Free reading assessments being offered at university

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If practice makes perfect, then a group of education students are going to make sure their skills are honed before finishing their degrees and getting their teaching certificates.

Ohio University Southern’s reading practicum students will give free reading assessments to local school-aged children grades 1-12 on July 18. The assessment will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OUS.

“Throughout the (practicum) course (the students) have worked one-on-one with a different student,” said OUS professor Tonya Jeremiah. “For the reading assessment day, it is just giving them extra practice on how to administer certain tests.”

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By taking the reading practicum course, students will have an endorsement on their teaching certificates that will allow them to teach reading to kindergarteners through high school seniors.

But the test isn’t just about giving the practicum students practice, Jeremiah said, but helping to evaluate children’s strengths and weaknesses in reading. Five main areas of reading will be covered: word identification, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and concept knowledge.

“The (participants) will read from word lists to check on their word identification skills,” Jeremiah said. “Then they will read graded passages. Some will be narratives, and some will be expository passages, to see where they are with their comprehension. They will do some concept development to see if they understand the vocabulary terms that go along with the concepts.”

After the assessment, the students will analyze the tests and provide parents with a summary report that outlines their child’s reading grade level, strengths and weaknesses, tips to help them improve and a book list bases on their ability and interests.

“Certainly I think it would be great for parents, especially parents who don’t really know what to do with reading,” Jeremiah said. She said many parents don’t know where to begin. “This is just a different way to approach it and give (parents) ideas how they can help their children.”

There is limited space for the free reading assessment and appointments should be made immediately by calling or emailing Jeremiah at (606) 547-2459,