Assessment tools in Primary Schools
In this section we look at
- common assessment tools in primary school
- what these assessment tools cover
- accommodations for students with a learning difference
Primary schools have their own processes for gathering data on how your child is progressing. The school does use some common assessment tools to help them gather this information. It is up to the school to determine when they start using these assessment tools however, they generally will be used from Year 4. We look a some of these assessment tools below.
Common assessement tools in primary school
- said as P, A, T
- Can be online or on paper
- said as ass – tool
- e-asTTle. The e means it is online rather than with paper.
What these assessment tools cover
PAT:Reading Comprehension assesses how well Year 4 to 10 students understand the text they are reading. Each test is organised around several extended pieces of writing which include stories, poems, reports and explanations.
PAT:Reading Vocabulary assesses Year 4 to 10 students’ ability to understand the words they read. Each question is based around a key word that is embedded in a short sentence. Students are asked to choose a synonym that best represents the meaning of this word from a list of five possible alternatives.
PAT:Listening Comprehension measures Year 3 to 10 students’ ability to understand spoken material. Students listen to a passage and then answer questions. It helps teachers detect children with poor listening skills and is also useful in identifying those children whose listening comprehension performance is significantly different from their ability to comprehend written material.
PAT:Mathematics covers number knowledge, number strategies, algebra, geometry and measurement, and statistics. PAT:Mathematics is for Years 4 to 10, but there is an additional, slightly easier test aimed at Year 4 which some schools choose to use in Year 3.
(from NZCER website)
asTTle and e-asTTle
- e-asTTle is an online assessment tool, developed to assess students’ achievement and progress in reading, mathematics, writing, and in pānui, pāngarau, and tuhituhi.
- The reading and mathematics assessments have been developed primarily for students in years 5–10, but because they test curriculum levels 2–6 they can be used for students in lower and higher year levels.
- The e-asTTle writing tool has been developed for the assessment of students in years 1–10.
- e-asTTle is the first bilingual (English and te reo Māori) assessment tool to be developed in New Zealand.
(From Ministry of Education website)
Accommodations for students with a learning difference
- Primary schools can provide these children with support such as extra time or a reader/writer for completing these assessments.
- It is up to the school to determine this.
- Approach the school to ask if they do this for children with learning differences such as dyslexia
An example with reading comprehension (understanding what you are reading)
The PAT reading comprehension assesses how well students understand the text they are reading.
Each text is organised around several extended pieces of writing which include stories, poems, reports and explanations.
The result for a child with dyslexia in this assessment will be concentrating on the physical act of reading – trying to work out what the words are that they are reading, and they will not have time or cognitive space (brain power) left to understand what they are reading.
If this same child had someone read the text to them the barrier of trying to work out the words would be removed. The child can then concentrate on understanding what is being read. This means the assessment is more about reading comprehension rather than reading ability.