Literacy tests used in Manaiakalani and why I can’t use them in my inquiry
STAR tests - Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading.
SEA - Writing Vocabulary. In 10 minutes how many vocab words can you write down on a piece of
paper? It’s a measure of fluency - do you need to devote time to work it out or can you just “go”?
These are all legitimate measures of reading and writing that are pretty universally accepted in NZ
and in the case of PAT, around the world.
However for me they are not useful to measure improvement of literacy in science (hopefully caused
by any intervention that I do) as I only see my year 9 students three times a week for a total of 200
minutes! That means they are spending a heck of a lot of time with other teachers; in English, reading
for 20 minutes a day during the school’s AR programme, and then of course there’s all the time at
home where students could be doing anything at all - they could be reading novels for 5 hours a day!
I need to come up with my own measures of scientific literacy!
I'm thinking about 3 minute scientific vocabulary tests or 5 minute paragraph writing about a topic -
leaving it absolutely wide open. I could either give identical instructions for pre and post tests, or even
return the pre-test at the end to see if they can improve upon it after the intervention.