Blog

  • Are your students engaged readers?

    Laptop with DRA3 on Screen

    Think for a moment about your favorite book... Were you excited to read it? Did you find yourself unable to set it down, even for a moment? Did you talk about the characters or plot line while you weren’t reading it? Did you feel a little disappointed when you’d turned the last page, knowing it was over? Do you still think about the characters from time to time? Do you recommend it to others? If so, chances are you were entrenched in the book, connected to the characters, and captivated by the story. You were engaged.

    Engaged readers find satisfaction in reading, read independently, and talk about what they’ve read — but how do we transform students who read because they have to into students who read because they want to? How do we inspire them to become engaged readers?

    Included in your DRA3 kit is an optional component, the Reading Engagement Survey. It gathers information about each student’s reading preferences, and provides insights into why the student might be struggling with engagement. Based on information obtained in the survey, DRA3 then provides a Focus for Instruction checklist specifically designed to improve reading engagement, assist in book selections, and build up reading stamina to expand their abilities to include longer texts.

    Learn more about the benefits of the Reading Engagement Survey and where to find it in your DRA3 kit!

    Watch the video

    What’s on the calendar this month?

    • Continue using progress monitoring with identified students.
    • Administer the Word Analysis to other first through third grade students who are reading below established oral reading mid-year benchmark levels.
    • Model, teach, and support areas in need of instruction.

    What’s on the calendar for the rest of the school year?

    One of the most important tasks in any school year is discovering each student’s literacy strengths and weaknesses. Identifying where they might need a little help, and how you can utilize their strengths to augment that support will help them make the most of their educational time. We have put together a reading assessment calendar to help you stay on track throughout the year, and to provide you with helpful tools to enhance your reading curriculum. December’s activities are crucial to your students’ reading success, and will set you on the path to discovering — and fostering — the lifelong reader in each of them!

    Download the calendar  

    Read more
  • When the question is “Are they ready?”, ESI-3 is the answer!

    Teacher with students

    How do you know if your students are ready for the next level or if they’re at risk for school failure? Spring benchmarking is the ideal time to get a full picture of each student’s abilities in order to determine if they’re ready for the next step in their educational journey. Knowing what to look for and having a test that assesses all domains of development are the most critical factors in that process.

    We have a number of valid and reliable tools to help you make that determination. For students ages 2:6–5:11, assess Motor, Concepts, Language, Self-Help, and Social-Emotional domains with the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning(TM), Fourth Edition (DIAL(TM)-4). To assess Visual Motor/Adaptive, Language and Cognition, and Gross Motor domains for students ages 3:0–5:11, use Early Screening Inventory(TM), Third Edition (ESI(TM)-3).  

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  • Making the mental health – behavior connection

    Review360 Hero

    How one Indiana school overcame rampant behavior issues by focusing on their students’ mental health

    Teachers struggling with classroom behavior is a tale as old as time, but one thing that’s changed in the story is how behavior issues are handled. Serving approximately 500 PreK through 6th grade students, Arlington Woods Elementary in Indiana is a school like any other. Teachers set the boundaries, students test the boundaries, and administrators are called in to try and reinforce the boundaries — however, typical behavior remediation wasn’t working. Suspensions were up, teacher morale was down, and academic achievement scores had flatlined. Something had to give.

    Dr. Kristine Eaton, the former Indianapolis Public Schools Wellness Specialist, worked in IPS for 20 years, and had an up close and personal view of what was going on at Arlington Woods. She sat down with the school’s administrators and together they decided to tackle their school’s behavior problem from the inside — by focusing on their students’ social-emotional health. Dr. Eaton researched various tools and methodologies for improving students’ social-emotional wellbeing while also supporting their teachers and thankfully discovered Review360.

    Review360 proved to be the magic thread that wove together teacher support, mental health and behavior concerns, effective communication, and consistent interventions.

    Review360 not only helped students take ownership of their academic success, it also provided urgently needed support for the school’s teachers.

    How did Review360 help to transform this school?

    Read their success story!

    Review360’s web-based system enhances communication among teachers for students who are in both regular AND special education settings, and helps improve outcomes for all students.

