To test, or not to test. That is the question that has been at the center of controversial and heated debates regarding testing and the Common Core. Usually the debate is regarding the overassessment of students, but recently in Connecticut, many elementary teachers have been mandated to take a reading “survey”. I am not sure how the working definition of “survey” is different from “test” except that, for now, we are told our scores are not reported to anyone but us.
Many teachers I know are uncomfortable. This side of the testing is a place that many teachers haven’t been for a long time. The language and vocabulary in the questions alone (as can be seen on the practice test for the Foundations of Reading test) are difficult for some teachers to remember offhand. Many teachers were stressed and discouraged.. after all.. what is the difference between phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and phonics? Does a teacher’s confusion between the three on a “survey” mean that he or she doesn’t know how to teach any one of those components? I’m not sure it does. Luckily for me, I recently finished my Master’s Degree in Reading (I guess all that vocabulary/terminology cramming is paying off!)
So… here is a little “cheat sheet”…. as a teacher I guess I should say “study sheet” of vocabulary and reading terminology related to early literacy. I tried to explain the words as understandably as possible. If you’re in need of a refresher for an assessment or even just a sheet to place in the front of a binder for easy reference, click through to download the nice PDF version of my freebie.
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