Fountas And Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System English Language Essay

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System, created by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, is designed to place students appropriately into a guided reading program, show the gains in student achievement, progress monitoring and identify students in need of intervention (those who are not meeting the district's proficiency levels). In short, it relates reading ability. The sub-contents addressed include: Word Analysis Skills, Reading Strategies, Comprehending Reading Materials, Literary Elements and Techniques and Literary Works.

The test consists primarily of running records, in which the teacher records oral fluency, reading errors and self-correction ratios. In addition, it is followed by a retelling and comprehension conversation between the student and teacher. Finally a writing prompt (optional) is given to the student. The test is administered in kindergarten through eighth grade at the end of each quarter. The assessment usually takes twenty to thirty minutes. Specific features of the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System allow you to determine your students' independent and instructional reading levels, group students for reading instruction, select texts that will be productive for a student's instruction, assess the outcomes of teaching, assess a new student's reading level for independent reading and instruction, identify students who need intervention and extra help, document student progress across a school year and across grade levels, create class profiles and inform parents.

In addition to an accuracy percentage, reading rate, self-correction rate and fluency score, the assessment has a "Comprehension Conversation" that completes the assessment procedures. Students are required to read a text and to have this comprehension conversation, with specific prompts to obtain key understandings for three kinds of thinking- Thinking Within the Text (getting the literal meaning by processing words and stated ideas), Thinking Beyond the Text (getting the implied meaning and synthesizing information) and Thinking About the Text (responding to the author's craft). The basic content covered includes reading accuracy, reading comprehension, reading fluency and self-correction ratio.

This assessment can be used both formatively and summatively. It is a standardized, teacher-administered, one-on-one assessment; it is hand-scored by the teacher. The assessment should be administered by classroom teacher after they have been trained to administer the test in a standardized way. This decreases the occurrence of mistakes in administration. It will result in obtaining standardized results.

The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment is based on research in language development, vocabulary expansion, reading acquisition, and reading difficulties. It assesses five elements of reading addressed by the National Reading Panel as fundamental to student success in literacy acquisition. These areas are: phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The assessment also addresses student motivation and interest in overall reading.

According to the official field study document of the assessment - The field data were collected systematically and analyzed on an ongoing basis to determine the program's achievement of its objectives. Reports were developed and used as a basis for determining the soundness, complexities, and utility of the program. Due to the process incorporating ongoing feedback gathered by field-test examiners, the program authors and developers were able to make informed decisions regarding adjustments and refinements. At the conclusion of the field study, an independent data-analysis team was brought in to evaluate the program's reliability and validity. This formative research was conducted in two phases. Phase I of the study addressed research questions 1 and 2; Phase II addressed research question 3. Prior to the formative evaluation, an editorial process was used to establish the text leveling.

Field testing included a total of 497 students spanning grades K-8. Field testing of System 1 included 252 students and System 2 included 245 students. School sites from which these students were drawn were socioeconomically, ethnically, and geographically diverse. The research goal was to identify "typical students." Accordingly, students were selected on the basis of their ability to read and understand texts that were written approximately at grade level or above. Participants were also proficient speakers of English.

Each field test examiner determined an individual student's eligibility after discussing his or her reading profile with their respective teachers. Thirteen field-test examiners were selected. All field-test examiners were educators who had extensive training in administering running records and in using other forms of benchmark assessments to assess students' reading levels. Field-test examiners were not affiliated with the field sites and therefore could be objective in both identifying students and in administering assessments. Prior to the beginning of the field testing, a two-day intensive training session led by the authors, guided the field-test examiners in the formative evaluation's protocols and procedures. A total of 22 different schools participated in field testing of either System 1 or System 2 (some schools participated in both field tests). Field testing took place across the following geographic regions of the United States: Boston Metropolitan area 1 examiner; 1 school / Providence, Rhode Island 1 examiner; 2 schools / Houston Metropolitan area 2 examiners; 5 schools / Los Angeles area 4 examiners; 6 schools / Columbus, OH, area 3 examiners; 5 schools / Orlando, FL, area 2 examiners; 3 schools. (Field Study of Reliability and Validity of the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems 1 and 2).

Assessment Appearance and Content

The assessment includes two options of books for each level System 1 (Grades K-2, Levels A-N) contains 28 Books (14 Fiction and 14 Nonfiction) and System 2 (Grades 3-8, Levels L-Z) contains 30 Books (15 Fiction and 15 Nonfiction). The Fountas and Pinnell levels gradient is a defined continuum of characteristics related to the level of support and challenges that a reader meets in a text. At each level (A to Z) texts are analyzed using ten characteristics: (1) genre/form; (2) text structure; (3) content; (4) themes and ideas; (5) language and literary features; (6) sentence complexity; (7) vocabulary; (8) word difficulty; (9) illustrations/graphics; and (10) book and print features. Texts are leveled using a highly reliable process in which teams of trained teachers, working independently and then through consensus, assign a level to books after analyzing them according to the ten factors. They are then analyzed by Fountas and Pinnell. The benchmark books were actually created to precisely match the gradient, and they were independently analyzed using the same process.

