A major goal in our class is to learn to assess children's literacy behavior, skills and knowledge, and design appropriate instruction for them based on the assessments. Making connections between assessment and instruction is not easy. It is probably the key to becoming an effective teacher. Looking at how the teachers in the Quest sites made those connections and instructional decisions allowed all of us to be in on the conversations about how to teach literacy.
In the fall, each student carefully documents the literacy understanding of one of the children he or she is teaching. They collect writing and drawing samples. They conduct running records or informal reading inventories. If they are working with preschoolers they conduct a"concepts about print" (Clay, 1993) assessment. They may also interview their subject with regard to reading and writing opinions and preferences. They may tape a child retelling a story or participating in a class discussion. Several times during the semester they bring the data they have collected to discuss with one another. In these clips you see what Brooke, Ben and Ben have observed about their students and the sorts of data they are collecting.
Child Study and lesson planning