Comprehension Assessment : A Classroom Guide book cover
1st Edition

Comprehension Assessment
A Classroom Guide

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ISBN 9781593857073
Published May 15, 2008 by Guilford Press
230 Pages

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Book Description

How can busy teachers successfully manage the complex task of assessing their students' reading comprehension? This invaluable book--the first stand-alone guide on the topic--presents reliable, research-supported guidelines and procedures for K-6 teachers to use in the classroom. Through practical tips and realistic examples, the book demonstrates time-saving ways to implement and adapt a wide range of existing assessments, rather than creating new ones. Also covered are strategies for conducting multiliteracy assessments, using classroom assessment to complement standardized testing, accommodating response-to-intervention mandates, and linking assessment to content-area instruction.

Table of Contents

1. Defining Comprehension: A Difficult Task

2. Defining Assessment: A Four-Step Process

3. Assessing Comprehension: What, How, and for What Purpose

4. Questions: Promises and Pitfalls

5. Open-Ended Assessments: Powerful but Problematic

6. Look Who's Talking: Assessing Comprehension through Student Dialogue

7. Words! Words! Words!: How Can We Assess Word Comprehension?

8. Comprehension Assessment Proxies: Stand-Ins, Not Stars

9. Grading Practices: Taking a New Look at Grading Comprehension

10. Measuring Comprehension through Standardized Tests: An Oxymoron?

11. Using Classroom Comprehension Assessment as a Counterpart to Standardized Assessment: A Possibility or a Pipedream?



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JoAnne Schudt Caldwell, PhD, is a Professor at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is presently the Associate Dean of the College of Education and Leadership. Dr. Caldwell is coauthor, with Lauren Leslie, of The Qualitative Reading Inventory 4, an informal reading inventory, and Intervention Strategies to Follow Informal Reading Inventory Assessment: So What Do I Do Now? She is also an author of Reading Problems: Assessment and Teaching Strategies, with Joyce Holt Jennings and Janet W. Lerner.


"Caldwell offers teachers a logical and comprehensive means for gauging comprehension growth. Using a multidimensional approach that mirrors the ways in which comprehension is fostered, Caldwell lays out a clear argument for moving fluidly between instruction and assessment. Each chapter features information on how to apply these assessment principles within a response-to-intervention program, making it a timely addition to every teacher’s professional library. I recommend this book for graduate-level reading assessment courses."--Nancy Frey, PhD, Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education, San Diego State University

"Caldwell captures the complex nature of comprehension while providing easily accessible examples that are relevant to teachers. Unique to this book is Caldwell’s attention to how educators can use content-free dialogue and think-alouds as part of the comprehension assessment process. This book is a wonderful resource for literacy graduate courses and practicing educators, since Caldwell assists teachers and reading specialists as they make informed comprehension assessment decisions. I will likely use this book in the future for graduate courses."--Katherine Hilden, PhD, School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Radford University

"Caldwell addresses the importance of comprehension assessment and how it can make a positive impact on student achievement. This text will be a valuable resource for school districts and teacher preparation programs focusing on data-driven instruction--a topic at the forefront of district professional development sessions. Literacy specialists and reading coaches also will find this a wonderful resource and a call to change, one that is supportive of pre-, ongoing, and postassessment practices. The book is filled with opportunities for classroom teachers and district leaders to allow assessment to be purposeful. I would recommend using this text in graduate-level coursesfor reading diagnosis and remediation."--Marie Donnantuono, MEd, College of Education, William Paterson University