PALS Testing: This is the last in the series of interventions with the PALS test.
Of course, Letter Identification is only tested in kindergarten. It is crucial! We need to make sure students know as many letters as possible, as quickly as possible. We started using Jan Richardson’s Letter Tracing Book a few years back. We have expanded that intervention since then.
BEFORE PALS TESTING
Letter Tracing Book
We do this intervention BEFORE we have actual PALS data. We use our summer screenings to get students into a letter identification intervention ASAP.
This year, 34% of our students KNEW 25 or 26 lowercase letters of the alphabet. (The PALS test only tests the lowercase letters.)
Our goal is to front-load as many letters as possible.
In the Fall, Kindergarten students are required to get a total of 29 on the Fall PALS test. If a student gets all the letters, it can be a sure thing.
We use the Letter Tracing Book in the classrooms. The procedure is simple: Using hand-over-hand the interventionist traces the letters correctly, while saying the letter name.
That is all. Students who know less than 10 letters – trace the known letters and the letters in their name. Students who know more than 10 will trace them all.
We also had a parent workshop and gave a copy of the Letter Tracing Book to the parents of students who knew less than 15 letters.
The sound chart the teachers have posted in their classrooms are the same pictures and the same font as the Letter Tracing Book.
This is also digitally added to their calendar routine and the whole class repeats the letter name, letter sound, and picture identification for each letter EVERY DAY.
A, /a/, apple. B, /b/, bear and so on. Sound charts are found around the room in a variety of sizes as this is the main letter/sound connection mat in the classroom.
Word Wall Headers
I am so sorry…I thought I had a better picture of this…and I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t find it. You can see in the background of this picture, the word wall headers are simply another copy of the sound chart cut apart.
The average student needs a lesson, a skill, or a fact repeated 14 times for complete understanding. A struggling student needs a lesson, a skill, or a fact repeated 44 times for complete understanding.
If you have a student struggling to recognize, name, and associate the letter names and sounds, having consistency makes this easier.
The Simple Routine
Monday through Thursday, the interventionist calls the student over individually and hand-over-hand traces the appropriate letters.
Friday, students are asked to identify the letters on the provided chart going across the rows left-to-right.
The interventionist records the totals.
PALS assessment dates are assigned by the PALS Office based on the starting date of school. There is an assessment window.
We choose the LAST 2 weeks of the window, so that we can have the most time for pre-testing interventions.
Our data showed we had 53% of our kindergarten know knew 25 or 26 letters of the alphabet. We had a 19% gain since the beginning of the year.
Involving the Parents
We liked to include the parents in this intervention. It’s something they can help with at home.
We send a smaller version of the Letter Tracing Book. We also scheduled two parent workshops.
We had one immediately after school and one at night.
It’s not perfect and we don’t get everyone there, but it’s an attempt.
We shared ideas for helping letter recognition and I made and raffled materials made from Dollar Tree things.
Some of the parents buy the materials after the workshop, if they don’t win it.
This routine continues until the Mid-Year PALS test is administered. If students know 25 or 26 letters of the alphabet, they are released from the intervention.
Once again, I am proud of our intervention. The asterisks is beside the 91% because of the remaining 9%, 5% had a 24 on the test.
I think that’s important to note.
I hope these interventions have given you ideas for this coming school year. We CANNOT give students excuses, we MUST give them tools.
If you would like a copy of the Letter Tracing Book, check out the form below.
This FREE Resource is too big to pass up.