SRI testing

I teach special education students.  THey love Read 180 and are doing great.  My one complaint is with the SRI testing set up.  I know it is an intuitive test that adjusts based on student answers, however, for my special education students, especially the ADHD kids, not having any idea how many more questions they will have is a big issue and it causes them to get frustrated and give up.  

I have found that unless my para sits down next to certain students to make sure they don't get frustrated, they will  just answer anything to finish.  They really need a count down of some kind, like the % done on a computer download.

At least I have figured out why some students SRI was going down even though their work in class was improving.  


Posted on: April 10 2010
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  • Hi Ashley, I know exactly what you mean. My special education students also have difficulty staying focused and not just answering anything to get the test over with. Here are the ways I handle that: ~Generally, if the next passage size is smaller, they did not answer the previous passage correctly. As they are taking the test, we try to keep an eye on this and let them know so they can refocus their attention. Also, the greater the word count is sometimes a negative to our SPED students, so we make sure they know that larger passages mean they are doing better. ~Tell students that if they start to feel frustrated, or need a break, they can hit escape -> yes -> yes to get out of the test and come back to it the next day. ~For students who improve their Lexile, by any amount, they automatically get an additional 3 points added to their marking period grade. That is huge and can save a student who is failing, or bump them up to the next grade level (C to C+, etc.). It's also a great motivator. ~occasionally, I will let a student retake their SRI if they had a really bad day, just be sure to delete the test they just took first. ~I have had a few VERY distractable students who have done very poorly because they either had a "rubber neck" or didn't take their time to re-read the passage to check their answer before clicking go on. It has helped if one of us sat with the student to coach them through the process of answering - but you have to be careful to keep your facial expression neutral the entire time as many student have become very adept at reading body language and try to use that to select their answers. Just doing this one time often helps for the rest of the year. ~At the beginning of the year, I model how to answer the questions and show students what to expect using a "demo" account I set up in SAM and then running the SRI on my Smartboard. I show them what happens when I choose a wrong answer (next passage is smaller), and how that is different when answered correctly (next passage is slightly larger). Perhaps reminding students how the program works in this way each time you plan a retest will help. Good Luck! Debbie

    One strategy I utilize is to have students compare the amount of time they spend taking each test.  I require them to write down their starting time and their ending time and then compare the times to the other SRI test times and scores.  Students begin to rationalize how much time they spend completing the test.  They start saying things like "I'm going to do better next time by taking my time and not rushing through it."  They share their testing times with others and start realizing that students who rush and don't take the test seriously are not making any growth.  Fostering a climate of accountable talk among the students is great.  I give $5 to the student who makes the most growth.  It's not much money, but students really do put a lot of time and effort into showing what they know.


    As Debbie said, it helps to have someone sit with the student who is taking the test.  I have to sit behind the student because my facial expressions are so transparent. Sometimes, making the student read aloud is a way to keep the student focused.  Also, lower Lexile students need to sub-vocalize anyway so reading aloud is very helpful for them. Another tactic is to print the test after the student has taken it so the student can see the test, exactly how long the student took to complete the test, and items answered correctly and incorrectly. Dee

    you are correct, just a person sitting with the student, giving words of encouragement to help them not give up, and having them read the screen aloud really helps.  This year I have  students who have increased over 2 grade levels in their SRI from September.  I have many who have increased by 1-2 grade levels as well!!

    Is there a specific chart that you use to see the grade level growth?  I have been using  a performance bands and lexile correlation chart, but would love to know of a different one. Thank you!

    Thank you..I will try looking for it tomorrow when we get back to work. I wish we could connect to SAM from home.

    There is a report in SAM, I believe it is called the Reading Performance Report under SRI  - on the bottom of the page is the grade level equivalent chart for lexile ranges. 


    I have also found that having the students read aloud to themselves will improve their focus and their score.  We will also sometimes have a Teaching Assistant sit with the student just to encourage them along. However, I was disturbed because many of the scores dropped drastically on their second assessment.  For example, a few students who scored in the 300s on their first SRI and then dropped to below 150!   Most of them are showing progress during work in class and on independent reading.  Has anyone else see this occur? Thanks for any feedback.


    A 150L drop in Lexiles is outside the Standard Error of Measurement. In other words, something is wrong. Sometimes on the second test, students let down on their focus, they don't concentrate, or simply blow off the test. I always check to see what went wrong. At a 100L drop, I almost always require a re-test (after deleting the "bad" test). The latest version of the Placement, Assessment, & Reporting Guide fior READ 180 Next Generation suggests a 60L drop in the score is a red flag. The Best Practices Guide for the SRI is a short document worth reading. I can send you an electronic copy if you email me at askdee@sbcglobal.net. Dee Ask Dee at the READ 180 Community

    I was reading the bottom question about the drop of test scores.  Looking at my students overall progress throughout the year, I have noticed that at the begining of the year they had an improved score.  The improvement from last year ... mid year, they dropped about 200 points, now at the end of the year they are still not at the begining of the year score but still below it.  Do you have any ideas about what could have happened?   Talking with the students, they were disappointed because they felt they did their best.  They also have several motivational items for improvement:  grade for score improvement, cirtificate, and food/party.  We also use the score as a way to show they can move to the next English class.  They were disappointed that their score didn't go up as they expected.  I am too for that matter... Ideas? Thanks, Julie


    The current guides are telling us if a student drops as little as 60L from one test to the next, we should probably delete the "bad" score and re-test. I can send you a copy of the SRI Best Practices Guide if you email me at AskDee@sbcglobal.net. Dee, Ask Dee at the READ 180 Community

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