Assessing Word Attack Skills

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!!  I know I am, even though I keep working on school stuff. Lol. 

Being a reading specialist and working with struggling readers, I often have students that have a very difficult time "sounding out" words; otherwise known as word attack skills.  As teachers, we are having to document information more and more all of the time.  We have to zero in on what every child is struggling with and find ways to intervene and help that child to learn.  I created an assessment a couple of years ago that allows me to see what kind of help students need in the area of word attack skills.
This is how I use these assessments:
1.  After taking running records on students using the Fountas and Pinnell benchmarking system, I can identify students who have no idea what to do when they come to a tricky word.  For example, I get the "swivel head"- you know what I'm talking about- when they quickly turn their head all the way around and just look at you.  Or, when they just completely say "I don't know" or just out right skip the word.
2.  Usually I do this with students that are at Level 3 of the RTI process.  They need intense intervention!!    As a team (classroom teacher, principal, parents, and Title I teacher (me)), we decide on a plan for each student needing intense intervention.  We decide how much intervention is needed, who is going to provide the intervention, and how long the intervention will last.
3.  I administer the appropriate word attack skill assessment to the student.  There is a reading and a writing assessment.  The three assessments include:  1.  CVC words 2.  blends, digraphs, short vowels 3.  short/long vowels, blends.  These assessments deal with words in isolation so I can see what strategies they are using.  I want to be able to teach them how to "attack" words in isolation so that they can in return do the same thing when reading text.  
4.  After administering the assessment, I then analyze exactly what the student is struggling with.  If I have administered the CVC assessment I will look for patterns.  Is the student continually writing short e in place of short a sound?  Is the student correctly recording the beginning sound but not the ending?  I can then use this information to help students in their area of need.
5.  Here is the hard part... you, as the teacher, have to do activities with the student that will help him/her learn how to attack unknown words.  I made up a game called Word Stoppers you can download here for FREE!!  This kids LOVE LOVE LOVE this game.

6.  After the intervention, you will need to reassess.  Use the same word attack skills assessment to see what kind of growth the child has made.  Also, do another reading benchmark to see if the child's reading level increases.   As a team, you will need to decide what to do next with that child:)
If you are interested in these assessments, you can check them out below- They are only $3.00!  I am so excited to offer them to you!
I am linking up with Manic Monday over at Classroom Freebies!!  Go and check it out!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday



  1. This looks like it will be fun!! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    First Grade and Fabulous

  2. This looks like a great game. Thanks for sharing. Thanks, too, for becoming a new follower over at my blog :)

    Fun in Room 4B

  3. I just happened across your blog, and am your newest follower. Thanks so much for this resource! I'm always on the lookout for materials to help my struggling readers, and it's even better when they are activities that they will have fun with. Thanks again! =)

  4. I love is a great tool, especially for tutoring! Thanks for sharing it!!
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  5. Thanks everyone!! The kids love to play this game, sometimes I don't think they even realize that they are learning!!

  6. I just found this assessment on TPT and all I can say is WOW! Thanks a ton!