Measuring Individual Reading Growth: Aligned to Common Core

Here at Lake Myra Elementary, we are all about measuring individual student growth, especially in reading. In addition to the universal screenings and Digging Deeper Assessments to begin RTI interventions with students who are struggling to grow with Tier 1 interventions, we began to ask other questions. When we set out to answer the questions, "How can we make sure students are growing in reading?" And "How will we know when a student has made one year's worth of growth in reading? ...these growth lines were the result.  This is our third year of using the growth lines document. 

The main purpose of the document is to spark
conversations when students aren't growing. 
They are not evaluative, they are designed
to be used in a formative manner. 

This year we have updated and revised the document to include the lexile correlations in order to use the same leveling system as the Common Core Standards.  (Read more about text complexity in the first several pages of the Common Core Standards: Appendix A)  In our district, students are also assigned a lexile level on the EOG reporting sheets based on a student's EOG reading proficiency.

This letter explains to our teachers the changes made to the Growth Line sheet for the 2011-2012 school year.   In addition, and I will reiterate, if you choose to use the growth line template, you will need to print one for each student in your class. THESE SHEETS ARE CUSTOMIZE-ABLE for each student.  Do not print one and run a class set. You will need to "move" the ARROW LINES (that are grouped together and correctly spaced four quarters and six quarters apart) to the child's BOY running record level cell, then print.  Students that enter the grade level on or above the BOY benchmark for that grade level, are placed on the one year (four quarter) growth line.  Students that enter the grade level below the BOY benchmark for that grade level, are placed on the one and half year (six quarter) growth line.  Research shows that if students enter below grade level, they must make one and half year's worth of growth in order to leave elementary school ON grade level.  We believe in rigorous growth for all students so even if students enter above grade level in reading, we believe they are held to the highest expectation of also making one year's worth of growth, no matter how far above grade level in reading they enter. 

Please note, that level 7-8 and 13-14 are intentionally omitted.  In order to make one quarter's worth of reading growth around those levels, a student must go from 5-6 in one quarter, read past 7-8 and be able to read a 9-10 in order to have made a quarter's worth of growth.  You'll notice there are four rows per grade level, one row per quarter.  The arrow lines are perfectly spaced four quarters and six quarters apart, so do not add any more rows to the chart.  

At our school, we record a child's instructional level on these growth lines. Whatever your school decides, everyone should record the same, either instructional or independent, but not some teachers recording instructional and some teachers recording will skew your data. 

Our school also uses the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Kits 1 & 2, K-5, where teachers administer running records during  Q1, Q2, (Q3 for students reading below their growth line) and Q4.

If you have further questions, feel free to contact me at

Happy Reading!



Addie said...

Jennifer, I found your AMAZING stuff on Pinterest and I've been following ever since, but this document takes the cake! I absolutely love analyzing data to better serve my kiddos, and I am super excited that this is aligned to the common core (which is coming to my state next year). Keep up your AWESOME work!

Tara said...

Thank you so much for the chart. We are just learning about Common Core and I am on the Math committee for second grade... We will be doing it next year. I am so glad I found your blog! Looking forward to using your great ideas!

Thanks again,


Michelle said...

I too love data charts and have used charts in my 1st grade classroom for years. I now use them with my K going to first grader @ home. I did notice the word "off" 2X on the rainbow list.

Thanks so much, Michelle

Audrey said...

This chart is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! :) Love your cute blog, too! :)

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