+ A Critical Analysis of 8 Informal Reading Inventories (IRIs)

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From Reading Rockets, here is an article from the International Reading Association.  They studied eight IRIs and compared them according to relevant issues.

IRIs are individually administered diagnostic assessments designed to evaluate a number of different aspects of a student’s reading performance.  Performance is then used to assign the student to a reading level.

These inventories typically consist of  graded word lists and reading passages, from preprimer to middle or high school levels, which have follow up questions.

Comprehension and word-recognition scores are used for the oral readings; additional factors can be taken into consideration, such as prior knowledge, fluency, emotional status. 

This information can also be used to match students with appropriate reading materials, to place students in guided reading groups, to design instruction around a student’s needs, and to document progress.

IRIs are based on notions implicit in developmental and interactive models of reading.  They are to provide information about students’ reading stages and knowledge sources.

For example, by charting and analyzing patterns in oral reading error types, teachers may identify whether a student is relying on one cueing system [i.e. graphophonic, sytactic or semantic] to the exclusion of others the way beginners do, or if they use a balance of strategies.

The eight IRIs chosen for evaluation are Applegate, Guinn & Applegate (2008), Bader (2005), Burns & Roe (2005), Cooter, Flynt, & Cooter (2007), Johns (2005), Leslie & Caldwell (2006), Silvaroli & Wheelock (2004), and Woods & Moe (2007).

With regard to reading passages, the issues addressed include types of questions asked, retelling rubrics, evidence of content validity, passage genre and length, pictures and graphics, evidence of contruct validity, and comprehension/recall measures. 

In addition they address extraneous variables and form equivalence/reliability.

With regard to vocabulary, the review addresses meaning vocabulary, sight word vocabulary and word recognition strategies, phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency.

And finally, they offer direction about choosing an IRI.

Find the article at http://www.readingrockets.org/article/23373?theme=print

source: I was led to this article by The 2 Sisters site “The Daily Cafe” at www.thedailycafe.com

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