English Language Arts Assessments

Phonological Awareness Literacy Survey

The Phonological Awareness Literacy Survey (PALS) is given to all KG-5th grade students in the fall and spring to measure literacy knowledge. In kindergarten students are assessed in the areas of alphabet knowledge, letter-sound correspondence, beginning consonant sounds, spelling, rhyming and concept of word. In the fall, first graders are assessed in the areas of letter-sound correspondence, spelling, identifying words in isolation and oral reading. In the spring, first graders are assessed in spelling, identifying words in isolation and oral reading. Students in second through fifth grade are assessed in the areas of spelling, identifying words in isolation and oral reading. Benchmark scores are established for each grade level for fall and spring. To learn more visit PALS web site

Developmental Reading Assessment

The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) provides teachers with a method for assessing and documenting primary students’ development as readers over time. Its purpose is to identify students’ reading level, defined as a text on which students meet specific criteria in terms of accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Additional purposes include identifying students’ independent reading strengths and weaknesses, planning for instruction, monitoring reading growth, and, for the grades 3-5, preparing students to meet classroom testing expectations and information to teachers, schools, and region regarding reading achievement. The assessments are conducted during one-on-one reading conferences as children read specially selected assessment texts. A set of leveled texts, which increase in difficulty, are used for the assessment. The DRA evaluates the major aspects of reading that are critical to independence as a reader.

Developmental Spelling Assessment

The Developmental Spelling Assessment (DSA) is used within the APS elementary English/Language Arts Word Study program to determine the knowledge individuals have about words in order to provide instruction and learning experiences that will move them forward along a growth continuum. At Claremont we use the DSA in grades 3-5 three times during the school year.  Students are assessed using words representing the various stages of developmental spelling. Teachers looks for spelling features that are mastered, “used but confused”, and absent from a student’s spelling in order to determine the correct instructional focus.