After Using the Get Ready to Read! Screening Tool

The screening tool offers a sufficient but not overwhelming amount of information on which parents and teachers can focus, a basis for shared knowledge from which they can plan and develop intervention strategies, and an easy way to jointly track the child’s progress. It provides concrete information about the skills and abilities that the child has and those that need strengthening. It is very important to focus attention on the child’s strengths, as well as weaknesses.

Once you’ve completed the screening tool, whether at home or in a classroom, it is a good idea to share the results with the appropriate “partners,” such as a child’s parents or guardians, teacher, or child care professional. Together you can determine how to best support the child’s literacy development.

Understanding the Results

You should always carefully observe a child as he or she goes through the items on the screening tool. If, for example, you notice that the child has difficulty with most of the items with letters of the alphabet, you should be sure to choose some activities that will strengthen that particular skill. If you notice that the child has trouble with items towards the end of the screening tool that ask him or her to think about sounds and word parts, you should choose activities that address those skills. If a child is within a month or two of entering kindergarten and still having trouble with most of the items on the screening tool, you may want to consider further evaluation for that child.

Even if a child gets 18, 19, or 20 correct answers on the screening tool, there is always more for him or her to practice and learn. It is important to be flexible as young children are always growing and changing! You should always observe how the child reacts to the activities you choose. If the child seems to have mastered a particular skill, move on to something more challenging. If the child seems frustrated, you should choose something more basic.

You should only calculate the score for the entire screening tool. Because this is a short screening tool with different numbers of items for each of the three domains, the sub-scores do not have any statistical meaning. However, if you notice through observation that a child is having difficulty with particular skills, you should make sure to address those skills through activities and experiences during your time with the child.

Sharing the Results with a Child's Teacher or Care Provider

To have the teacher's full attention, set up a meeting time that is quiet and convenient for both of you, rather than "catching" the teacher at arrival or dismissal time. You can bring the screening tool, manual, and your child's answer sheet, and explain what the screening tool is and how your child did. If you completed the screening tool online, print out and bring the results page and other information about the tool. If you have any concerns about your child's literacy development, this would be a good time to share them. You can tell your child's teacher that there is more information about the screening tool on the Get Ready to Read! website, including free skill-building activities.

Sharing the Results with a Child's Parent

Set up a time to meet with the parent when he or she can have your full attention. You may want to have a copy of the screening tool and the child's answer sheet with you. Explain to the parent that the screening tool is not a test, but is meant to be a quick and easy way to see where a 4-year-old is on the road to being ready to learn to read. It gives you a good sense of what the child can do and what the child still needs to learn, and is one piece of information that will help you meet the needs of the child. This meeting is a good time to explain to parents what they can do at home to encourage their children's literacy development. You can also suggest that they visit the Get Ready to Read! website to learn more about the screening tool and to find additional information and free skill-building activities.

Suggested Tip!

Be Ready for Reading

Bring a book to your child’s next doctor’s appointment to ease the wait.  And, leave a book where you keep your reusable shopping bags to make the shopping cart a rolling reading room
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