During their early years, children go through many developmental stages in a short time. During those phases, they hit different milestones, including learning to read and write. If they have struggles in this area that remain undetected, the consequences can be long-lasting and result in them falling behind their peers. Regular assessments of different skills are crucial to ensuring the achievement of milestones and identifying skills needing support. Let’s look at phonics assessment and how it helps children develop reading skills.
What Is Assessing Phonics?
When you assess phonics, you evaluate a student’s ability to recognize and use the relationship between sounds and written symbols, the foundation of reading and writing. When you use a phonics assessment, you can check for the following literacy skills:
- Letter Recognition: Is the student able to identify each letter of the alphabet?
- Letter-Sound Correspondence: Phonetic assessments also determine if a student can connect each letter or combination of letters with the sounds it is associated with. For instance, can the child see a “th” in a word and understand what sound it represents?
- Phonemic Awareness: Phonemic awareness involves recognizing and manipulating individual sounds or phonemes in words. Assessing this skill involves breaking a word down to its syllables and having a student identify the sound of those segments or blend them into a different word.
- Decoding: This process involves seeing if a student can use phonetic skills to sound out words and read them. Often, they incorporate nonsense words to help test decoding since students can’t rely on memory or context clues to understand the syllables.
- Word Families and Patterns: Test if students understand word families and phonetic patterns like words ending with -ing or -tion.
These are just a few skills you can measure by assessing phonics. Using an assessment such as the (TOWRE-2) Test of Word Reading Efficiency, Second Edition allows educators to understand where their students stand on these competencies and ways to support them.
Why Is Phonics Assessment Helpful?
Reading is a skill that is hard to do without in our society. A person’s reading ability can determine their career, income, and lifestyle. Often, reading problems start as unaddressed issues in young children that get worse as they get older.
With a phonics assessment, you cannot only discover that a child is struggling but also see what areas are most difficult and create a tailored plan to support that student’s reading skills, laying the groundwork for a successful life.
Help Your Students by Assessing Phonics
Reading and phonics assessments should happen early and often. Early assessment of phonics can help identify students who struggle with reading and phonemic awareness before they fall behind. Get started with helping your students succeed.