Teacher with StuidentsPop quiz! What do you do when you’re staring down a pile of winter assessment data?
a) run away
b) procrastinate on social media
c) allow Read Naturally to help you
d) all of the above

We’ll count both c and d as correct. Procrastinate a little if you must, but we hope the tips and resources in this blog post will make you eager to jump right in.

One of our favorite things to do with winter assessment data is to determine students’ average weekly improvement (AWI) between fall and winter. This week-by-week progress can be compared to normed AWI statistics to reveal whether your students are on track to reach their fluency goals. 

To determine your students’ AWI, simply subtract the fall assessment score from the winter assessment score, and divide that number by the number of weeks between assessments. Next, refer to the AWI table below. The last column of this table shows the AWI for students based on the Hasbrouck & Tindal oral reading fluency norms*. Find the number closest to the student’s first WCPM score for the year in the table; then compare the student’s AWI to the AWI in that row. Keep in mind that if the student is at a lower performance level, you want the student to exceed the AWI gains listed in the table in order to move to a higher performance level.

Average Weekly Improvement (AWI) Table
Grade Percentile Fall WCPM Winter WCPM Spring WCPM Avg. Weekly Improvement
1 80
60
40
10
1




55
29
18
6
0
90
64
43
15
1
2.2
2.2
1.6
0.6
0.1
2 80
60
40
10
1
86
62
41
11
0
107
84
61
18
1
124
100
79
31
3
1.2
1.2
1.2
0.6
0.1
3 80
60
40
10
1
107
82
61
21
2
127
102
82
36
4
143
118
96
48
9
1.1
1.1
1.1
0.8
0.2
4 80
60
40
10
1
126
103
84
45
10
146
122
103
61
16
160
134
113
72
19
1.1
1.0
0.9
0.8
0.3
5 80
60
40
10
1
147
121
101
61
15
163
137
116
74
22
175
150
127
83
27
0.9
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.4
6 80
60
40
10
1
160
137
115
68
22
175
150
130
82
26
185
161
140
93
36
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.4
7 80
60
40
10
1
162
138
118
79
34
173
147
127
88
35
184
160
140
98
48
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.4
8 80
60
40
10
1
168
145
124
77
32
180
155
135
84
36
183
161
142
97
51
0.5
0.5
0.6
0.6
0.6

This table is based on data collected in a study by Jan Hasbrouck and Gerald Tindal (2006. Oral reading fluency norms: A valuable assessment tool for reading teachers. The Reading Teacher. 59 (7), 636-644.)
*Note that the AWI values displayed in this table assume the recommended 16 weeks between testing sessions.

In addition to calculating AWI, it is useful to use fall and winter assessment data to set spring targets. Some school districts have predetermined spring targets for students, but many teachers set these targets themselves. To set a spring target for an individual student, follow these steps:

  1. Determine how many words correct per minute (WCPM) you expect your student to gain each week. Use the AWI table as a guide, but keep in mind that the AWI column shows how your student must perform to stay at the same percentile ranking. If your student is at a low WCPM, you want the student to exceed the gains in the AWI column in order to move to a higher percentile ranking.
  2. Multiply this number by the number of weeks between the fall and spring or winter and spring assessments.
  3. Add the number you calculated in step 2 to the student’s score on the fall or winter assessment. This number is the student’s target for the spring assessment. 
  4. To make sure the student is working toward grade-level proficiency, compare the number you calculated in step 3 to the long-term benchmark goal for the student according to the Hasbrouck-Tindal Oral Reading Fluency Norms. The student’s long-term benchmark goal is to read unpracticed, grade-level material accurately, expressively, with understanding, and at a rate that is at least at the 50th percentile of national norms.

Consider the following example. Let’s say there are 34 weeks between the fall assessment and the planned spring assessment. Your student’s fall assessment score is 63 WCPM, and you expect him to gain 1.2 WCPM per week. To set his spring target, multiply 1.2 by 34, and round to the nearest whole number to get 41. This number indicates that you can expect a growth of 41 WCPM between the fall and spring assessments. To set the spring target, add 41 to the fall assessment score of 63. This student’s spring target is 104 WCPM. If the student is in first, second, or third grade, this is an acceptable spring target as shown by the spring WCPM scores on the Hasbrouck-Tindal Table. It may also be an acceptable spring target for students in higher grades, because weekly improvement gains are typically less than 1.2 words per week in grades three through eight. Some students need more than one year of fluency training before reaching grade-level proficiency, even if they are making good AWI gains.

We hope this year’s winter assessment data illuminates a bright path forward if your students keep up their hard work. If you’re not seeing the progress you expected, we are here to help you troubleshoot. And if your students are making impressive gains, we’d love to hear about it. Check out last week’s blog post for ideas on how to celebrate your students’ success.