The student's appropriate reading level for the assessment to be administered is based in the student's current guided reading level, or can be determined by a "Where to Start" word list that was developed by the authors to assist examiners in quickly placing a student at his or her appropriate reading level. Next, the administer is to assess the student's ability to read and comprehend three levels of books. They are to determine one book that is easy - the student's independent reading level; one book that offered just enough difficult vocabulary and/or concepts to make the reading interesting and challenging - , the student's instructional reading level; and a third book that was too challenging - the student's hard reading level. Accuracy of reading guidelines, consistent with Fountas and Pinnell's framework (2006b), is as follows: independent level (95-100 percent accuracy); instructional level (90-94 percent accuracy), and hard level (below 90 percent accuracy).

The assessment should be given in the classroom or other familiar setting. A reasonably quiet and comfortable environment is necessary so that distractions do not interfere with the assessment. All materials should be ready to go and easily accessible to the teacher. If the student seems to be getting frustrated after reading one or two texts, it may be necessary to stop the assessment and begin at a later time.

Each of the areas assessed relates to the content and sub-content (in various levels) taught to kindergarten through eighth grade students during their literacy block. The Benchmark Assessment System allows the educator to engage in diagnosis of a variety of sub-skills. It is designed to measure progress in each of the sub-skills in a way that informs instruction. It is linked to a continuum of observable behaviors to assess and teach for at every level. Each teacher in grades kindergarten through eighth grade has a copy of the continuum. The assessment format is similar to the informal assessments (running records and conferring with readers) used in the classroom. These informal assessments are used periodically throughout the quarter. The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System does require a more in-depth conversation than traditional classroom conferences.

The student's fluency level is also assessed using the following criteria: Readers phrase or group words, through intonation, stress, and pauses. They emphasize the beginnings and endings of phrases by the rising and falling of pitch or by pausing. Students adhere to the author's syntax or sentence structure, reflecting their comprehension. Readers are expressive; their reading reflects feeling, anticipation, and character development. Once a student's instructional reading level is determined, the student is engaged in a comprehension conversation about that particular book. If students are unresponsive or give an incomplete response, educators may prompt them according to a predetermined set of questions. Next, the teacher rates the student's understanding of a text using the Fountas and Pinnell comprehension guidelines. The areas are rated on a scale from 0-3: Thinking within the text, thinking beyond the text and thinking about the text.

Evaluating the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System

A review of the benchmark assessment shows no bias towards individuals or groups based on race, ethnicity, gender or disabilities. Students with disabilities are given the assessment that aligns with their individual progress along the literacy continuum and text gradient for the reader. At times, when the fluency level is timed, an educator may note on the side specific speech issues. All other accommodations as mandated by their IEPs are allowed. The assessment is used to determine reading ability, therefore, students with IEPs requiring that test be read for certain circumstance are not allowed this accommodation for the benchmark. The wording and content of the benchmark assessment is predominately age and grade appropriate. However, for students reading extremely below their age or grade level peers, the text may seem immature for their age. The gradient levels of difficulty of the text chosen for the assessment were carefully thought out and field tested.

I feel the content validity of the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System can be improved by adding a more rigorous requirement in the writing about reading area. I do not feel that one prompt adequately show how a student can write about reading. In addition, I feel that as students move into the older grades, that comprehension should be judged more on the students writing about the text than a comprehension conversation. One other area of the assessment could be improved. There are only two books, one fiction and one nonfiction, at each level. This does not give educators much room for error or special education teachers room to reassess at a similar level, identifying strengths in a particular sub-content and not just text level gradient.

There is at least one item per target, with some items having more than one item per target. Some of the sub-content areas did not have a target for each taxonomy level, but with further investigation (into the upper grade Benchmark Assessment, possibly) it would most likely cover each taxonomy level. In addition, each item does belong on the assessment and relates to a specific sub-content area/taxonomy level. The Illinois Reading Standards addressed include: 1.A.1b Comprehend unfamiliar words using context clues and prior knowledge; verify meanings with resource materials, 1.B.1c Continuously check and clarify for understanding (e.g., reread, read ahead, use visual and context clues, ask questions, retell, use meaningful substitutions), 1.B.2d Read age-appropriate material aloud with fluency and accuracy, 1.C.2b Make and support inferences and form interpretations about main themes and topics, 1.C.2d Summarize and make generalizations from content and relate to purpose of material, 1.C.2e Explain how authors and illustrators use text and art to express their ideas (e.g., points of view, design hues, metaphor), 1.C.1f Use information presented in simple tables, maps and charts to form an interpretation, 2.A.2b Describe how literary elements (e.g., theme, character, setting, plot, tone, conflict) are used in literature to create meaning and 2.B.1a Respond to literary materials by connecting them to their own experience and communicate those responses to others.

