Monday, November 18, 2013

informal reading inventories

Why IRIs?

Informal Reading Inventories are great, relatively quick ways to get a picture of a student’s reading ability, vocabulary level and comprehension.  I have used both Ekwall/Shanker and Burns/Roe and find that both offer reliable and user-friendly feedback.  It is helpful in choosing subtests in the Woodcock Johnson and correlates with the Phonolgical Awareness Skills Survey (PASS).  Here is why, as a therapist, you should be adding them to your toolbox, if you haven’t already:

~ assess reading (comprehension, word identification, miscues, fluency)

~ gain understanding of a standardized test score
~ student's classroom performance
~ inform teacher about strategies student already uses
~ determine reading levels to assign appropriate reading materials
~ design a personalized program (gives you that starting point immediately)
~ screen for possible referral for psychoeducational assessment
~ communicate with parents
~ portfolio to document literary development of students
~ document changes in fluency, word identification and other reading behaviours
~ estimate student reading level to suggest place to begin reading instruction
~ gather information on how a student uses a wide range of reading strategies
~ should be used along with other tests, observations and samples of student work to make    informed decisions about student’s reading (IRIs are not high-stakes assessments)

The main purpose is to allow observations about student reading behaviour, especially when we need to know what the appropriate instructional reading level should be.  Therapists, (teachers and parents, too) like to know where the students are at, and then take them just slightly above … making a therapy session not too easy, and not too hard that they get frustrated. 

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