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Reading Assessments for Middle and High School

Reading and Spelling Diagnostic AssessmentsYes, these assessments are free: Phonemic Awareness, Vowel Sounds Phonics, Consonant Sound Phonics, Heart Words, Rimes, Spelling, Fluency. All but the fluency assessment are designed for whole class administration for students ages 8-adult. https://blog.penningtonpublishing.com/…/diagnostic…/

Why are these comprehensive reading assessments free? Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Altruism and Capitalism

As a recently retired reading specialist, I remain passionate about helping older students who struggle with reading. It’s why I went back for my masters degree years ago. I was teaching high school history and English and many kids struggled with the textbook and anthology. I want teachers to have the tools that I have developed to specifically diagnose what students need to learn to become successful readers, irrespective of whether teachers purchase my programs or not.

Some 15 years ago I began this blog to promote my fledgling publishing business. I posted a free download for my Vowel Sounds Phonics Assessment, which was already being used by quite a few school districts in Northern California. I got quite a few sales of my related reading curriculum as a result. It got me thinking. Since I had (and still have) an advertising budget of $0.00, perhaps I should offer all my diagnostic assessments free of charge. My rationale was (and is) if teachers find the assessments to be reliable and valid measurements of their students specific strengths and weaknesses, they will want to buy programs which are perfectly matched to the assessments.

Why are these diagnostic reading assessments labeled in the title of this article, “Reading Assessments for Middle and High School”?

These assessments are actually tailored to students in grades 3-12 and adults, but are ideal for middle and high school. Here’s why. This morning I responded in a Facebook group to an eighth grade reading intervention teacher, looking for a phonemic awareness screener for her classes. (Name changed, of course.)
Josie: Have you all used the PAST with 8th graders?
How long did it take per student? I have like 100 students

After 20 or so responses, arguing the benefits and drawbacks of the PAST phonemic awareness screener, Josie responded to the thread once again:

Josie: But, how long does the PAST take per student? I have like 100 students to test.

I responded, Josie, no one will answer your question; I will. The PAST is terrific, but takes about 5 minutes per student with transitions. Fine for a group of 15 kids in an early-late elementary intervention, but not fine for middle school, high school reading intervention classes of 30 plus each. You would be spending over 8 hours giving the PAST, and your eighth graders would be climbing the walls or destroying them by then.

Let’s get to the real world. As a secondary reading specialist, I developed whole class diagnostic assessments that are quick and easy to give, score, and record and will pinpoint specific areas that need to be mastered. Most include audio files for easy administration; some have Google forms and sheets.
These free assessments are widely used in Northern CA and were developed and revised by a cadre of 23 reading specialists, then field-tested in classrooms. We decided to create our own assessments for two purposes:
1. Even the best teachers could not/would not devote the hours upon hours of class time that individual assessments require. Thus, we developed whole class administration for each test. We compared results to the individual assessments and found no statistically significant differences. For example, we had used the BPST for years, but found that our own whole class assessments produced the same data and saved hours of instructional time per teacher.
2. We wanted the tests to be “teachable.” In other words, we wanted comprehensive, not random sample, assessments to pinpoint mastery and non-mastery. For example, rather than the Qualitative Spelling Inventory assigning a spelling stage for each student, the 102-word Diagnostic Spelling Assessment (23 minutes audio administration) includes all common spelling patterns within each stage to permit teaching to the assessment data.
Intervention Program Science of Reading

The Science of Reading Intervention Program

The Science of Reading Intervention Program: Word Recognition includes explicit, scripted instruction and practice with the 5 Daily Google Slide Activities every reading intervention student needs: 1. Phonemic Awareness and Morphology 2. Blending, Segmenting, and Spelling 3. Sounds and Spellings (including handwriting) 4. Heart Words Practice 5. Sam and Friends Phonics Books (decodables). Plus, digital and printable sound wall cards and speech articulation songs. Print versions are available for all activities. First Half of the Year Program (55 minutes-per-day, 18 weeks)

The Science of Reading Intervention Program: Language Comprehension resources are designed for students who have completed the word recognition program or have demonstrated basic mastery of the alphabetic code and can read with some degree of fluency. The program features the 5 Weekly Language Comprehension Activities: 1. Background Knowledge Mentor Texts 2. Academic Language, Greek and Latin Morphology, Figures of Speech, Connotations, Multiple Meaning Words 3. Syntax in Reading 4. Reading Comprehension Strategies 5. Literacy Knowledge (Narrative and Expository). Second Half of the Year Program (30 minutes-per-day, 18 weeks)

The Science of Reading Intervention Program: Assessment-based Instruction provides diagnostically-based “second chance” instructional resources. The program includes 13 comprehensive assessments and matching instructional resources to fill in the yet-to-be-mastered gaps in phonemic awareness, alphabetic awareness, phonics, fluency (with YouTube modeled readings), Heart Words and Phonics Games, spelling patterns, grammar, usage, and mechanics, syllabication and morphology, executive function shills. Second Half of the Year Program (25 minutes-per-day, 18 weeks)

The Science of Reading Intervention Program BUNDLE ┬áincludes all 3 program components for the comprehensive, state-of-the-art (and science) grades 4-adult full-year program. Scripted, easy-to-teach, no prep, no need for time-consuming (albeit valuable) LETRS training or O-G certification… Learn as you teach and get results NOW for your students. Print to speech with plenty of speech to print instructional components.

Middle and High School ELA Teachers: Get the Diagnostic Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Assessments with Final Exam FREE Resource:

Grammar/Mechanics, Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , ,

  1. Stacey Cummins
    March 20th, 2023 at 19:09 | #1

    I would love to see this assessment

  2. March 21st, 2023 at 05:18 | #2


    Simply click on the red button and I will send to your inbox.


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