How Skills Locators identify reading status for a grade level

Document created by Community User on Nov 1, 2017Last modified by Community User on Nov 1, 2017
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Skills Locators for reading give both the reading status for the selected grade level of text complexity, and which skills in the strand need work.


Structure of the Skills Locator

The Skills Locator has two reading passages aligned to the text complexity of the chosen grade level. The student answers seven to nine questions (depending on the grade and strand) for each passage. Each question is aligned to a different reading skill.

Reading status:

A grade level in any strand may have one of three statuses:
  • Independent - The student is ready for the next reading grade level.
  • Instructional - The student is ready for instruction on this reading grade level.
  • Below Instructional Level - You should re-test at the next lower grade level to establish the student's instructional reading level.

For more details, see Status Definitions > For Reading Grade Level in the MAP Help Center.

Needs work:

A reading skill is designated as needs work if a student responds incorrectly to any item assigned to the skill. Recall that the student answers questions relating to two passages, and each question relates to one of the skills. This means a student answers two questions for each skill.

What does the reading Skills Locator measure and who should use it?

MAP Skills is designed to measure reading comprehension, rather than whether a student knows how to read.

At a very high level, grades k-3 is the time for "learning to read" and transitioning to "reading to learn". Grade 3 and up is the time for reading to learn. MAP Skills is a product designed for students who are struggling with the latter ("reading to learn") not the former. Learning to read is generally conceptualized as having 5 components: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. In the earlier grades the focus is on developing the first three and then on a parallel track developing the last two. MAP Skills provides no information about the first three aspects or reading and thus can never meet needs in that area—critical areas for at risk students in k-2. In vocabulary, MAP Skills can provide information about the development of word analysis skills (vocabulary strand). Primarily, MAP Skills is a reading comprehension test that provides two critical pieces of information: information about the student’s instructional level and information about comprehension skills or strategies the student may lack. 

MAP Skills addresses reading standards for literature and informational text as well as standards related to word acquisition and vocabulary development. It does not address reading standards that require “prompting and support” and it does not address standards at any grade related to phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency.

See also:

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