The Signs for Sounds assessments evaluate a student's ability to spell words with regular spelling patterns. You can use the Signs for Sounds assessments in the following ways:
The Signs for Sounds assessments can also be used to quickly screen a whole group of students for possible weaknesses in phonics. You can use these results to identify students who may need further assessment in decoding.
The Signs for Sounds assessment packet includes assessments for both levels of Signs for Sounds (1 and 2). The two assessments serve the same purpose; however, the formats for the two levels are different.
The assessment packet includes the following information for each Signs for Sounds level:
Students can be tested as a group or individually. Each assessment is designed to be administered in three sessions, and for most groups, this format will provide the most valid results. However, some groups can be given the entire assessment in a single session without becoming tired or frustrated. The teacher may terminate the test when he or she is certain that the remaining words are too difficult for all of the students.
Estimate the skill range of the students you are assessing, and choose the Sounds for Sounds assessment at the level that best matches your estimate. If some students make very few errors on the level 1 assessment, administer the level 2 assessment. Conversely, if some students perform very poorly on the level 2 assessment, administer the level 1 assessment.
To administer either assessment:
Use the following information to score the assessment for the level you administered.
First use the Signs for Sounds assessment results to determine whether a student can benefit from the program. Then use the assessment results to determine whether the student should be placed in Signs for Sounds level 1 or 2:
If a student makes many errors throughout the assessment, place the student in level 1.
If a student makes no errors or very few errors, administer the level 2 assessment to determine whether level 2 is more appropriate.
If a student makes some errors on short and long vowels, consonant blends, and digraphs and makes many errors scattered throughout the rest of the assessment, place the student in level 2. If a student makes many errors on short and long vowels, consonant blends, and digraphs (numbers 1–16), administer the level 1 assessment to determine whether level 1 is more appropriate.
Class planning sheets included in the assessment packet help you organize and plan instruction. Enter the names of the students and mark the lessons that correspond to each student's errors. Use a class planning sheet for the whole class, or to differentiate instruction, form small groups of students with similar needs and use a separate sheet for each group.
On the class planning sheet, you can place students at the beginning of a level or identify another starting lesson within the selected level. Begin instruction with the first lesson that reflects a student error. Teach all of the lessons from that point to the end of the level. If students do not need a specific lesson, skip it.
If a student will be receiving individualized instruction, teach only the specific lessons that correspond to the student's errors on the assessment.
You can also use the Signs for Sounds assessments to monitor student progress and as a pretest or posttest. At any time throughout the program, students can be tested on the items that correspond to the lessons they have completed.
For example, if a student has finished all of the lessons in Signs for Sounds 1 that teach short vowels and long vowel-silent e, administer the portion of the Signs for Sounds 1 assessment that includes those words. The results can be used to confirm mastery of those elements before beginning the lessons that teach consonant blends. If students have difficulty on any skills, repeat the corresponding lessons.
When you use the Signs for Sounds assessments as a pretest and posttest, you can compare results to measure improvement. If students continue to have difficulty on any skills, reteach the corresponding lessons.
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