Using PLD Screens and Tracking Sheets for Monitoring Student Progress.

Step 1.  Term 1 Week 1 Phonic & Sight Word Sequence Placement Test

It is essential that middle and upper primary teachers utilise the full school year, and commence the PLD process within the first week of the school year. 

PLD recognises that every middle and upper primary class is different. The range in ability and the phonic-based teaching needs will differ from class to class. Determining the specific teaching needs of each class is derived at the beginning of the year with a Phonic Sight Word Sequence Placement Test

NOTE: This Term 1 Placement Test as well as screens for the end of each term and a full scope and sequence can also be found in the Phonic and Sight Word Sequence program.

The placement test is designed to be presented to the whole class and that the spelling sample is collected in one sitting. Commence from Stage 1 and progress through the screen until students reach their points of difficulty. Typically this is where students make at least 6 consecutive errors.

The assessment is quite lengthy for Year 5 and 6 students and teachers. It is recommended that two sittings occur (e.g. 20 minutes before recess and 20 minutes after recess).

The templates (available to download within the Phonic Sight Word Sequence Placement Test) are recommended, as they will assist in the marking and analysis of the spelling samples.

Step 2. Marking Screen Results

Within Stage 1 there are 4 individual targets (see the Phonic and Sight Word Sequence program for more information on these targets,) and each score with in the targets is converted into its own percentage. When students progress into Stages 2 or 3, an overall Stage percentage of accuracy is calculated. The results are then transferred into the PLD Tracking Spreadsheets with individual sheets for each class.

Importantly only mark words as correct, if they are spelled correctly. If students spell the key phonic sound correctly, but make other errors in the word, the word is marked incorrect. Words are only marked as correct, when they are spelled accurately. 

Step 3. Creating Targeted Teaching Groups

Once the testing results have been entered, it is important with the PLD process to establish three targeted teaching groups.

The following analysis process (see the video above for more detail on this process) aims to identify three class specific ability groups and hence targeted teaching groups for the term ahead.

Step 1.

This involves profiling each student and establishing teaching and learning goals for the term ahead. As a rule of thumb if students score 85% to 100% on one Stage then they are ready to progress onto the subsequent level. If a number of errors are made, the student needs further spelling instruction with these concepts. If students remain at a specific stage over a period, their percentage of accuracy should have increased.

Step 2 .

This involves establishing a class profile and clustering the individual profiles into three targeted teaching groups. A level of teacher discretion is needed for this in order to create the three groups.

View the Term 1 video above to watch Diana Rigg demonstrate this process using sample class data.

For the purposes of this demonstration please note:

  • the class sizes have been reduced to 20 students 
  • Surnames (column B) have been hidden
  • A fairly general sample class’s test results have been entered.
  • Remember each class must have its own spreadsheet, if a split Year 3/4 or a Year 3/4/5 class exists, a single spreadsheet can be utilised per class, not year level.  
  • It is important that each class has its own tracking sheet, to determine how the teacher is aiming to identify three targeted teaching groups on the basis of the spelling profile assessments.

Stay tuned for the second instalment: Term 1, Week 10 Screening and Tracking in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6

Want to know about screening and tracking across other year levels?

Introduction early years foundation year 1 & 2