This article suggests different approaches schools may take in completing teacher-administered assessments as part of universal screening.
FastBridge's recommended assessments are bundled together as FASTtrack Reading and FASTtrack Math. In the early grades, FASTtrack involves administering assessments to students in one-on-one settings: earlyReading English (K-1), CBMreading (1-3), and earlyMath (K-1).
Administering assessments to students in a one-on-one format requires a significant amount of time, and it's important to plan accordingly. Educators should allocate approximately five minutes per learner to complete universal screening for each of the teacher-administered assessments included in FASTtrack Reading and FASTtrack Math. There are many different approaches school systems can take in order to successfully complete universal screening with teacher-administered assessments. Those approaches are outlined below.
Option 1: Consider obtaining substitute(s) to cover classes while classroom teachers complete the assessments. This is an ideal scenario because it involves the classroom teacher administering assessments to their own students. Teachers are more likely to take ownership of their students' data when they have the opportunity to spend time with their learners in one-on-one environments. Educators are also more likely to immediately adjust their instruction based on student performance on teacher-administered assessment tasks when they are the individuals administering the tests.
Option 2: Consider having support staff assess the students instead of the classroom teacher. Early in the school year, support staff members, such as interventionists and instructional coaches, often have greater flexibility in their schedules to complete teacher-administered assessments. This is a great option when substitutes aren't available and classroom teachers are feeling overwhelmed with other responsibilities. Many school systems will start their implementation of FastBridge in this way, and over time, they will transfer testing responsibility from support staff members to the classroom teachers.
Option 3: Consider creating a longer testing window that allows classroom teachers to accomplish the work by testing one student each day. When a longer testing window exists, it is possible for classroom teachers to assess all their learners on their own, especially if they focus on working with one child each day. Find creative ways to keep the other learners in the class busy for 5-10 minutes while the teacher assesses that one student; this could be a great time for a support staff member to visit to do a read-aloud!
Option 4: Consider having the classroom teacher complete half the testing while the support staff completes the other half of the testing. This approach is an excellent compromise between Option 1 and Option 2 in that the classroom teacher has an opportunity to work with their students one-on-one to complete some of the teacher-administered assessments, but they have the help of a support staff member to complete the remaining assessments. One way to approach this is to have the classroom teacher administer two of the earlyReading English subtests, and the support staff member could administer the other two earlyReading English subtests. Another approach would involve having the classroom teacher administer assessments to half the students in their class, and the support staff member could administer the assessments to the remaining students in the class.
Option 5: Consider including testing as part of the Kindergarten meet and greet with the teacher before school officially begins. In some settings, Kindergarten students start their school year a few days later than students in grades 1 and up. In these settings, those days can be used for one-on-one appointments for the kindergartener and their family to meet the teacher. This time can also be used to complete FastBridge's teacher-administered assessments.
Suggestions are based on feedback from our districts.