    Review360 provides:

    • Universal screening
    • Progress monitoring
    • Incident reporting and analysis
    • Professional development for teachers
    • Evidence-based, consistent interventions

    How could your school or district benefit from increased accountability, communication, and insight? Visit PearsonClinical.com/Review360 or call 800-328-5999 and be one step closer to becoming our next Review360 success story!  

    Read more
  • Sensitivity, specificity, and the agreement index

    Teacher with students

    What are they, and why do they matter when choosing a developmental screener?

    The extent to which a test performs accurately in a screening situation can be determined by the three indices of a test’s validity: Sensitivity, Specificity, and the Agreement Index. Here’s a brief explanation of each and how they relate to a test’s validity:

    • Sensitivity relates to the proportion of the children at the extreme end of the continuum (Potential Delay category) who were identified as such in the screening process.
    • Specificity refers to the proportion of those children in the OK category who were identified as OK in the screening process.
    • Agreement Index refers to the percentage of children for whom the screening decision was correct, whether at the extreme or in the “OK” range.

    These three indices are the best way to determine the extent to which a screening test is doing what it is supposed to do: separating children at the extreme end (potential learning delays) from children who perform in a more typical manner. Having these factors at play when identifying the children who may need further testing can help get them the support they need... sooner.

    ESI-3 takes all three indices into account!

    If you need to take a closer look at overall abilities to determine where additional support may be necessary, the Early Screening Inventory, Third Edition will give you the tools you need to individually screen kids ages 3:0–5:11 in several areas of development.  

    Read the previous articles in this series.

    For more information on developmental screening with the ESI-3, visit  

    Read more
  • Headed toward the deep end of assessment season?

    Laptop with DRA3 on Screen

    We’ve got the perfect life jacket for you!

    You’ve finally gotten your classroom back to some semblance of a learning environment and having turned the calendar to February you’ve realized that you’re now headed directly into the busiest time of year — spring assessments and conferences! Are you prepared for everything you need to prepare for? Are your students? What do you need to do in order to make sure you are all ready for what lies ahead? What adjustments do you need to make to ensure that your students are meeting end-of-year goals?

    If you’re feeling like you’re treading water, we’ve got you covered! DRA3’s reading skills assessment calendar was designed to help buoy you through these challenging times!

    What’s on the calendar this month?

    • Continue using progress monitoring with identified students.
    • Administer the Word Analysis to other first through third grade students who are reading below established oral reading mid-year benchmark levels.
    • Prepare for and conduct mid-year Parent/Teacher conferences using all appropriate DRA3 assessments and materials.
    • Model, teach, and support areas in need of instruction.

    What’s on the calendar for the rest of the school year?

    One of the most important tasks in any school year is discovering each student’s literacy strengths and weaknesses. Identifying where they might need a little help, and how you can utilize their strengths to augment that support will help them make the most of their educational time. We have put together a reading assessment calendar to help you stay on track throughout the year, and to provide you with helpful tools to enhance your reading curriculum. December’s activities are crucial to your students’ reading success, and will set you on the path to discovering — and fostering — the lifelong reader in each of them!

    Download the calendar  

    Read more
  • Increased accountability? Better communication? Greater student insight?

    Review360 Hero

    Check... Check... Check!

    For many students, the transition from the static nature of elementary school to the dynamics of middle school can be a huge adjustment. Not only are they contending with a daily schedule full of classroom changes and the new-found freedom of passing periods, they’re discovering that each teacher has a unique personality, their own way of doing things, and a whole slew of unique expectations. The pressures, freedoms, and expectations on them can, and often do, add up to an outcrop of behavior issues that can be difficult for their teachers to manage on their own. For one school district in Garland, Texas, Review360 was the answer to many of the issues their teachers, administrators, and students were facing.

    Robert Weyman, the assistant principal of J.W. O’Banion Middle School in the Garland Independent School District, has discovered that Review360’s utility goes way beyond documenting behavior incidences and serving up interventions. It’s become a medium through which teachers can instantly document incidences, yes, but it also allows them to communicate those incidences to the students’ other teachers along with the interventions that have helped to curtail the behaviors — and the ones that haven’t. The system alerts administration when an office referral has been given, and sends an email detailing the behavior. If there is a major incident in the building, administration is notified instantly via email, allowing for a fast response without creating the unnecessary confusion and discord that typically ensues when using the intercom system.

