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Types of Inventories

Study Guide developed by Karla Porter, M.Ed.

The content of this web page was developed as an aid to either student or entry level teachers who have immediate need in their classroom for information related to reading or for anyone wishing to further understand this general topic area.

This web site is being evaluated and updated during this development phase. Please contact the WSU Development Team Coordinator, Dr. Vicki Napper, with comments or suggestions for this web page. All contacts and comments welcome.

WSU Development Team

Individual Assessments:

CLOZE: A method by which you systematically delete words from a passage and evaluate students' ability to correctly supply the deleted words.

    Constructing a CLOZE:

    1. Select a representative sample from the text of approximately 275 to 300 words from material students have not yet read.
    2. Leave the first and last sentences intact.
    3. Beginning with the second sentence, delete every fifth word until fifty words are deleted.
    4. Where the word has been deleted, leave a length of approximately twelve spaces ____________.
    5. For younger elementary children, delete every tenth word instead of fifth.
    Administering the CLOZE:
    1. Inform students they are to work individually and without their textbooks to complete the CLOZE passage.
    2. Explain to the students that one word has been deleted for each blank and they are to discover the missing word.  They should look over the entire passage before beginning and try to think of the exact word the author used.  Spelling is not a factor.
    3. Students should have unlimited time to complete the passage.

    Scoring the CLOZE:

    1. Every word the student matches exactly is considered correct.  Synonyms do not count.   Each blank is worth two points.  Those scores falling within the instructional level are approximately 75 percent on a multiple-choice test.

      Score                                           Level

      58-100                                         Independent
      44-57                                           Instructional
      0-43                                             Frustrational

    Interpreting the CLOZE:
    1. A score of 58 percent or higher indicates student will read the passage with competence.  Reading individually will not be difficult for these students.
    2. A score between 44 and 57 percent indicates the passage can be read with some competence by the student; however, reading with some guidance would be beneficial.
    3. A score below 43 percent will probably be too difficult for these students.  A great deal of guidance will be needed, or other material should be substituted.

    Website to visit:

    CLOZE Procedure

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SAN DIEGO QUICK (SDQ):  A reading level screening tool which requires students to accurately pronounce words.

    Constructing a SDQ:

    1. Print the vocabulary word list.  Cut lists by groups and paste them onto individual cards.
    2. Place the reading level on the back of the card where the student can not see it.

    Administering the SDQ:

    1. Begin with a card at least two years below the grade level of the student.
    2. Have the student read the words orally.  If words are mispronounced, drop to an easier list until there are no mistakes.  This is the base level of the student.
    3. Students read the individual lists until they miss three words on one list.

    Scoring and Interpreting the SDQ:

    1. The highest list where the student misses no more than one word is their independent reading level.  Two mistakes on the list indicates the instructional level of the student; three or more mistakes represents their frustrational level.

    Word List available from Integrated Content Literacy, by Marian Tonjes, Ray Wolpow, Miles Zintz, McGraw-Hill, 1999.

    **Other forms of SDQ tests are available in college bookstores.

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Group Assessments:

Content Area Reading Inventory (CARI): An informal measure of performance on reading materials actually used in a course.

    General Information about the CARI:

    1. Explain to your students that this test will be used for instructional planning; grades will not be assigned.
    2. If you want to know how the class uses the textbook use an open book evaluation.
    3. To determine students' ability to retain information, have them answer test questions without referring back to the selection.
    4. Discuss results individually and with entire class.

    Constructing and Administering the CARI

    Part I:

    1. Select a representative sample between 250-350 words from the beginning of the text.
    2. Students will read directly from the text (unless the passage has been typed for them).
    3. Begin with a title and an introductory paragraph which contains a general statement about the topic which is to be read.  This should contain the motivation and purpose for reading the passage.
    4. Prepare nine comprehension questions as follows:  three vocabulary questions; three stated facts; three inferential questions (make sure the students have to think hard for these).

    Part I should take between 15 - 20 minutes for students to complete and it will indicate as to whether the students will be able to master the text.

    Part II:

    This section will help you assess skills needed for your students to achieve success.
    1. From the following list choose at least three skills to assess:
      • Taking notes, outlining.  Can students take notes or outline information from lectures or instructional material?
      • Following directions.  Are directions precisely followed?
      • Locating reference material.  Do students have the ability to locate and use almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and computer information?
      • Using textbook.  Can students locate glossary, index, appendices, table of contents, and references?
      • Understanding graphics.  Are students able to interpret maps, tables, charts, and graphs?
      • Defining content-specific vocabulary.  Do students recognize and understand key vocabulary words related to your content area?
      • Exhibiting comprehension skills:  Can students locate main ideas, sequence events, cause and effect, analysis, and conclusion?
      • Reading rate.  Do students know when and how to adjust their reading rate as they conform to content difficulty?
      • Applying study strategies.  Do students know when to use specific study strategies?

      Having selected the areas you are most interested in checking, prepare a 5-10 question test for each category.

    Scoring the CARI:

    1. Remind the class that even though this will show strengths and weaknesses, it will only be used for instructional purposes.
    2. Score the CARI following your own criteria.  You may want to compose a class chart and mark an X by the students strengths or weakness.
    3. Use the information as an indication of how the students will understand the text.  Create lesson plans in areas the students have most difficulty.

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Group IRI (Informal Reading Inventory): A way to measure individual students in an entire classroom setting.  All students can be individually tested during one class period. This is especially helpful on the secondary level where teachers have many students.

    Constructing the Group IRI:

    1. Select a passage from an article or text which students have not previously read.  You should have a long enough passage that you will be able to hear all students read individually.
    2. Each student is given a 3x5 card.  Have students print their name on the card.
    3. Decide beforehand how you want to evaluate the reader.  For example, a check mark in the upper left-hand corner might mean the student is a competent reader; the lower left-hand an average reader; the upper right-hand corner means student struggles somewhat; lower right-hand corner means student is quite a bit below grade level.

    Administering the Group II:

    1. Explain to the students that the entire class will be reading orally, but they will be doing it at their own pace.
    2. Tell them you are coming around to listen to them individually.  You will be checking their volume level, and you will be checking their card when the level is acceptable.
    3. Rotate around the room until you have listened to all students read orally.  You should take approximately with each student.

    Scoring the Group II:

    1. Score individual students as noted above.
    2. Gather cards and transfer information into a record log.  This will inform you of students who might have difficulty and need extra help.  It will also inform you of your strong readers.

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Student Response Form: This is a way of measuring  a student's silent reading rate and their ability to understand and comprehend the specific test.

    Constructing the Student Response Form:

    1. Choose a sample from the text you are currently using. Use a passage the students have not yet read.
    2. Write questions pertaining to the chosen selection.  In Part II of the Response Form include a literal, interpretive, and applied question.
    3. Purchase or make a timed reading chart, or simply change the time on the board every 10 seconds.

    Administering the Student Response Form:

    1. Have students read the selection.
    2. After completion of reading, have students mark how long it took them in the designated place on the form.
    3. Have students answer Part I on the test.
    4. Students may use their books to answer the remaining questions,

    Scoring the Student Response Form:

    1. The number of complete responses will indicate how difficult the text will be for the students and how well they will comprehend it.
    2. The length of time will indicate how quickly the students will progress through the material.


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