Evidence-Based Practice Library

Literacy & Language: Informal Assessment

During the Informal Assessment, teachers prompt the whole class to say the definition of the key concept all together. Saying the whole definition together promotes comprehension of the key vocabulary word. Teachers can structure this by limiting the amount of words that students say at once. This could look like students repeat smaller phrases from the whole definition until the entire sentence has been said together. The teacher may choose to write the definition on the board, or put it in individual student binders. Doing so will help student comprehension of the key term, because they will be receiving the information in a visual, verbal, and auditory manner. 

After the whole class definition, teachers ask individual students to say the phrase independently. Teachers structure prompting, depending on student levels, to allow the students to achieve success with stating the definition. There may be a need to increase assistance using prompting methods and differentiated resources.

As always, to encourage and reinforce student participation in the lesson, teachers will award students with Participation Dollars for stating the key vocabulary word definition. This increases student motivation to define the key vocabulary word, which is designed to support student comprehension.

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 -Jane Cordero, M. Ed., Secondary Special Education Coordinator at Hill-Freedman World Academy.