PM Benchmark

Reading Assessment Tool

The P.M. Benchmark is an absolute success with the teachers and parents. Who would ever have thought that parents would be told the level their child would be reading at. It’s also nice to see students know where they are on a reading scale. The most important aspect is that teachers are exposed to students one on one when reading and can readily see the reading strategies employed or not employed. Assessment happens for the purpose of instruction not for purely evaluation purposes.

What Does PM Benchmark Look Like?

PM Benchmark – Coding Running Records

Behaviours that Indicate a Student is actively trying to bring meaning to text:

  • Self-correction rate of 1:3 or better
  • Substitutions make sense
  • Checking behaviours that display an attempt to makes all cues fit
  • Re-reading to maintain or establish meaning
  • Fluency, phrasing and intonation

Goal = find instructional level (students read with understanding and fair degree accuracy (90 – 95%), but text also presents some reading challenges.

Choose one text more challenging and one less challenging in event selected text too difficult "Let’s stop there. I think that we have made a poor choice of book for you today. Let’s choose another book." OR have student choose the text they are comfortable reading from three levels (good opportunity for teacher to assess/teach appropriate reading material selection)

Step 2 – Set the Scene

"I am going to ask you to read to me today and while you are reading, I am going to be writing things that you do as you read. When you are finished, I am going to let you read the book again to yourself. Then I will ask you to tell me about the book."

Step 3 - Introduce the Book

Book introductions refer to main characters and situations (narrative) and the main topic (informational text). Unusual vocabulary or syntax are addressed in introduction

Read the title of the book and book introduction at the top of the Running Record sheet

After introduction, hold the book and say, "Let’s take a picture walk through the book. I’ll turn the pages and you think about what is happening in the story,"

Remind the student that they will be asked to retell the story at the end in his/her own words.

Step 4 - Taking the Running Record

After the running record is complete, ask the student to continue reading the rest of the text aloud. Older students can read silently. Do not interrupt, teaching can take place after.

Step 5 - Complete Assessment Record

Ask student to retell in own words. Student may pick up text and refer to it during retelling. Let student take lead and do not suggest student check the text.

Teacher is neutral observer with minimal prompting suggested below:

Who was the story about? Where does the story happen?

          What happened first? Then what happened?

          What was the problem in the story? What did they do about it?

          How does it end? How does it turn out?

          Has anything like this ever happened to you?

      Retelling and questions = equal weight * see pages 27 – 29 manual for instructions

Step 6 - Score the Running Record

Step 7 - Analyze Student Reading Behaviours

Mark the cueing system error by student

M = meaning "Does it make sense?"

S = Syntax "Does it sound right?"

V = Visual "Does it look right?"

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