At its core, Amira is designed to listen to students read and assess their progress. Our research with leading universities enables us to stand behind our metrics and scales.
If you look at scores and feel as if they do not reflect what you know about your student(s), we recommend the following steps. We're committed to putting Amira to work for you, so if you have any hesitation after trying these tips, do not hesitate to reach out to us via Live Chat or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are common symptoms (what we can observe), possible problems causing the symptoms (there are often several), and recommended actions.
First, if an assessment is in question, it is best practice to listen to the audio from the child's reading. See How do I listen to and/or rescore an assessment? After you listen, you can decide one of three actions to take:
Keep the assessment as is,
Rescore the assessment > Save > Evaluate the updated scores, or
Reassess the student
To rescore the assessment, listen to the assessment and rescore appropriately. Click Save. Then, check the reports which will now reflect the updated scoring.
More often than not, the main reason for scores appearing lower than they ought to be is pausing. When students pause longer than they otherwise would, the timer continues to tick, driving down the overall scores or causing the session to downlevel to an easier passage. In the cases where pauses are longer than 15 seconds, we recommend that the teacher go to the Tracking Report and reassign the assessment.
More often than not, the main reason for scores appearing higher than they ought to be is adults helping. In these cases, we recommend that the teacher go to the Tracking Report and reassign the assessment. Practice sessions will "reset" and adapt to the students' ability (rather than the adult's).
Error messages pop up before or while a child reads an assessment or practice session.
If you observed the child reading and get an error message, see What do I do if Amira cannot hear a student? regarding device, browser, and classroom management guidance.
Long breaks / pauses in audio, causing the timer to tick and driving down the WCPM score (and, as a result, all other scores).
Listen to the audio recording for long pauses or students reading much slower than they otherwise would read at their best fluency. If you notice 15 seconds of lost time, consider reassigning the assessment.
Student behavioral issue (distracted or didn't give the assessment their best effort)
If you would like to give the student another try, use the Tracking Report to reassign the assessment.
Premature downleveling (you expect the child can read the grade-level passage with sufficient "productive struggle")
If the passage looks like it was a grade level or two below, you can compare passage titles and possibly reassign the assessment and reassess.
Large sections of incorrect phrases marked "red", with student recordings showing the student skipped these sections or may have it the green "next button" prematurely.
After listening to the audio and attempting to rescore, if you believe the student may have skipped too much text to give it her best effort, we recommend you reassess.
Practice scores don't seem to align to the assessment scores.
Practice is intended to give students practice reading. We provide scoring as a formative measure. However, practice sessions are not intended to be used as assessments. Practice sessions are also scored differently than assessments. To learn more, see How do I see student data after Practice?
Students cannot yet read basic CSV words or connected text and are unable to "get through" the passage without frustration.
See How do I get early readers ready to assess? for modeling tips.
Adult helping, driving up assessment scores or the difficulty of Practice sessions.
Rescore the assessment if possible. If you'd rather reassess, go to the Tracking Report and reassign the assessment. Practice sessions will "reset" and adapt to the students' ability (rather than the adult's).
If you have tried the actions above and are still feeling stuck, please chat with us!