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How-To: Teach Literacy Instruction and Teacher Collaboration
How To Quantify Reading Progress With A Letter Grade While Teaching In A Reading Workshop  
Sarah Picard


As a reading resources teacher, I measure children's progress in many ways. When I see children begging for the next book in the Horrible Harry series, asking about Henry and Mudge's next adventure, or cheering on Little Willy against Stone Fox, I know I have done something right. However, each quarter those report cards stare me in the face and I am forced to quantify a child's reading progress into a number or letter grade. Each year I wonder how I can do this better. I scratch my head, thinking about ways to communicate progress and assess reading behaviors that are often difficult to quantify.

In an ideal world we could all describe children's progress by describing their ability to use reading strategies independently. But many upper grade teachers need to give grades. My best advice to you is to use rubrics that clearly define reading behaviors to the children and their parents, and then describe the approximations of the behaviors at each point level. I have attached a rubric for independent reading. I have used a version of this rubric with third and fifth grade students. They have told me that it is a useful feedback tool for their own reading. I find it to be easy to check, not too time consuming, and informative for my future teaching.

 

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