Approximate time to complete: 45 minutes 

Download the Course Companion document before starting this course. You can use the Companion document to take notes on your learning, address reflection prompts, and as an easy way to retrieve course resources.  

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to: 
  • Identify the key purposes of screening assessment in the early grades 
  • Analyze current practices to determine steps for improving screening at their building or district

Consider This Scenario

Connection Point

In your Course Companion, consider these questions:  

  • Can you relate to this scenario? In what ways are your challenges in literacy instruction similar or different? 

The building leadership team at York Elementary is meeting to plan for next year. They have taken strides to improve approaches to literacy instruction including instituting a systematic and explicit approach to their phonemic awareness and phonics instruction. However, the team notices that they are not able to consistently identify students who need additional assistance to read effectively. Furthermore, when they do identify students who struggle to read, they do not know where to begin intervening to help them succeed.

What is Screening Assessment?

  • Universal screeners provide a quick indicator of student skills to reveal which students are predicted to meet grade level benchmarks now and in the future, and those who may be at-risk for reading difficulties.  
  • Think of screening as a thermometer check. If you have a fever, you may not know exactly why you are sick, but you do know that there is a problem and can work to identify the root cause of your sickness. 
  • Screening provides brief, standardized measures that help determine a need for intervention or a change in core instruction.

Screening with Dr. Tim Odegard


In this video, Dr. Tim Odegard describes the purposes of assessing students, use of student data, and effective screening practices. There is a place in your Course Companion to take notes.

Knowledge Check

Take this brief quiz to check your knowledge. You can click the square button to expand the quiz. 


The International Dyslexia Association article Universal Screening: K-2 Reading covers the purposes of screening and some tips on how to screen. There is a place to take notes on the article in your Course Companion. 

Course Reflection

Answer the following questions in your Course Companion: 

  • Consider the types of assessments Dr. Odegard identified in his video. Do the assessments you currently use match the assessments that Dr. Odegard identified? Where are you doing well and where might you want to grow?
  • Are there specific approaches that Dr. Odegard identified that could help you to improve your practice?  

To Learn More


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Last Modified: 9/12/2023 3:04:13 PM