Core Phonics Survey

For phases: partial, full, consolidated

The parts of the Core Phonics Survey are similar to the steps on the UFLI Scope and Sequence. Print teacher pages and student pages. Conduct the survey to identify the phonics patterns that are challenging for your student. If the student is getting tired or making many errors, you should discontinue the assessment.


Fatima assessed Ali who is in grade 2 using the Core Phonics Survey. Here are his results:

Ali’s Core Phonics Survey results:
A: Upper case letters26/26
B: Lower case letters26/26
C: Consonant sounds21/21
D: Long and short vowel sounds5/5
E: Short vowels in CVC words12/15
F: Consonant blends with short vowels10/15
G: Short vowels, digraphs and trigraph12/15
H: R controlled vowels3/15

Skills to review: These results show that Ali needs to review short vowels with blends and digraphs. 

Skills to teach: We’ll start at UFLI lesson 41c which includes short vowel words with blends like grant and dusk. Ali already has some knowledge of digraphs (scored 12/15), so next we may be able to simply review the digraphs he already knows (lessons 42-53).



For phases: consolidated (grade 4+)

DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills) includes a variety of one-minute reading assessments designed for specific grade levels. According to their website, “They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures that can be used to regularly detect risk and monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills in kindergarten through eighth grade.” 

Download the appropriate DIBELS documents and follow the instructions to complete the assessment. Explain to your student that you’ll stop them after one minute and it’s okay if they make mistakes or don’t finish the whole passage.  
Have your student read the grade level passage for one minute to assess: 

  • Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) – Number of Words Correct also known as Word Count Per Minute
  • Oral Reading Fluency (Accuracy) – Percentage of words read correctly

Compare your student’s results to the DIBELS goals. Is your student in the red, yellow, green or blue range?


Words Their Way

For phases: full, consolidated

The Words Their Way Spelling Inventory shows which spelling patterns the student can spell correctly. Words are sequenced from easy to more difficult. The link provides detailed instructions for administering and scoring the assessment.


  • Primary Spelling Inventory – Late kindergarten to grade 3
  • Elementary Spelling Inventory – Recommended for Grades 2-4
  • Upper Elementary Spelling Inventory – Grade 5+


Ask your mentor teacher how your student responds to assessments. Ensure that the teacher approves the assessments that you will be using with the student.

Remember to print out the assessment tools you plan to use before arriving at the school. Scan completed assessments and add to your tutoring log. Plan to reassess later to monitor progress.

If the student is getting discouraged or tired, it may be time to discontinue that assessment.

After the assessment, finish off your time together with a read aloud of a fun book or a word game.

Next section

Lesson steps