The Observation Survey

by Diane Powell, Primary Literacy Trainer

I’ve been reading about how Dr. Marie Clay’s Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement has received the highest possible ratings for scientific rigor from National Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI). The ratings are intended to inform and assist educators as they select screening tools for RTI. There are several links from the Reading Recovery Council of North America website that I will include at the end of the blog.

We have known for years about the quality of the instruments that allow us to capture current understandings of students and then can use that information to plan for our next instructional moves. All six tasks, Letter Identification, Word Reading, Concepts About Print, Writing Vocabulary, Hearing and Recording Sounds in Words, and Text Reading capture authentic data that aligns with real life classroom experiences rather than testing items of knowledge in isolation.

The National Center defines screening

as brief assessments that are valid, reliable, and evidence-based. They are conducted with all students or targeted groups of students to identify students who are at risk of academic failure and , therefore, likely to need additional or alternative forms of instruction to supplement the conventional general education approach

and now the tasks of An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement can be used as one of the screening tools that schools involved in RTI can select. If you have trained Reading Recovery teachers on staff, they can work with other faculty to learn more about the tasks and avoid the additional expense of purchasing other screening and progress monitoring devices. Thank goodness someone has finally realized how powerful this work is.

View the NCRTI ratings for the Observation Survey.

Read the RRCNA press release [pdf].

Learn more about the Observation Survey.

2 thoughts on “The Observation Survey

  1. Thanks Diane and staff,
    This is a very timely post for our work in Sandwich. These blogs have been very helpful to me in my work with teachers! Thank you! Patti L.


    • Hi Patti,

      Good to know that the Blog has been helpful to your work. Helping teachers understand the importance of the Observation Survey is very important especially since it’s been approved for RTI work.


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