Progress monitoring of students supports personalized pacing through the program, ensuring that students master the skills presented in each substep before moving on to learn new skills, and allowing teachers to diagnostically plan each lesson.
Formative assessment is built into the Wilson Reading System® (WRS) program with every single lesson, especially in Lesson Part 4 (wordlist charting) and Lesson Part 8 (dictation – written word) of the lesson. During the lesson, a teacher is assessing how the student is responding to instruction, that is, how the student’s skills and understanding of concepts are progressing. The teacher tracks this by maintaining a progress chart for each student. For all students, the errors identified during the wordlist charting help to pinpoint trouble spots and patterns. The next lesson is written based entirely upon the student’s understanding of concepts and skills taught in the current lesson (i.e., instant word recognition Parts 3 and 4). In a small-group setting, a student will be charted at least once during each substep. This progress monitoring allows teachers to diagnostically plan for the following lessons and to pace the group appropriately. The teacher progresses to the next substep when the majority of the students in the group have achieved mastery. Additional practice is provided to students not reaching benchmark.
To determine progression from one Step to the next, students take an End-of-Step Assessment that is both formative and summative. These End-of-Step Assessments determine a student’s mastery and understanding of the concepts taught in the specific Step and identify any specific areas that need further instruction. Students are assessed in phonetic word reading accuracy and automaticity, marking current concepts, high frequency word reading, independent silent reading, passage oral reading fluency and comprehension, and spelling. Students must reach a specific mastery level. If they do not, additional instruction in areas of difficulty is necessary before going onto the next WRS Step.
The Wilson® Assessment for Decoding and Encoding (WADE) is also administered as a posttest at the end of instruction or at the end of a school year to evaluate mastery of the curriculum and assess the student’s ability to independently apply decoding and encoding skills.