ICLA Standard III: Study Session 2

In preparation of the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Assessment (ICLA) Standard III, I am creating a series of blog posts from my study notes and the study guide. The subjects are organized in alphabetical order and I will be completing five subjects at a time. I am in hopes that by sharing, I can provide assistance to others studying for the ICLA or similar literacy tests for pre-service teachers.

Today's Subjects


the act or process of gathering data in order to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of student learning, as by observation, testing, interviews, etc.

Assessment is the first step in addressing the most urgent needs of our developing readers. 

Assessments can be invaluable in helping teachers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student and to guide the next steps in instruction. There are many informal tools for assessing the various components of reading. No single assessment will provide insight into all of the reading-related skills that students need to learn. This chart provides a good summary: Overview of Informal Assessments (Reading Rockets).

Authentic assessment
a type of assessment that seeks to address widespread concerns about standardized, norm-referenced testing by representing "literacy behavior of the community and workplace" and reflecting "the actual learning and instructional activities of the classroom and out-of-school worlds," as with the use of portfolios; naturalistic assessment.

Example Question:

Because of Ms. Carlson’s concern that standardized tests used by the state may not adequately represent her students’ ability to use reading and writing in real-world ways, she frequently evaluates the literacy progress of her students through the analysis of pen pal letters, presentations to audiences of parents, having her students read to younger children. 

Central tendency (Video on Study.com)

a central value used to summarize a distribution of scores.

Cloze procedure or Cloze Assessment

any of several ways of measuring a person's ability to restore omitted portions of an oral or written message by reading its remaining context

Reading comprehension support

Persons with learning disabilities who need work on reading comprehension often respond to explicitly taught strategies which aid comprehension such as skimming, scanning and studying techniques. These techniques aid in acquiring the gist, and then focus is turned to the details of the text through use of the cloze procedure.

The cloze procedure builds upon a student's impulse to fill in missing elements and is based upon the Gestalt principle of closure. With this method, every fifth to eighth word in a passage is randomly eliminated. The student is then required to fill in the missing words. This technique develops reading skills and an understanding not only of word meaning but also of the structure of the language itself (Reading Rockets).

Guidelines for Cloze testing
  • Start with a passage of about 300 words. Shorter passages may be used, but reliability could be jeopardized. 
  • Choose any word as the first to be deleted, but leave a sentence or so intact at the beginning of the test. 
  • Thereafter, mark every fifth word, until there are 50 in all. 
  • Word-process the test so that the words you’ve marked are replaced by blanks. 
  • The blanks must be of equal length. 
  • For younger students, leave blanks of around 15 spaces to give them room to write. 
  • For older students, you may wish to number the blanks so that students can write their answers on a separate sheet. 
  • It is generally unwise to administer cloze tests prior to grade 4. 
  • Make certain students know that each blank represents only one word. 
  • Explain that this is more like a guessing game than a test. Even the best readers will not be able to guess many of the words.
  • Encourage them to try to guess the word that was actually there—the word the author used. 
  • There is no time limit. 
Scoring and Interpretation 
  • Give credit for verbatim answers only. Synonyms and other semantically acceptable responses are considered incorrect. 
  • Minor misspellings are counted as correct. However, spellings that indicate that the child might have been thinking of another word are counted as incorrect.
  • Compute the percentage of correct answers and use the following scoring guide: 
Independent level: above 60% 
Instructional level: 40–60% 
Frustration level: below 40%

Concepts About Print Test (CAP)

an informal assessment of the concepts of print. Measuring: 
  • print has meaning
  • print can be used for different purposes
  • relationship between print and speech 
  • a difference between letters and words
  • words are separated by spaces
  • difference between words and sentences
  • (punctuation) marks that signal the end of a sentence
  • books have parts such as a front and back cover, title page, and spine
  • stories have a beginning, middle, and end
  • text is read from left to right and from top to bottom. 
Assessed during kindergarten, at the start of school and at mid-year. In addition, as you model story reading techniques to help guide instruction, identify students who need additional support, and determine if the pace of instruction should be increased, decreased, or remain the same.

Example Question:

Marie Clay’s indicator that tests book handling concepts which include front/back, top/bottom, left/right, word matching, word/letter order, punctuation, and word/letter recognition.

In addition, I have created a Quizlet set of the vocabulary words found here. On Quizlet, I am very fond of playing the matching game where you can drag corresponding items (term to definition) onto each other to make them disappear. I also like to create a test on Quizlet with multiple choice, true or false, and matching to assess my knowledge of all the vocabulary words.

Good Luck!


  1. This is a great post for students as well as teachers. TypicalStudent.org is a group of students and teachers


Thank you for reading my post. Please comment with any questions, concerns, constructive criticisms, or information you would like to add to this subject. Docendo discimus, by teaching we learn.