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The Literacy Teacher's Playbook, Grades 3-6: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction

The Literacy Teacher's Playbook, Grades 3-6: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction

by Jennifer SerravalloJennifer Serravallo
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This book is about being empowered by assessment, not bogged down by it.
Jennifer Serravallo

"The aim of The Literacy Teacher's Playbook," writes Jennifer Serravallo, "is to help you collect data that is helpful, analyze the data correctly, and make plans based on that data."

National and state standards set learning goals, and it's up to you to help each student find his or her path to meeting them. That's why Jen opens up her thinking on assessment in this workshop-in-a-book. Her four-step protocol leads you toward goal-directed instruction:

  • collect the data that will be the most useful to you
  • analyze the data to understand deeply what kids know and can do
  • synthesize data from multiple assessments to create learning goals
  • develop instructional plans and follow-ups to monitor progress.

"What you can pull out of a student's messy desk is actually data," Jen writes. So she provides downloadable assessment packets from real students representing two puzzling types of learners. Spread Joana's packet out and let Jen model her protocol. Next try a guided practice with Alex's work. Then you'll be ready to try it with your own students.

Trust The Literacy Teacher's Playbook to discover that assessment isn't about numbers and letters. It's about relying on an assessment procedure that helps you know each and every one of your students, so you can teach with confidence and make a difference.

Read a sample chapter from The Literacy Teacher's Playbook.

NEW Printable Materials

word pdf Blank Reading Log Levels D-I

word pdf Blank Reading Log Levels J-M

word pdf Blank Reading Log Levels L+

word pdf Blank Re-reading Log Levels D-I

word pdf Blank Reading Interest Survey K-2

word pdf Blank Reading Interest Survey 3-6

word pdf Blank High-Frequency Word List

word pdf Blank Engagement Inventory

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780325043531
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 10/16/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 431,368
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Serravallo is the author of New York Times' bestseller The Reading Strategies Book as well as other popular Heinemann professional books, The Writing Strategies Book; Teaching Reading in Small Groups; and The Literacy Teacher's Playbook, Grades K - 2 and Grades 3 - 6. Her newest titles are Teaching Writing in Small Groups (publishing March of 2021) and Connecting with Students Online, from which she will donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations serving children directly impacted by COVID-19. Her other recent books include Understanding Texts & Readers and A Teacher's Guide to Reading Conferences as well as the Spanish-language counterparts to her strategies books, El libro de estrategias de lectura and El libro de estrategias de escritura. Jen's Complete Comprehension: Fiction and Complete Comprehension: Nonfiction are assessment and teaching resources that expand upon the comprehension skill progressions from Understanding Texts & Readers and offer hundreds more strategies like those in The Reading Strategies Book. Additionally, Jen is the author of the On-Demand Courses Strategies in Action: Reading and Writing Methods and Content and Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Matching Methods to Purposes, where you can watch dozens of videos of Jen teaching in real classrooms and engage with other educators in a self-guided course. Jen is a member of Parents Magazine Board of Advisors for education and literacy. She began her career in education as a NYC public school teacher and later joined the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Through TCRWP, and now as an independent consultant, she has spent over a decade helping teachers across the country to create literacy classrooms where students are joyfully engaged and the instruction is meaningfully individualized to students' goals. Jen holds a BA from Vassar College and an MA from Teachers College, where she has also taught graduate and undergraduate classes. Learn more about Jen and her work at, on Twitter @jserravallo, on Instagram @jenniferserravallo, or by joining The Reading and Writing Strategies Facebook Community.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ellin Oliver Keene ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 Collecting Data: Assessment Lenses and Tools 1

Lenses and Tools for Assessing Reading and Writing 2

Assessing Reading Engagement 3

Assessing Reading Fluency 7

Assessing Print Work/Decoding 9

Assessing Reading Comprehension 12

Assessing Conversation 19

Assessing Writing Engagement 20

Assessing Qualities of Good Writing 21

Wrap-Up 25

What's Next? 25

Chapter 2 Analyzing Data: Making Discoveries from Student Work 27

Using the Engagement Inventory 30

Using the Book Log 33

Using the Reading Interest Inventory 37

Analyzing Writing About Reading: Short Text Thinking Record, Read-Aloud Stop-and-Jots, Reading Notebooks 40

Analyzing a Whole-Book Comprehension Assessment 46

Increasing Expectations for Comprehension in Literature 47

Increasing Expectations for Comprehension of Informational Texts 49

Analyzing a Fluency Assessment 56

Running Record Miscue Analysis 59

Analyzing Conversation 64

Making Discoveries from Narrative Writing 71

Making Discoveries from Informational Writing 82

Making Discoveries from Opinion Writing 86

Wrap-Up 91

What's Next? 91

Chapter 3 Interpreting Data and Establishing a Goal 93

Why Is Goal Setting Important? 96

Looking for Patterns: Triangulating the Data 97

Applying the 80/20 Principle: Choosing a Goal 103

The First Teaching Opportunity: The Goal-Setting Conference 104

Wrap-Up 115

What's Next? 115

Chapter 4 Creating an Action Plan 117

Planning for Practice Over Time: Skills and Strategies 118

Where Do I Find the Strategies I Need? 121

So … What's the Plan for Joana? 124

Planning for Practice Over Time: Instructional Formats and Methods 125

Conferring 128

Small-Group Strategy Lessons 130

Book Clubs and Partnerships, and Conferring During Talk 131

Writing Clubs and Partnerships 133

Close Reading 134

So … What's the Plan for Joana? 137

Practice Over Time: Involving Others 137

So … What's the Plan for Joana? 139

Practice Over Time: Planning for Multiple Students and Across a Week 140

Knowing When the Goal Has Been Met 143

Wrap-Up 145

Appendices 146

Appendix A Alex's Work and One Possible Interpretation 146

Appendix B Glossary of Assessment Terms 158

Appendix C Forms 162

Works Cited 168

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