PALS testing: Words in Isolation. My role as the reading specialist in our building can be divided into 2 specific areas: interventionist for struggling readers and data keeper.
I know that isn’t the best title, but “data keeper” almost sums it up. My school is a K-2 building, so we don’t have SOLs, we have PALS.
I have PALS interventions before the test, PALS data collection and evaluation, and PALS interventions after the test. I keep the data…and figure out how to fix it. This post will talk about the Word Recognition in Isolation Test.
This test is aggravating…for everyone. It’s the flashing word list.
I wish PALS would offer a practice test with flashing words and I tried once to make one with PowerPoint, but got frustrated and quit.
PALS does provide a list of words for practice. I used their words and created a routine.
It’s important to know how the test works. At the beginning of the year, first grade students start at the preprimer list and work their way up.
In the middle of the year, first grade students start at the Primer list and work either forward or backward through the lists.
At the end of the year, they start on the first grade list. This is important because you need to know where to start the intervention.
We take the test quickly in the fall, so we don’t have time for interventions before the test. However immediately after the test, we look at the students who did not score any words above the preprimer level.
These students are placed in our remediation groups.
Using the PALS lists, students are given the left side of the paper in a list to cut up.
Our TAs keep a set of words for themselves. As the students are cutting up the list, the TA asks each student to read the words as quickly as they can.
If they hesitate, they skip that word and moves on the next. She records the words on the data sheet.
These words are put in a resealable bag to take home and practice. The TAs have the students echo the words, then take turns reading the list.
They meet with the TAs each day for 5-8 minutes.
The words are read in a list and in “wait for it” round robin” around the table as many times as they need to so that every child reads every book. They are challenged to read the lists quicker and quicker each day.
Finally on Friday the TA calls each students over one at a time and has them read the list as quickly as possible.
This procedure is repeated the next week with the words on the right side of the page. On the third week of the intervention, the students are given all 20 words to review and read quickly.
So each PALS quick check list lasts 3 weeks. At the mid-year, student groups are reorganized. At that time students are given the first grade word lists.
The second grade intervention is different. I use all 20 words each week. The TAs did the same process. Pre-test on Mondays. Practice with speed and random order on Tuesday-Thursday.
Finally, the quick test on Friday. BUT PALS only gives you 5 quick checks.
Sooo, you have to make them up. I took the 5 quick checks and rearranged, reorganized, and reordered all the words.
After the mid-year test, I keep making new lists, but I change out endings and tenses to make sure the know variations of the words.
The Message from PALS
At the Virginia State Reading Association Conference in Norfolk in March, I presented a session on the PALS interventions we were using.
Marcia Invernizzi had a session at the very same time as my session, but met me in the hallway before my session to let me know she would have someone from the PALS office in my session to see what we were doing.
Bottom line, they liked it.
They were a little concerned I was only using and reusing the words on the quick checks, but I figured the words were there for a reason.
I was so excited by the results.
Stay tuned for the next intervention…the Spelling Intervention is coming soon!
If you’d like a FREE set of PALS Words in Isolation Intervention or click the picture below.