The Pre-Algebra Evaluation is recommended for middle schoolers because it shows us exactly what the student knows and doesn't know. This saves a lot of tutoring time because we won't be trying to figure it out during those valuable sessions. The cost is the same as one tutoring session, $54. It takes between an hour to an hour and a half, but the cost is $54 regardless of how long the actual testing takes.
During the evaluation, the evaluator is 100% focused on the evaluation. Notes are made about whether the student partially knows a skill, mostly knows a skill, or has no clue about the skill. These notes help us know if we need to teach from the beginning of a skill and give a lot of background for a solid foundation, or if we just need to watch the student work the problem and work out misconceptions. This technique saves a LOT of tutoring time!
This evaluation is completely optional, and I believe it will end up saving you a lot of money. Additionally, you will receive a copy of the evaluation, so you can work with your student at home if you wish. If this is something you would like, just let me know. Again, it is a service we offer, but it is completely up to you.
Math Skills Testing
For our math skills testing we use the Brigance CIBS-R, which is based on 30 years of research.
A Tutor’s Touch’s math skills testing pinpoints weak areas that keep a student from progressing.
The Brigance CIBS-R is designed so the tutor can move on to the next section of the test when it is clear that the student is not able to do a particular skill. This reduces frustration since the student is not having to work above his/her ability level.
Each student is closely observed during the test. Notes are taken about whether they completely don't know how to do the skill or if they know how to do it but just made a simple computation error. If they work a problem properly, but miss 7 x 8, they don't need to learn how to do the advanced skill. They need to learn the math facts they do not know.
The results of the skills test are used to develop a customized learning plan and the tutor uses this checklist as a guide to build foundational skills.
The parents may be provided with a list of the deficient skills so they can work with their children if they choose to.
Reading Skills Testing
The CIBS-R diagnostic testing for reading includes reading comprehension, fluency, rate, phonics, and handwriting.
First, a student’s ability to identify words outside of context is determined. The student reads nonsense words to determine if phonics rules can be applied. The student demonstrates ability to rhyme words, which is a foundational reading skill.
This gives us an idea of the grade level equivalent in which a student can read the words. To determine a student’s understanding of texts, the student reads narrative and expository passages aloud while notes are taken by the administrator for miscues and reading speed. After the passage is read, the student answers comprehension questions that have answers which are explicit or implicit in nature. From these readings/questions, the student’s level of independent reading is determined, as well as the instructional reading level and the frustration level of the student.
After the reading portion, the student takes a spelling test. His/her written attempt at spelling the words is analyzed to gauge both the level of the student regarding his/her spelling abilities as well as areas needed to strengthen, such as the word parts, vowel patterns, and consonant blends.
A writing sample is taken from the student to gauge his/her ability to write properly and legibly.
These assessments are then used to create a tutoring plan.