    While teachers initially felt that they had someone “looking over their shoulder”, they quickly came to realize the benefits of the new behavior management system. While the perks of being able to communicate with their cohorts about individual students’ behaviors were fairly obvious, the secondary benefit came as a bit of a surprise. Students began to realize that their teachers were in close communication, and they were no longer able to play one teacher against another, or be deceptive about what a teacher in another classroom “allows”. The students quickly responded to the consistency between classrooms, and as a result, everyone benefited!

    Review360's returns don’t end in the classrooms, and they don’t end in the hallways, nor do they end in the principal’s office. They are experienced all the way through to each students’ home, where their parents are regularly notified of behavior incidents, interventions, and best of all — progress.

    Review360’s web-based system also enhances communication among teachers for students who are in both regular AND special education settings, and helps improve outcomes for all students.

    Review360 provides:

    • Universal screening
    • Progress monitoring
    • Incident reporting and analysis
    • Professional development for teachers
    • Evidence-based, consistent interventions

    How could your school or district benefit from increased accountability, communication, and insight? Visit PearsonClinical.com/Review360 or call +1 (800) 328-5999 and be one step closer to becoming our next Review360 success story!  

    Read more
  • Reliable, valid, or both?

    Teacher with students

    Reliability, as it pertains to assessment, is a measure of consistency. For example, if a group of people took a test on two different occasions, they should get nearly the same scores both times, assuming that no memory of the items carries over to the second. If an examinee scored high the first time and low the second, we wouldn’t have any basis for interpreting the test’s results. Initially, the most common means of determining reliability was to have the examinee take the same test twice or to take alternate forms of a test. The scores of the two administrations would then be correlated. Generally, one would hope for a correlation between the two administrations to reach .85 to the maximum correlation of +1.00. Reliability is the essential condition of a test: if it’s not reliable, it has to be disregarded.

    That being said, a test can be reliable without being valid. A central component in early childhood screening test validity is how accurately the test identifies children who may be in need of service. However, no matter how careful examiners are, there will be some error in the decision-making process. Some children identified as OK, may actually be in the Potentially Delayed range and vice versa. Verifying the validity of the tests you use is paramount in identifying kids who are in need of extra support.

    With ESI-3, you don’t have to choose between valid and reliable!

    If you need to take a closer look at overall abilities to determine where additional support may be necessary, the Early Screening Inventory, Third Edition will give you the tools you need to individually screen kids ages 3:0–5:11 in several areas of development.

    Read the previous articles in this series.  

    For more information on developmental screening with the ESI-3, visit  

    Read more
  • The long winter break is over. Let’s get your students back on track!

    Student with speech bubble with teacher looking at laptop screen

    Well, the excitement from the holidays has passed, break is officially over, and it’s time to get back to learning... but how best to get your students back in the swing of things and on track to meeting end-of-year goals? Mid-year assessments are an excellent way to guide your classroom back to your typical learning environment while checking on their progress since fall. You can use the data provided by these assessments to help guide decisions and tailor each student’s instruction to their current level of ability.

    What’s on the January to-do list?

    • Follow your District Assessment calendar for mid-year assessments.
    • Re-administer the Word Analysis with students who were previously assessed in the fall.
    • Use the updated class profile to help plan specific teaching/learning activities in each area of instructional need.

    What’s on the calendar for the rest of the school year?

    One of the most important tasks in any school year is discovering each student’s literacy strengths and weaknesses. Identifying where they might need a little help, and how you can utilize their strengths to augment that support will help them make the most of their educational time. We have put together a reading assessment calendar to help you stay on track throughout the year, and to provide you with helpful tools to enhance your reading curriculum. December’s activities are crucial to your students’ reading success, and will set you on the path to discovering — and fostering — the lifelong reader in each of them!

    Download the calendar  

    Read more