First I apologize that this topic isn’t Daily5 - but it has to do with primary teachers being present in the classroom and consistency with instruction.

We are being told by Administration that we must formally assess all of our students in December. We use the F & P reading assessment and it is a very timely assessment. Text leveling at this stage takes a lot of time. We cannot give these assessments in the classroom to be fair to the student. Sooo my question is how do other primary teachers feel and deal with this? Thank you!






Our school allows upper grades (3-5) to take an “in house” day by providing a sub while the teachers assess. True, you probably can’t still get everyone done in one day, you could certainly get a chunk done. Seems like your admin should be willing to do this, since they set the timeline for assessments :). (Most of our first & second grade teachers want to do the kids in the room, and feel like they can work it into Daily 5 time–yes, conferring suffers a bit, but the kids will survive.)

Terry Pike

Our building allows for one day with a sub in the first month of school and a day and a half the last month of school. Our grade level (1st) has created a shared sub plan related to our science unit so that the sub time is beneficial to the students and does not create an added burden to the teachers. Although we would like to be in the room with the students, this one-on-one time to truly focus on each child is so important for connecting with them as individuals and readers at the beginning of the year, and at the end of the year gives important feedback on their learning and our teaching, and is shared with the second grade teachers. The mid-year evals are done in the room, on our own. Also, I find this information is important to have to compare with the DIBELS results, which happens at about the same time and is administered by other staff.

Sharon Fournier

Thanks for your responses. We have subs in our rooms and do the student assessments ourselves for the last 7 plus years. My question is when we are doing individual conferences and guided reading, running records on an almost daily basis. Doing the POA F&P assessment does not truly give me any new information. But with everyone needing data we have to do the assessment. I have a couple questions - people tell me that teachers get so much information from doing the assessments themselves, I’m not seeing that. If someone could enlighten me to what new information they gain from doing the 1-3 times a year assessment, I would appreciate it.
Secondly - we (teachers) are researching the idea of having recently retired primary teacher (which we have 4 interested teachers) that could do these (one time assessments) objectively. Especially during this time of year that is a very stressful time of year. These retired teachers have been subs in the classroom so the students are familiar with them. It would also provide a consistent and objective data in the middle of the year.
We (teachers) would like more time to teach in the classroom and to remain in our classrooms. We take most of December to assess Literacy and then 2 more weeks in Jan for math. Almost 2 whole months of time that we could be teaching instead we are assessing.
Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Apologize for such a long entry. Thank you!!


I think we all feel your pain! I do feel like I get info from the assessments, though. (We use a combination of F&P, DRA and Rigby PM Benchmarks). If you’re testing to get the instructional level, I think analyzing the miscues tells me a lot about what strategies they truly have, and which I need to reinforce or teach. I try to make notes about strategies I see kids use as they are reading to book for the first time. True, you can gain much of the same info from daily RR, if you’re really looking at the miscues. As a reading specialist, I sometimes see teachers do RR, but just to get the accuracy score–not really checking miscues and strategies used and needed.
I’m sure your retired teachers have lots of good qualities, and maybe you could let them do the assessments on your proficient readers to help support you. However, no one knows your kids like you do, and I think it’s very important for you to do the assessments on your strugglers. A think a lot of “nuances” happen during the time you’re one on one assessing, and other teachers may not catch them.
Certainly, I don’t have the “silver bullet” answers–these are just my thoughts about your concerns. Good discussion to keep going! Anxious to hear others’ responses.

terri harding

I don’t have the option of having a sub come while I do my F&P assessment, and those are the only formal assessments that we do for reading.
What I do is make my Daily 5 a Teacher’s choice day, and my class knows that means I will be allowing them a bit extra during Read to Self, and they cheer when they find out.
I make sure I take my “little wiggler” to test before he has too much sitting still time, and then when I continue on day two I make sure he has very good fit books, a great choice place to sit- for him that is inside of our “little wiggler” pup tent. We use a pup tent to block his view of the other students and their view of him. The door is open towards my table so I can see what he is up to, and this was my students idea.
I get a lot from the F&P assessment and not only about miscues. Both the fluency and comprehension pieces are really important to my students because they are all ESL and will often be excellent at decoding the word, but blast through a passage without paying any mind to punctuation or phrasing. As a result they might have no miscues at all, but have no clue what it means.
I think its very important and guiding to my practice to be able to test my kids myself. I use the information I gain to help them with their goal setting, and my own planning about who needs more 1-1 time or to be checked in on more often.
Great question!

Sharon Fournier

Thank you! I’m still wondering, if we are doing running records and using them as teaching points along with guided reading every day…what new information do you get from doing the “formal” assessment? Would it not be more beneficial to get an “objective” person to do the mid year “formal” to get another perspective? I look at the data afterwards and to be really honest I don’t find anything new.
It is a mute point anyways as our admin stated yesterday…not happening. So thanks for your input and listening to my rant


Actually, we do pair up teachers to do the mid and end of the year assessments–we talked about how looking at other’s findings are important to compare to the classroom teachers’ findings.

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