Wheldall Assessment of Reading Passages
Reading fluency reflects a student’s automaticity in decoding. To read effectively and with understanding, students need to be able to decode words effortlessly so that they are not wasting cognitive capacity that could otherwise be deployed in making sense of what is being read. Reading fluency is a powerful predictor of overall reading progress. The Wheldall Assessment of Reading Passages (or WARP) has been designed to identify low-progress readers, and to monitor their reading performance over time, using a quick, simple, reliable and valid test of oral reading fluency.
Who's it for?
- Designed to assess the reading for students in Year 2 to Year 5, and older low-progress readers in upper primary and early secondary years
- Suitable for use by classroom teachers, learning support teachers and other school personnel involved in literacy instruction
- Quick and easy to administer, with no special qualifications required
- Measures reading in its natural context
- Passages have been specifically designed to be of similar difficulty level
- Can be used to screen large groups to identify those at risk of falling behind
- Can be used to monitor the progress of individual low-progress readers on a regular basis (i.e. weekly), allowing for adjustment to instruction
- Includes easy to use benchmark/cut-off scores
How is it administered?
Both the Initial Assessment and the Progress Monitoring Assessment are carried out on a one-to-one basis between the tester and the student.
The Initial Assessment should take no longer than five minutes (as it involves reading three passages of 1 minute each and averaging the three results) but the Progress Monitoring Assessment should take no longer than one minute per assessment.
Students read for just one minute from specially written 200-word passages, which have been designed to be of similar difficulty level. The number of words read correctly in that minute is a measure of the student’s level of oral reading fluency.
The WARP has been shown to correlate very highly with more general measures of reading accuracy as well as reading comprehension. The passages are presented in a consistent way each time, following set procedures.
Although the WARP has not been standardized in the traditional sense, provisional WARP benchmarks have been provided to help identify students who are falling behind. If a student is performing in the bottom 25% for his/her grade level this would indicate that additional instructional support is needed. During and following intervention, the WARP can be used to monitor progress and the WARP chart provides a quick and simple means of illustrating the progress a student is making.
As the WARP can be used both for screening as well as for measuring students’ ongoing progress, it provides teachers with an early-warning signal identifying those students who may require additional intervention.
Read our WARP FAQs below, including on the research undertaken on WARP.
How does the WARP relate to Response to Intervention?
Assessment is an important part of a Response to Intervention (RtI) model, as educators need to determine when students need more intensive instruction (and also, when they no longer require intensive instruction).
This assessment must be conducted frequently (and therefore quickly), and must be a valid measure of an entire academic area (in this case, reading). Curriculum-based measurement satisfies these criteria, and as the WARP is a curriculum-based measure of reading, it can be used for this purpose.
Within an RtI model, the WARP can be used for screening, progress monitoring, and instructional decision-making.
The WARP Kit consists of the following components:
- Presentation booklet, containing three different Initial Assessment Passages and 10 different Progress Monitoring Passages from which students read during the test
- 30 Initial Assessment Passages Record Forms
- 15 Progress Monitoring Passages Record Forms (including an area to manually chart a student’s progress)
- Access to a tool for the management and charting of students test scores (downloadable from the MultiLit Members’ Area).
Please note: Both the Initial Assessment Passages Record Forms and the Progress Monitoring Passages Record Forms can only be used once and will need to be replaced once the Forms provided in the Kit have been used.
Information for Parents
This resulted in a set of generic 200-word passages, each comprising an entire story, of roughly equal difficulty. These passages were trialled with children in many schools.
Subsequently, the WARP has been the subject of several empirical studies to establish its technical characteristics. This involved thousands of children at different grade levels (Years 2 to 5), and has established the WARP passages as both highly reliable and valid indicators of overall reading performance.
These studies detailed the continuing development of parallel passages, the collection of grade ‘norms’ or benchmarks, the establishment of the test’s reliability and validity, the exploration of gender differences, and so on. A list of published studies can be found in the Manual.This data was then used to estimate the average score for the various year groups as well as the cut off score on the WARP for each Year that indicates critically low reading performance.
It is designed for use by teachers and other professionals who have some expertise in the area of reading. It is, however,very simple and straightforward so it could be administered by almost anyone. Although no specific training is required to successfully implement the WARP, attendance at the one-day Measuring Student Reading Progress for Schools Workshop is highly recommended.
Measuring Reading Progress Professional Development Workshop
It is not enough to simply assess the reading of students – it is important that teachers know what to do with the information.
This Professional Development Workshop will provide teachers with a solid understanding of the importance of using data to monitor students’ reading progress on a very regular basis so that no student gets left behind.
It will also emphasise the need for a consistent school-wide approach to reading assessment, linking the measurement of reading progress to the three tiers of intervention within the Response to Intervention framework.
What the workshop covers
- How to identify a good test
- Types of reading assesments
- What do we need to assess?
- Problems with Running Records/benchmarking
- How to create a coherent school-wide reading assessment process
- Training in the WARP (Wheldall Assessment of Reading Passages), WARL (Wheldall Assessment of Reading Lists) and WARN (Wheldall Assessment of Reading Nonwords). The WARN can be used to predict which students are at risk of not meeting the Year 1 Phonic Screening Check threshold, while WARL and WARP can be used to screen students at risk of reading difficulties and to track their ongoing progress.
Who should attend
- School leaders
- Classroom and learning support teachers
- School counsellors
- Specialist reading teachers/tutors
- Literacy coaches who are working with students from Foundation to Year 8/9.
1 Day (6 Hours)
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)
Completing MultiLit Measuring Reading Progress Professional Development Workshop before 4 February 2022 under NESA’s interim arrangements will contribute 6 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of Delivery and assessment of NSW Curriculum addressing standard descriptors 3.6.2, 5.1.2, 5.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
MultiLit aims to continue as a NESA endorsed provider beyond 4 February 2022, subject to the new accreditation requirements yet to be published by NESA.
Teacher Quality Institute, ACT
This program has been accredited by TQI in 2021. Attendance provides 5 PD hours for ACT teachers.
Please note: The use of MultiLit publications and attendance at professional development workshops is for personal education use in schools with State/Territory accreditation (‘Accredited Schools’). Other commercial use, hiring or lending, or other use as part of any commercial, not-for-profit, or fee-paying program of instruction or tuition not carried out within an Accredited School is strictly prohibited.