Phonics Screening Check - the RRF Response

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cartwheel
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Re: Phonics Screening Check - the RRF Response

Post by cartwheel » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:19 am

From here in the U.S., the national phonics check looks wonderful to my eyes. We certainly have nothing like it here.

Many schools here, voluntarily, use NWF (nonsense word fluency) assessments - either from DIBELSNext or from AIMSweb, although there are plenty of teachers who don't care for such assessments. There are multiple probes, so that students can be progress-monitored with them. The child is timed for one minute, and there are national norms for grades K and 1. I do like that the assessment is normed, and I do get useful information.... But it uses only the "short" vowels - no advanced code - and it not only includes "illegal" spellings (lots of words ending in "j" and "v"), but it includes words that sound like real words, but are not spelled like the real words (uv, lej, pak). Now, THAT, is confusing for kids. They are told these are nonsense words, and then the kids decode them and say, "But that's a real word" - which takes time away from their 1 minute.

Oh, and the norms are based solely on correct letter-sounds. The students don't even need to blend them into a word. And because the benchmark for the end of 1st grade is c. 57/min., children who know their letter-sounds well can just say the sounds and look fine according to the numbers. In the online version, there isn't even a way to mark whether the child blended the whole word. So, I like to quickly tally on paper (S/O for sounded-out-then blended ... or SB - smooth-blended) in order to have information that is useful. I was thrilled to see the U.K. phonics checks training video and learn that only truly blended words count as correct. I have come across too many kids who can't blend unfamiliar words. They stop after the initial consonant(s), then say the rest of the word. This I have seen with children as old as 11. The phonics check's insistence on this point surely puts some due pressure on teachers to learn how to teach the skill of blending, and on program creators to ensure this is covered. Some children simply need to taught explicitly, and many would benefit if they were taught the skill early.

Jennie (U.S.)

chew8
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Re: Phonics Screening Check - the RRF Response

Post by chew8 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:14 pm

I think it's right that our phonics check is not timed. In doing a practice version with well over 100 children, I've found that no good decoders take longer than about two minutes, but some do take the two minutes, whereas others take well under one minute.

Jenny C.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Phonics Screening Check - the RRF Response

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:35 am

Jennie - I keep encouraging teachers overseas simply to use the DfE Year One phonics screening check once it is made available soon after its formal use in England!

What could be easier - and how interesting to compare results in different contexts.

Teachers from a couple of schools have notified me of their use of the check.

Most recently, the British School of Costa Rica - where English is a second language - achieved higher results than the average in England with the 2013 check!

88% of the children achieved or exceeded the benchmark figure compared to an average of 69% in England.

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Re: Phonics Screening Check - the RRF Response

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:19 pm

The national average result in England in 2014 is 74% of children reaching or exceeding the threshold of 32 out of 40 words read correctly.

Still lower than the children where English is a second language in the school in Costa Rica.

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Re: Phonics Screening Check - the RRF Response

Post by kenm » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:47 am

Debbie Hepplewhite wrote:The national average result in England in 2014 is 74% of children reaching or exceeding the threshold of 32 out of 40 words read correctly.
IIRC, the best English schools score better than 90%. The below average schools may be improving but I wouldn't call them thriving.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

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