When taking the Amira Benchmark assessment, the goal is for students to productively struggle during the Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) passage. When first taking the Benchmark assessment, the ORF passage will be at the grade level of the student. If a student is struggling to make progress on the first page of the passage, Amira will automatically prompt the student to try a new story. This story will be one grade level below the current passage. This process of downleveling will continue depending upon the student performance, and the last level of the ORF passage is at the kindergarten level.
The conditions for downleveling during the Oral Reading Fluency passage are:
Failure to make sufficient progress within the first minute
Reading at an accuracy rate of 60% or lower
Amira can continue to downlevel using this criteria. The kindergarten passage is the lowest level passage a student can receive.
If a student has trouble completing the kindergarten passage, encourage the student to try his/her best to:
sound out words
read known words
skip unknown words
name known letters
As long as some effort is made, Amira will give the student credit for the attempt after one minute.
Students who are unable to complete the kindergarten passage are given the assessment status of Early Reader on the Tracking Report. If a student's assessment status is listed as Early Reader, the student may not show across other Amira reports due to limited information available from the assessment.
Students who are known to be Early Readers, or students taking the assessment for the first time in kindergarten or first grade, would be best prepared for the Benchmark assessment by completing the following steps prior to assessment.
Explain to students that:
Amira will explain what to do before they begin each step
They will be using their computer or iPad and headset/microphone to read aloud a story to Amira and that the story will appear appear on their screen
After they say a word, the text will turn from black to gray - if they are unable to read the word, they can skip the word, sound out the word, or even say the letter names
While they read aloud, Amira will be listening to them read
When they are finished reading, Amira will explain to them that their reading is being saved and that Amira will take care of logging them out
Show students this video which includes the beginning and ending of a student taking a Benchmark assessment
❗NOTE: Depending upon the student's score, the student may be placed into the Early Reader Skills Scaffold sequence. See the Related Articles section below for more information about the Early Reader Skills Scaffold feature.