Classroom Assessment Blueprint and Learning Targets

The classroom assessment blueprint and the list of learning targets appear below. Assessment items and the number of the associated learning target are included in the blueprint.

Remembering

Understanding

Applying

Analyzing

Evaluating

Creating

Total

Targets

Word Analysis Skills

1. Identify the meaning of unfamiliar words using prior knowledge

2. Discover the meaning of unfamiliar words using context clues.

22. Monitors own understanding and accuracy.

20. Constructs literal meaning of the text through solving words.

4

Reading Strategies

4. Reads primarily in larger, meaningful phrases or word groups.

23. Predicts information about the text.

5. Demonstrates fluency by reading using mostly smooth, expressive interpretation and pausing guided by author's meaning and punctuation.

3. Assess and clarify for understanding (e.g., reread, read ahead, use visual and context clues, ask questions, retell, and use meaningful substitutions).

4

Comprehend Reading Materials

6. Recall ideas by reference to details in the text.

18. Identify the main ideas and supporting details of a story or fiction passage.

9. Summarize a story or non-fiction passage.

19. Demonstrate excellent understanding of the text through summarizing. (Includes almost all important information and main ideas.)

10. Demonstrate understanding of characters in a story or non-fiction passage (i.e. through retell).

11. Identify connections with prior knowledge or personal experiences.

25. Infers what is implied but not stated in the text.

22. Monitors own understanding and accuracy.

** Two places**

17. Tell the main idea of a non-fiction paragraph.

27. Write a response about the reading (from given prompt).

10

Literary Elements and Techniques

7. Define setting in a story or fiction passage.

8. Recall sequence of events.

12. Summarize the major events in a narrative.

29. Demonstrate an understanding of the craft and structure of a text (literary language, story structure, perspective, etc.).

16. Distinguish elements of the author's craft.

30. Support knowledge and ideas (and act on them) to include one's thinking by writing in response to text

15. Construct chronological sequence of events after reading a story or fiction passage.

7

Literary Works

24. Identify key details when summarizing a story or non-fiction passage.

28. Remember and report key ideas and details from texts, including understanding characters.

13. Point out the author's purpose.

14. Interpret how the author's purpose affects the interpretation of the reading selection.

26. Tells new information by synthesizing and changing own ideas.

5

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

1. Identify the meaning of unfamiliar words using prior knowledge.

2. Discover the meaning of unfamiliar words using context clues.

3. Assess and clarify for understanding (e.g., reread, read ahead, use visual and context clues, ask questions, retell, and use meaningful substitutions).

4. Reads primarily in larger, meaningful phrases or word groups.

5. Demonstrates fluency by reading using mostly smooth, expressive interpretation and pausing guided by author's meaning and punctuation.

6. Recall ideas by reference to details in the text.

7. Define setting in a story or fiction passage.

8. Recall sequence of events.

9. Summarize a story or non-fiction passage.

10. Demonstrate understanding of characters in a story or non-fiction passage (i.e. through retell).

11. Identify connections with prior knowledge or personal experiences.

12. Summarize the major events in a narrative.

13. Point out the author's purpose.

14. Interpret how the author's purpose affects the interpretation of the reading selection.

15. Construct chronological sequence of events after reading a story or fiction passage.

16. Distinguish elements of the author's craft.

17. Tell the main idea of a non-fiction paragraph.

18. Identify the main ideas and supporting details of a story or fiction passage.

19. Demonstrate excellent understanding of the text through summarizing. (Includes almost all important information and main ideas.)

20. Constructs literal meaning of the text through solving words.

22. Monitors own understanding and accuracy.

23. Predicts information about the text.

24. Identify key details when summarizing a story or non-fiction passage.

25. Infers what is implied but not stated in the text.

26. Tells new information by synthesizing and changing own ideas.

27. Write a response about the reading (from given prompt).

28. Remember and report key ideas and details from texts, including understanding characters.

29. Demonstrate an understanding of the craft and structure of a text (literary language, story structure, perspective, etc.).

30. Support knowledge and ideas (and act on them) to include one's thinking by writing in response to text.

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.