I discussed how assessing a child's different reading levels can be helpful in this post. Today I'm posting about some resources that I've used and a new one I'm excited about using. As I said in the other post, you really can do this!
I have 2 r-e-a-l-l-y old ones from 1989 that I have used extensively. They are easy to administer and still useful but now there are up to date revised editions of the same listed beside them. I have a few newer ones as well.
Basically, you give a word list to find a starting place for the administering the actual passages. Then you do the oral passages (and mark their oral miscues) along with their corresponding comprehension questions until you reach the frustration level. Next you administer the silent passages with their corresponding comprehension questions. If you want to get their "potential" reading level you then administer passages in which you read aloud to them and they answer comprehension questions. The manuals tell you specifically how to administer and score the instruments. Most informal reading inventories will have forms A, B, and C.
One of my ancient IRIs is:
Analytical Reading Inventory (4th Ed) by M.L. Woods and A.J. Moe (1989!). I found an updated edition here (2006) but have only used the old one. The new one includes 2 CDs - one is instructional and the other has support materials. There is an even newer edition here
My old one has Forms A, B, C AND Forms S (Science) and SS (Social Studies) for content area assessment. On the other hand, the print is rather small for the early reader passages. There is a handy reference list in the back with resources for different reading difficulties. It has levels Primer through Grade 9. I'm guessing that the updated ones have better print but would have to see it.
Another that I've used much more than the above:
Informal Reading Inventory by Burns and Roe (1989 also!). I found an updated edition here
(2006). According to the book description, "Unique to this text are its K-12 scope and its abundant strategies for assessing students' vocabulary, phonics, and comprehension of text." If you go to the Look Inside part of the link you can see that it has a book list for each level and a section on selecting books to support the reading levels.
The type is more appropriate and it has Forms A, B, C, and D. I've probably used this one the most. It is clear, clean, and easy to administer. This has levels Pre-Primer through 12. I would love to see the newer version since I used the old one so much.
A newer one that I have used and that was required by a local university for the Reading Assessment class I taught years ago:
Qualitative Reading Inventory-3
(QRI-3) by L. Leslie and J. Caldwell (2001... see? I'm slowly catching up with the modern age!). The newer edition is the QRI-5 found here
I liked learning to use this instrument and have used this as my first choice in recent years. I have mixed feelings about the illustrations for the younger passages because of the visual clues within the illustrations, although I'm not sure if the newest edition includes these.
It incorporates a 'retelling scoring sheet' for each passage to check off items if the child includes them in their retell. This part may be helpful but is optional and not a part of the actual analysis for scoring. The levels in this instrument are Pre-Primer, Primer, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Upper Middle School, and High School.
This instrument has several forms but they are all grouped together; for example, all Pre-Primer selections are together instead of all levels of Form A (like in the previous instruments). Actually, it has 5 forms for Pre-Primer and Primer, One, Two, Three; 6 for Levels Four, Five, and Six; 6 in Upper Middle School; and 3 stories divided into 9 sections total in High School.
It's currently 30% off for the newest edition but it's still pricey at about $50 (new or used). If I wanted this one but was cutting corners, the 3rd edition is still very helpful and there are some used copies for less than $1.
A new instrument that I investigated over the summer that looks promising is:
Comprehensive Reading Inventory: Measuring Reading Development in Regular and Special Education Classrooms by R.B. Cooter, Jr., E.S. Flynt, and K.S. Cooter (2007). There is a 2006 version here
It has Forms A, B, C, and D. It uses sentences instead of word lists for initial passage selection. There are levels Pre-Primer through 9 for Forms A and B; and levels 1-9 for Forms C and D.
"Alphabetics Assessments" are included that should be very useful for working with early readers. It includes phonemic awareness, letter naming, phonics, and vocabulary assessments. I think it could assist targeted instruction or provide a baseline.
A training audio DVD is included, as well as a CD with additional resources. On the CD table of contents listed in the book there are Spanish versions for levels PP-9 (Forms A and B) and 1-9 (Form c) as well as 10-12 (Form D in the Spanish version). Also included in the CD are levels 10-12 in English (Form E) but only one for each level.
Another plus for this instrument is an "If-Then" section in which strategies and resources are given for certain skills. They also include a list of high frequency words to test and teach.
Here are the newer editions mentioned above:
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