This assessment includes 3 parts:
Part A: Alphabet, Digraphs, and Vowels
Part B: Word decoding and sight word recognition
Part C: Applying phonics principles in writing
The purpose of this assessment is to gain insight on an individual student’s knowledge of several phonics principles. It is meant to pinpoint the student’s strengths as well as specific areas of need. Keep in mind that this type of assessment shows the phonics principles in isolation. At some point the teacher will need to listen to the student read authentic text to evaluate how he/she applies his/her knowledge of phonics principles in context.
How to Administer:
The teacher may decide to complete the entire assessment with the student or choose to complete only the sections the teacher would like to gather more information regarding the student’s phonics knowledge.
I recommend that the teacher stops at any point in the assessment where the student starts to demonstrate very limited understanding. At this point the teacher will probably have collected enough data to create an instructional focus. After working with the student on specific instructional goals related to the phonics principle the teacher can re-administer this assessment to measure student progress.
It is critical to remember that even though a student may lack several phonics principles he/she will most likely show some strengths that the teacher can build from. For example a student may read several words incorrectly, but may always demonstrate awareness for the initial sound. This is a strength that should not be looked over. It is a positive point to reinforce with the student. The teacher may use language such as, “Sarah, I noticed when you are reading you always make sure the beginning sound matches the first letter in the word. This is an important strategy you are using.” Make sure to identify at least one strength in the Analysis portion of the assessment.
Areas of Need/Teaching Point:
The other component of this assessment is to identify where the gaps are in the student’s understanding of specific phonics principles. It is not only important to mark the student’s mistakes during the assessment, it is critical to go back and infer why the student made the mistakes he/she did. Maybe the teacher notices that throughout the assessment, the student does not seem to identify the middle sound of most words. This could be an important teaching point to make with the student and then provide additional instruction for. The teacher may use language such as, “Sarah, I noticed when you are reading you need more help with figuring out the middle part of the word. We are going to work on this during our guided reading groups next week.” Make sure to identify at least one area of need in the Analysis portion of the assessment.
The teacher should create a plan for the student. The teacher should identify when, where, and how to provide explicit instruction regarding the teaching point. It is also critical that the student is reading instructional level text to allow him/her to practice applying the phonics principles in context.
Revised in 2014
Diagnostic Phonemic Assessment by Rebecca
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License