Informal Assessments & Present Levels of Performance
Want to write strengths-based, powerful IEPs without losing your life to paperwork? Check out these resources for conducting informal assessments and writing effective present levels of performance for reading, writing, and mathematics (PLOPs or PLAAFPs). Find ideas on how to make your IEPs powerful AND save time!
See mathematics assessment resources and IEP baseline ideas for students working at an early elementary level.
Browse number sense, computation, word problem, and life skills mathematics assessment resources and IEP baseline ideas for students working at mid- to late-elementary level.
Explore letter identification, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, decoding, and fluency assessment and baseline resources for students working at an early elementary level.
Discover reading assessment and IEP baseline resources for students working at the mid- to late-elementary level.
Find resources for assessing and writing baselines on students working at an early elementary level.
Explore writing fluency, narrative writing, spelling, grammar, and paragraph structure assessments and IEP baseline ideas for students working at a mid- to late-elementary level.
The why behind the resources
Informal assessments are what you do for Annual IEPs. You don’t need a signed consent form from a parent for them. The kids scores aren’t being normed against a national sample—you are just looking for information on exactly what a kid knows right now. Formal assessments are what you do for an Initial or Triennial IEP. Parents need to sign consent for them. Formal assessments normally are a standardized test like the Woodcock Johnson. Instead of giving specific information about what a kid knows, the formal assessments tell you how they are doing relative to other kids in their same age bracket.
Now here is my soap box. Formal assessment results tell a parent and teacher nothing about what a kid can do. Knowing that a kid can read at a 5-5 year level with a standard score of 76 doesn’t tell you how to teach a kid. Case managers should never be giving teachers and parents a sheet of scores and telling them that is their report. How does that help anyone teach and parent better?
Even when you are doing a formal assessment like the WJ you still ALSO need to be doing informal assessments. Informal assessments guide instruction. Formal assessments help determine whether a kid qualifies. Don’t give parents half a report—do informal assessments too! To learn more about formal and informal assessments, check out the IEP help page on formal and informal assessments!
About the resources
Over the last nine years I have made, remade, thrown out, and recreated assessment packets. I didn’t realize when I started how much of my job assessments would become. The last few years I think I have done over 10 formal assessments and twenty informal assessments every year. An enormous chunk of my time is spent giving assessments, scoring them, writing them up, and making goals based on the assessments. My friend gave me my first assessment packet when she saw me drowning under the weight of assessments. A couple of years ago I decided to write all of my own informal assessments so that I could get all of the information I needed to write good present levels and goals without constantly having to hunt for more assessments hidden in a binder somewhere. The pages here blend materials from those packets along with free resources and tips on IEP writing.