The Non-Fiction Reading Assessment is a formative assessment tool that reflects our students abilities to comprehend what they read. The entire process coincides with our Responsive Literacy Framework. We can use the NFRA as a starting point to find where our students are at and use it to plan and to support the diverse needs of our learners and then monitor the ongoing development of our students' comprehension skills and strategies. The Non Fiction Reading Assessment can follow the following stages of our Responsive Literacy Framework:
Interactive Read alouds
Interactive read alouds are where the teacher reads a selected text TO the students, occasionally pausing for describing thought processes and open conversation. Students are asked to think about, talk about and respond to the text as they process the language, ideas and meaning. Start with introducing the text and the teacher can check background knowledge and ask for predictions to activate thinking. Read the text aloud and stop from time to time to have brief conversations about the thinking involved with the process of reading. Invite students to discuss the text and reflect on the meaning. If applicable, the teacher can ask the students to respond to the text to enhance understanding and appreciation.
Shared reading is when we read a text aloud WITH students and provide opportunities to expand their reading competencies. During shared reading, the text is meant to be read multiple times so students notice more about the text as they build language skills and vocabulary; engage in expressive meaningful and fluent reading; and develop all aspects of the reading process. Introduce the text to engage students’ interest. Model reading of the text and read the text again together. Guide the conversation about meaning and language and encourage students to share their thinking. Select teaching points to revisit and repeat the reading again on subsequent days as the teacher supports the students toward becoming independent readers.
Guided reading is when students read in small groups read text independently and the teacher provides support in developing comprehension strategies as students develop their individual processing system. Guided reading can provide context for responsive teaching, allows students to engage with a variety of texts and helps them learn to think like proficient readers. The process requires small groups of students at a similar point in their reading development. Each student reads softly or silently, and the teacher guides a discussion around the meaning of the text and through observation, they use teaching points to further the students skills. As an option, students may extend their understanding though writing or other demonstrations.
Independent reading and Conferring
Independent reading is where a student reads books of their choosing for an extended period. Mini lessons or conferring can offer opportunities to shar thinking and support the growth of their reading competencies. Students develop attitudes, tasks and habits as readers; they self select and discuss interests; they build stamina; and it creates an opportunity to demonstrate the growth in their reading skills. Teachers gather information by conferring with students as they engage in conversations together. The conference enables the teacher to understand how a reader is processing and provide customized instruction.
We have put together a page about the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment kit. You will find introductory videos, a how to kit and links to various pertinent web pages.
We have gathered a series of templates and learning experiences for a number of the comprehension and writing strategies to use with the Non Fiction Reading Assessment or as tools for further skill development.