________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV . . . . August 31, 2007


HIP Reading Assessment: Graded Oral Reading Assessments for Students in Grades 3 to 8.

Lori Jamison with Sandra Falconer Pace, Laurie Gatzke & Dawn Kesslering.
Toronto, ON: HIP Publishing, 2007.
104 pp., pbk., $24.95.
ISBN 978-1-897039-41-0.

Subject Headings:
Reading (Elementary)-Ability Testing.
Reading comprehension-Ability testing.


Review by Betty Klassen.

**** /4

HIP Reading Assessment is a practical classroom teacher resource as it provides teachers with a diagnostic tool for assessment of oral reading accuracy and silent reading comprehension. This book is written for teachers who have attended in-service workshops and have some basic background knowledge of informal reading assessment and miscue analysis. It was field-tested by many teachers in the Regina Public School System to develop an assessment instrument that held student interest, was consistent with other informal reading inventory levels, and useful for understanding student abilities and for planning instruction.

     The introductory chapters provide basic information about reading levels, graded reading passages and step-by-step information on how to carry out a reading assessment.

     The book includes 15 grade leveled passages from early grade 2 to early grade 9. Information is provided on how these levels were determined using readability formulas such as Fry or Flesch-Kincaid, Spache or Dale Chall vocabulary lists, and then revised after field-testing to also consider factors such as the assumption of student background knowledge, the degree of nuance or inference and the presence of literary techniques. The passages are coded so that teachers can easily determine the grade level. Early grade four is represented by passage 40, while mid grade four is passage 45.

     A brief discussion of independent, instructional and frustration reading levels is included to support the use of this assessment tool to guide teachers in making appropriate decisions for needs-based reading groups and to support differentiated instruction.

     The pages on "How to Use the Teacher Record Sheets" and the sample completed record sheets are very helpful to guide teachers who are new to this form of assessment. Anecdotal notes on reading behaviors and using miscues to determine the instructional level are explained. Miscues are noted as substitutions, insertions, omissions, and "teacher told". Significant miscues are those that alter the meaning of the text. While the discussion of "Using Assessment to Guide Instruction" and "Frequently Asked Questions" is informative, more knowledge is required on analyzing the miscues so teachers can make more informed decisions to guide their instruction. Teachers who are not familiar with the work of Goodman and Clay in analyzing miscues and adapting instruction may want to do further reading.

     Helpful tips on finding time for conducting individual reading assessments, using this information on report cards, and reading interview questions are included.

     The short sentences and paragraphs in the "Three Minute Reading Check" provide teachers with a way to quickly determine a starting point for assessing student reading levels.

     The graded reading passages are all taken from HIP (High Interest Publishing) books written by Paul Kropp. The first 100 words are bolded and are to be read aloud by the student for use in the miscue analysis. Students are then asked to reread the bolded section and read to the end of the passage before being asked the comprehension questions. The total length of the passages varies from 157 to 243 words. The teacher record sheet also includes an introduction to the passage for the teacher to read to the student in order to activate prior knowledge and introduce the names of the characters in the reading.

     The comprehension check questions include the following types of questions: two literal, one vocabulary related, two inferential and one synthesis. The teacher record sheets include possible answers, a space for notes and analysis of the level attained by the student. Also included is a page with the questions and space for answers that may be used for the student to write responses to the questions if that is also desired by the teacher.

     Class record sheets, student record sheets and parent reporting forms help teachers to organize and provide useful information to others interested in supporting these readers.

     HIP Reading Assessment is an excellent book to assist classroom teachers in assessing their student's reading levels as it is consistent with practices suggested by many recognized researchers in this field. It provides an effective guide for teachers to use with HIP books or to use as a model for adapting literature they may already have in their classrooms.

     Lead author Lori Jameson, known and respected in the field of reading research, has written this book after conducting field tests and receiving feedback from classroom teachers. The reference list she used in writing this book can also provide a starting point for teachers who may wish to do further reading in this area.

Highly Recommended.

Betty Klassen teaches in the Middle Years Program in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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