Assessment

Banner Literacy considers informal evaluations as an important means towards achieving your child’s literacy goals. Evaluations are are intended to augment parental observations, teacher observations, and prior evaluations. Thus, information acquired from your child’s previous history as well as informal assessments becomes particularly helpful when designing instruction. Informal assessments are flexible and can be adapted to obtain a more accurate understanding your child’s performance on a variety of tasks. More importantly, we can focus on how your child engages in the process of completing a particular task. Thus, we investigate various aspects of your child’s performance before, during, and after an evaluation including their strategy use, self-monitoring, and organizational planning. With information obtained from our these initial evaluations, we may also design follow up assessments to further explore specific areas of concern. Once evaluations are completed and instructional approaches have been established, Banner Literacy continues with a diagnostic teaching approach wherein assessment and instruction are integrated in an ongoing process to verify the efficacy of our treatment.

Reading

At the onset of our work with students, we administer an informal reading inventory. An informal reading inventory generally comprises a combination of graded word lists and passages. This assessment, while not exhaustive, provides a glimpse of your child’s word recognition skills and comprehension abilities in both expository and narrative materials.

Word Recognition
Depending on the nature of the evaluation, your child may be asked to read passages both aloud and silently. They may also be required to read passages with different text structures (e.g., narrative and expository).

Text Comprehension
Text comprehension is examined by your child’s responses to different types of questions (e.g., vocabulary, literal, and inferential) as well as text retellings or summaries.

Writing

Written expression is another integral component of literacy development. Growth in this area can facilitate growth in reading and oral language as well.

To determine a child’s strengths and weaknesses in written language, we elicit one or several spontaneous samples as part of our overall evaluation. Depending on our remedial objectives, your child may be asked to write both a narrative and expository composition. These samples are analyzed at various levels including spelling, punctuation, grammar, organization, and ideation. For emergent writers, our focus is primarily on ideation, spelling, and sentence structure.

By investigating a broad spectrum of written expression skills, we are able to plan for individually appropriate instruction.

Spelling

Because we view instruction in spelling and reading as mutually beneficial, it is essential to discern a child’s level of orthographic or spelling knowledge. Therefore, we typically administer a developmental spelling test that is designed to assess the word knowledge your child brings to the tasks of spelling and reading. This test is followed by further evaluations designed by the clinician focusing on common spelling patterns, morphology, and other areas of linguistic knowledge. Spelling ability is also considered in the context of the child’s writing samples.

With data obtained from your child’s spellings, we are able to plan developmentally appropriate spelling instruction in unison with both reading and writing remediation.

Language

Additional aspects of language use impact literacy development as well. Elements of oral expressive language capabilities can be examined through a spontaneous language sample as well as ongoing monitoring of the child’s interactions with the clinician. Receptive language or listening comprehension is informally assessed by reading aloud graded passages and asking the child follow-up factual and inferential questions.

Follow-Up Assessments

Following informal assessments in each area, the clinician analyzes your child’s responses to infer what strategies the child may be using within a specific domain. With this information, the clinician may design additional evaluations in reading, writing, and spelling to more precisely identify where your child is experiencing difficulties.