Primary Performance Assessment: Insights from Strategic Prompting

By Barbara A. Marinak, Linda B. Gambrell and Susan A. Mazzoni.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Primary educators are attempting to implement meaningful literacy assessment in an age of high-stakes testing. Mandated tests often prove frustrating because of the decontextualized form in which phonemic awareness, rapid word naming, and phonics are assessed (Goodman, 2006). In addition, teachers report and research indicates that data from such tests does not fully inform instruction (Riedel, 2007). As a result, many early childhood educators continue organizing their instruction based on effective performance measures (Fawson & Reutzel, 2000; Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Walpole, 2000). This practitioner presentation describes strategic prompting, an evidence-based performance framework grounded in diagnostic instruction (Walker, 2008). Specifically, examples of prompts that address higher-order graphaphonic knowledge and strategy use for children reading upper-level guided reading texts (F-M) will be discussed. Students’ responses to these prompts are valuable performance assessments that can be used to immediately inform instruction.

Keywords: Guided Reading, Strategic Prompting, Primary Reading Instruction

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp.147-156. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.431MB).

Dr. Barbara A. Marinak

Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, Penn State Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA, USA

Barbara A. Marinak is Assistant Professor of Education and Graduate Program Coordinator for Literacy at Penn State Harrisburg. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, Dr. Marinak spent over twenty years as a public school educator. Her positions included reading consultant, reading supervisor, elementary curriculum supervisor, and acting superintendent. Dr. Marinak’s research interests include informational text, reading motivation, and the observation and supervision of literacy instruction. She has published in numerous journals including The Reading Teacher, Literacy Research and Instruction, and the Yearbook of the College Reading Association. Her dissertation received the College Reading Association’s Dissertation Award in 2005.

Linda B. Gambrell

Distinguished Professor, Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA

Linda B. Gambrell, a professor of education in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University, is past president of the International Reading Association. Gambrell served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association from 1992–1995 and, in 1998, she received the IRA Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award. In 2004, she was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame. Dr. Gambrell’s research interests include reading motivation and reading comprehension.

Susan A. Mazzoni

Literacy Consultant, University of Maryland College Park, Baltimore, MD, USA

Susan A. Mazzoni is a Literacy Coach/Consultant. She has a Masters degree in Reading Education from University of Maryland College Park. Her work focuses on effective practices in guided reading, motivation, and cross-cultural perspectives. She has published articles on these and other topics in The Reading Teacher and Reading Psychology. As an in-service training provider, Ms. Mazzoni specializes in guided reading instruction and methods for improving reading comprehension.


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