When students read the Benchmark assessment, the intent is for the student to achieve a sufficient amount of “productive struggle.”
Every student begins the Benchmark assessment reading a grade-level passage. If a student is struggling to make progress on the first page of the passage, Amira prompts the student to try a new story and presents a down-leveled passage which is one grade level below the current passage.
The new level is determined by an algorithm. The conditions for immediate downleveling are:
Failure to make sufficient progress for 1 minute
Reading at an accuracy rate of 60% or below
As the student reads the next passage, Amira will continue to downlevel using the criteria above.
The kindergarten passage (which contains CVC words and Dolch high frequency words) is the lowest level passage a student can be given in Amira. If a student has trouble completing the passage, even at the kindergarten level, encourage the student to try his/her best to sound out words, read the known words, skip unknown words, and/or say the letters he/she knows. As long as some effort has been made for one minute, Amira will give the student credit for the reading session.
Students who are not able to complete the kindergarten passage are given the assessment status of Early Reader on the Tracking Report. The student may have no score listed across other Amira reports because there was not enough information produced from the session to generate valid and reliable performance data. Additionally, a student with the status of Early Reader will automatically be given the Early Reader Skills Scaffold sequence the next time to student logs into Amira. Refer to the Early Readers article collection for more information.