
self-correction rate of 1:4. Throughout the
assessment Harry was very confident in his reading
when it came to the lines, “Look at me.” However,
when it came to the lines that contained what the
character was doing, Harry would read, “I am”
quickly and then look at the picture in the book.
After about 5-10 seconds of looking at the picture,
Harry would state the last word of the sentence
based off the picture that he saw. Most of the time
Harry was correct on what the picture and word
was, but in some cases, the word that he guessed
based off the picture was wrong. This is seen a few
times throughout the assessment and it is clear that
Harry relied a lot on visual cues to figure out the
correct words. According to Words Their Way,
“The student uses the picture rather than
knowledge about sound- symbol correspondences
to generate a logical response” (Bear, pg. 25). With
the errors that Harry made during this reading, it is
gathered that Harry has more errors that are
structurally and visually different than the word
that is in the book. This is the same for when Harry
self-corrected in the book. His answer was
structurally and visually different than the word
that was presented in the book.

Also in this running record, I indicated that for the


word “look,” Harry would say, “yook.” I did not
count this as an error because it is consistent throughout the entire book. I think that Harry would benefit from
having a Speech therapist come to observe him and provide further testing to make sure that Harry is on the
right track in his speech. Lastly, I think that it is important to note that Harry’s comprehension of the story was
excellent. Harry was able to answer all of the questions about the story and was able to talk more about the
character from the story. Although Harry made some errors, he was still able to understand the book quite
nicely. I am very curious to see how Harry would perform at the next reading level. My CT, Ms. McGonagall,
chose the book “Look at me” for me and I think that it is a good level for Harry to be at the moment because his
accuracy rate of 93.75% is at the Instructional level (Bollinger, 2018). It is important to perform running records
so that teachers know what books will challenge students as well as allowing them to learn. Running Records
are good indicators of what objectives the student has and hasn’t met. According to the Virginia Department of
Education, Kindergarten students will be able to “demonstrate an understanding that print conveys meaning,
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develop an understanding of basic phonetic principles, expand vocabulary, and demonstrate comprehension of
texts” (Virginia Department of Education, 2010). This is another reason why Reading Records are so important
and is a great tool that teachers should take
advantage of because it allows such an insight
into what reading level the student is at. This
was the first reading record that I have
performed and I thought it went really well.
I’m now more curious to see how Harry
performs at the next level.

Rhyming Assessment:
I chose to perform a Rhyming Assessment on Harry because I have never seen the students in Ms.
McGonagall’s class work on rhyme recognition. According to the Virginia Department of Education, “The
student will identify, say, segment, and blend various units of speech sounds such as identifying and producing
words that rhyme” (Virginia Department of Education, 2010).
Due to the fact that rhyme recognition is an objective for Kindergarten, I was very curious to see what Harry
knew about rhyming. After performing the assessment that is presented above, it is clear that Harry does very
well on rhyme recognition. However, for question 9, when asking Harry if the words yell and tell rhyme he
stated, “I’m not sure...Let’s mystery mark it.” I found this to be extremely interesting how he asked me to
“mystery mark” what he didn’t know. After I finished the last question, I then went back to question number 9
and said the two words again. Harry immediately answered, “Yes, yell and tell rhyme.” I think for question 9,
Harry maybe got distracted the first time when I was telling him the two words and he didn’t know what to say.
However, when I went back again and repeated the two words he immediately was able to get the right answer.
For this assessment, it is clear that Harry does a great job on rhyme recognition. To further his rhyme
recognition, I would be curious to observe his phonic awareness rather than him phonemic awareness. I think
that words sorts would be great for him and be the next step in rhyme recognition.

Summary:
Overall, I think that Harry provided proficient results for his reading record and rhyme recognition assessment,
which can result in Harry moving to the next level in both of these areas. For reading, I think that Harry should
move up to level to of the Rigby assessment since he provided such a good accuracy rate. For rhyme
recognition, I think that Harry would benefit from word sorts. In this assessment I told the words to Harry to tell
me if they rhymed, I think that the next step would be for Harry to work on his phonic awareness by seeing if
words have the same endings. Lastly, I think that Harry needs extra help in spelling since he is considered to
still be in the Late Emergent Stage. For spelling, I think that Harry would benefit from practicing more reading
and writing. The more the student reads and writes, the better they will be at spelling words. According to
Louisa Moats, “As children gain exposure to print, practice writing, and become even more aware of the sounds
in words, they begin to recognize and recall larger orthographic patterns and use them to spell other words”
(Moats, 2018). The more practice and exposure a student gets, the better they will become at their spelling and
phonemic awareness. I really learned a lot from these spelling assessments and I will continue to work with
Harry to help him with the areas that he is struggling in.

Sources:

Bear, D. R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. ((2016). Words Their Way: Word study for phonics,
vocabulary, and spelling instruction. (6th ed.) Pearson.
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Bollinger, C. (2018, April 4). Fluent Readers & Writers + Spelling Inventories. James Madison University,
Harrisonburg, VA.

Literacy Resources. (2014). Phonemic Awareness Skills Assessment: Kindergarten. Retrieved from:
https://www.literacyresourcesinc.com/assets/1/7/Kindergarten_PA_Assessments.July_2014.pdf

Moats, L. How Children Learn to Spell. (2018). Scholastic. Retrieved from:


https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/how-children-learn-spell/

Virginia Department of Education. (2010). English Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools.
Kindergarten. Retrieved from:
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/english/2010/stds_englishk.pdf