This Year’s Reading and Math Assessments

Just like last year, I gave the kids the reading and math assessments from Let’s Go Learn ordered through Seton.

This year I only did the math assessment (ADAM) for the little boys and reading (DORA) for the three boys (since Ani pretty much maxed it out last year so it wouldn’t have been useful information this year).

Adrian: 7y10m, late 2nd grade
High Frequency Words: mid 2nd
Word Recognition: mid sixth
Phonemic Awareness: 100%
Phonics: mid 4th
Spelling: mid 1st
Oral Vocabulary: late 5th
Reading Comprehension: early 6th
Lexile Measure: 700
Reading Grade Level: 6

Numbers and Operations: late 3rd
Measurement: early 4th
Data Analysis: early 4th
Geometry: early 3rd
Algebraic Thinking: mid 4th
Overall Grade: late 3rd

Adrian made significant gains over the last year in both reading and math. I was most surprised by his reading level. Honestly, since he went on Adderall a month ago, he has soared ahead in reading. I always suspected he could read well. It’s just his performance wasn’t showing what he could do because he was always so distracted. Now that the medicine is helping him concentrate, he can demonstrate what he already could do. His high frequency words score is artificially low. He got all the answers correct on that part, but it is timed and even on medication he still doesn’t always actually write down (or click) the answer as soon as he says it. His math results tell me Math-U-See is working very well for him (he has finished alpha and beta and started gamma this week).

He had to take the reading assessment twice, however, because the first time it took a few tries to click the right spot every time. He’d click the wrong answer and immediately say he clicked the wrong one (part of the problem is one section has flies you click on and one of the four flies moves higher than the others every time and sometimes that’s the right answer and sometimes it is not – and often the moving fly would catch his attention and he’d click it even if he knew it was the wrong answer). Because it is computer adaptive, once he got a certain number in a row wrong it assumed he didn’t know the correct answers. When he got to the spelling section it immediately gave him words like operation, trudge, and curious. Of course he had no idea how to spell those words and he started saying he was a bad speller and didn’t know how to spell anything. After a few words, it switched to me, do, and sit which of course he could spell no problem. The damage was done, however and he was frustrated and not interested in even trying on the reading comprehension portion that followed the spelling portion. So that was quite annoying and, in my opinion, the ridiculous spelling words given first is a flaw in their test (and the moving flies is just dumb, particularly for kids with attention issues). The first time his lexile level was only 300, the same as last year, but I knew that was not correct since last year he was barely sounding out words and this year he is able to read chapter books. So, if you use DORA with your kids, watch for issues like Adrian experienced when you administer it.

Fritz: 9y9m, late 4th grade
High Frequency Words: max (late 3rd)
Word Recognition: mid 10th
Phonics: max (late 4th)
Spelling: late 2nd
Oral Vocabulary: late 6th
Reading Comprehension: late 11th
Lexile Measure: 1200
Reading Grade Level: 11

Numbers and Operations: early 5th
Measurement: late 5th
Data Analysis: late 5th
Geometry: late 3rd
Algebraic Thinking: late 5th
Overall Grade: early 5th

I was completely shocked by Fritz’s reading grade level. His response was to ask if he could read The Hobbit now. Maybe after Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl (that was the first I heard he was interested in reading The Hobbit). His spelling is low, but the important thing is he knew he was spelling the words wrong. He could see that they didn’t look right. This is a bit of a relief (since he has a brother who doesn’t see that words don’t look right). Spelling You See is working perfectly in that he can chunk words when attempting to spell them. He just doesn’t always put the chunks together exactly right. I am sure that will come in time. His math score is a bit surprising because we use Math-U-See. He has done through Delta (division), but won’t start fractions until next school year. Math-U-See’s levels definitely don’t line up with grade levels. The geometry score is low, but that is definitely due to the order MUS teaches things. He had perimeter and area down, but some of the other stuff he hasn’t yet been exposed to. Glancing over his shoulder now and then I noticed that he was successfully figuring out how to do some things in fractions, decimals, and percents even though he hasn’t been actually taught any of those.

Cameron: 14y6m, late 8th grade
High Frequency Words: max (late 3rd)
Word Recognition: mid 12th
Phonics: max (late 4th)
Spelling: early 2nd
Oral Vocabulary: late 11th
Reading Comprehension: late 9th
Lexile Measure: 1000
Reading Grade Level: 9

As much as Cameron dislikes immersion reading, it is obviously working for him. He made quite a gain in reading level this year. I totally attribute that to listening to the audiobook of all of his assigned reading books while seeing the words being spoken highlighted in the ebook on his Fire. Immersion reading is an amazing invention. He is very, very slow at reading, but the fact that he can read that level at all is amazing to me. His spelling is very bad, but that’s no surprise nor do we really expect it to get much better. Using Spelling You See this year has made a big difference, though, in how he spells words wrong. Before his misspellings pretty much made no sense. Now they phonetically do make sense since he is learning and recognizing various chunks and how letters work together.

Once again the kids’ assessments were enlightening. Even though we don’t have to test them, I like to just to see where they are. I’d never have guessed any of the three had made such amazing gains in reading levels over the last year so that information alone makes testing totally worth it.

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