This is a test

Choose which student scored higher overall on their End of Year (EOY) mClass benchmark tests. 

Student 1

Book level C (benchmark goal for kindergarten is level D)

Retell: 3/3 points

Sight words: 39

Letter identification: 27/one minute

Phoneme segmentation: 27/one minute (goal 40)

Nonsense word fluency: 31 sounds/one minute (goal 28)

Student 2 

Book level: RB (equivalent to level A – tests “reading behaviors” She can indicate title, use left-right directionality, use return sweep, maintain language pattern and use of picture support. She cannot track print with 1:1 matching).

Retell: Not a task at this level.

Sight words: 1 – the word I

Letter identification: 47/one minute

Phoneme segmentation: 12/one minute

Nonsense word fluency: 41 sounds/one minute

Your score

If you chose student 1, you failed this test.

Student 2 had a composite score of 100 and student 1 had a composite score of 84. Student 2 ended the year in the yellow zone (The Composite Score indicates the student will likely need Strategic Support). Student 1 ended the year in the red zone (The Composite Score indicates the student will likely need Intensive Support). The parenthetical statements are direct quotes from mClass/Amplify.

What the tests don’t tell you.

Student 1 has spoken English his entire life. He has been in my kindergarten class since the first day last August. He hasn’t missed any school days, nor has he ever been tardy. He has a huge vocabulary, but he has difficulty with processing his thoughts. Student 1 works on these issues with a speech therapist on a weekly basis. He takes his time when he sounds out words. He thinks before he speaks. He is a careful, capable, excited reader. Student 1 gets very confused by phoneme segmentation task due to his processing issue. He seems to be unable to remember the word as it is told to him. The word “metal” might be segmented as /m/ /ar/ /k/ /er/. When the task is slowed down and the words are repeated to him several times, he is fully capable of segmenting each word correctly.

Student 2 speaks very little English. Her native language is Hmong and that is the only language spoken in her home. She enrolled in our school at the end of January after attending kindergarten in a different district. She has missed many days of school and is significantly late at least 2 out of every 5 days of school. Student 2 has very little English vocabulary. She has much difficulty articulating her needs and responses to questions, even with lots of help. She is happy student, but does not like doing any school work. As an aside, she can only count to 5 despite working extensively on counting for the past several months. Student 2 does know the sound that each alphabet letter makes and this has helped her to succeed at letter naming and nonsense word tasks. She does not yet attempt to sound out words. Segmenting is impossible for this student even if the task is slowed down. She hears first sounds and nothing beyond the first sound. This is typical of the early emergent stage of reading development.

All of those things that the tests don’t tell you is what I know about my students. I didn’t need mClass tests – benchmark and/or progress monitoring – to tell me any of this. I know these things because i know my students. I talk to them. I watch them. I talk to them some more. I try strategies with them. I adjust what we do to meet their needs. And we read LOTS of books together.

Is Student 2 a better reader? Not yet.

Do both these students need support as readers? Of course, they do!

Is this a contest between my students? Not at all.

Do these scores say anything about me as a teacher when the results are so utterly ridiculous? My state says, yes, they define me.


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