Repeat visitors to my blog know that several different posts since 2009 have explored the topic of screening our youngest students (K-2) through the use of interview assessments rather than waiting until students are proficient at taking multiple choice tests. That led to my sharing on this blog site, and in printed articles in The Oregon Mathematics Teacher (TOMT) magazine, a series of articles that dealt with the topic of interview assessments. After several years of trying out many variations with lots of students at the k-2 level, I was finally able to narrow down to 3 or 4 questions at each grade level that seemed to give the best indicators of students who would struggle in math.
A recent message from Jenny Carloni, a teacher in Roseburg, Oregon has me devoting yet another entry to this topic.
Hello Ms. Cooke,
I’ve been reading about your screening assessments in TOMT. I have an incoming third grade class. What would you recommend as a good beginning-of-the-year screener to identify their basic mathematical understanding? I’ll appreciate anything you send my way.
Jenny Carloni, 3rd Grade Teacher
In response to Jennifer’s message, I am uploading to this blog the most current versions of my K_2 Screening Assessment.
The assessment scripts and record sheets have been tweaked since they were published in TOMT. Part of the reason for that is because I wanted the score points to better reflect the transition from the Oregon 2007 standards (based on NCTM’s Curriculum Focal Points) with our current adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS). To explain a bit further what I mean, the descriptor for the score point to give a student a 1 based on his or her response to the interview question, is aligned to the level where our current 2007 standards are set. The score point to give a 2 based on the student’s answer, has been aligned to the 2011 adoption of CCSS mathematics standards. Also, the more we try these interview questions out with students, the more the language of the scripts is refined.
Included in this upload, is the screening tool that was designed for high achievers to see how high they could fly. These students need an appropriate intervention just as much as the students who struggle in math and this assessment helps document how much higher a level they are operating at. This assessment hasn’t been published anywhere else so you , my blog readers, are seeing it for the first time.
The score points you ill see described at the bottom of each interview question on the Extension Screening Assessment are based on the standards for second graders at the end of the year. This means they could also be appropriate for 3rd graders at the beginning of the year. As mentioned in previous writing on this topic, I find that oral interviews give different information to help understand what students are thinking and where their gaps might be. Because we are only asking 3-4 questions, they can be administered in a reasonable amount of time. We were able to assess our whole school this fall within the first 3 weeks of school by tagging the interview questions onto the structure of the DIBELS (The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessments that measure the acquisition of early literacy skills) assessments that we do each fall with every student in school to establish a baseline for demonstrating reading progress through the year. One other teacher and I interviewed all first and second grade students (mornings only since I only work half time at my school) and in November we will train assistants to interview our kindergarten students. That is why the scripts are so important. They help insure consistency in the interview and recording process. I am now in the process of putting together some video clips that help with training others to do these assessments. Probably you’ll see more about that in upcoming blogs, too.
In addition, all our 2nd-5th grade students took a multiple-choice type of assessment and we are looking at that information along with OAKS data to help set up interventions for our older students. In addition to the hour of CORE math instruction each student receives, we have set up a 4o minute time elsewhere in the daily schedule for students to receive interventions based around filling the gaps. The more data to consider the better, as we begin to make our decisions about what math interventions we should focus on this fall and to whom they should be delivered.