Measuring progress of younger students: introducing the WARL

Wheldall Assessment of Reading Lists (WARL)

It has become common practice in Australian schools to identify struggling readers at the beginning of Year 1 to offer them an intervention. While it is preferable to catch students even earlier, regular screening after the first formal year of schooling is certainly recommended, to identify those who may be in need of Tier 2 intervention.

Up until now, how these young readers can best be screened and monitored has been something of a challenge. Traditional reading tests are less appropriate and less sensitive when used with very young children, and cannot be given repeatedly over short periods of time, because of practice effects setting in. They are also quite time-consuming for busy teachers who need to screen a whole class and then monitor the performance of low-progress readers.

MultiLit has now developed a reading assessment tool for younger students in Years 1 and 2, the WARL (Wheldall Assessment of Reading Lists)

As a companion test to the WARP (Wheldall Assessment of Reading Passages), the WARL provides a set of 100-word lists, which students read for just one minute. The number of words read correctly provides a measure of the student’s level of oral reading fluency, and the benchmarks provided allow for the easy identification of the bottom 25% of students.

As a fast and simple measure to administer, the lists can then be utilised on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to monitor the performance of individual low-progress readers.

To learn more about administering the WARL and WARP, as well as a variety of other reading assessment tools, register for the Measuring Student Reading Progress for Schools Professional Development Workshop – find dates and locations for upcoming workshops, visit the workshop page linked above.