The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 2 - Page 37



In a conference, the student and teacher determine which SCLA level the student’s response indicated for that passage. Especially if the student is struggling, briefly discuss how the student might improve. Active listening is an important aspect of building a constructive relationship that makes this portfolio system effective.

A student could make a higher or lower score on an SCLA rubric based on the level of difficulty of the text. So, teachers should dialogue with students about how to choose a book that is “just right” for them based on difficulty level and interest. The teacher needs to take an active role in guiding students to choose books at their appropriate reading level.

Results of the SCLA assessment may also vary depending on the mode of text, including traditional paper, digital media, or digital texts. Digital texts that include features such as hyperlinks or video increase avenues for meaning-making in a reading workshop (Serafini & Youngs, 2013). Second-language learners (Dalton et al., 2011) and students with reading disabilities (Dimitriadi, 2001) benefit from the increased points of meaning-making afforded by digital mediaFormative assessments should be used as part of a robust set of assessments used to shed light on

development. For instance, in a reading student learning and skill. workshop it’s beneficial to also determine independent reading levels of students using the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA).

The SCLA should be used as students engage in multiple activities including keeping a reading journal or reading response notebook. Peers can discuss the assessment in groups. For example, small groups of students can make inferences together during a reading workshop related to concepts in books they read. This peer feedback allows students to construct a new, more nuanced understanding of the concept (Barab & Duffy, 2000). As the student develops the literacy skill of making inferences in different genres of texts or different text difficulty levels, the student constructs a richer understanding of how to make inferences. In this way, the assessment provides a guide for students as they improve their use of reading strategies (Serafini, 2001).

A four-step plan-do-check-act cycle (Deming, 1986) illustrated in Figure 2 can guide feedback and ongoing goal-setting. In this cycle, communication about the development of reading skills is based on a problem-solving process which features collaborative planning, doing, checking, and acting (Tague, 2004).