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PALS Early Literacy Screener

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Overview

The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) was Wisconsin’s required literacy screener from 2012-13 until 2015-16. Wis. Stats. 118.016 required the Department of Public Instruction to choose a literacy screener to be administered in the 2012-13 school year for all 5-year-old kindergarten students. The Department staff evaluated a number of different screening options and selected PALS as the required screener. For the 2013-14 school year, the requirement to administer PALS was expanded to also include 4-year old kindergarten and first grade students. For the 2014-15 school year, the requirement to administer PALS was expanded to also include second grade students. For the 2016-17 school year, the requirement to administer PALS was replaced with a requirement for districts to determine which literacy screener they would like to administer.

PALS is a research based screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring tool. Wisconsin teachers used PALS to identify students at risk of developing reading difficulties, diagnose students' knowledge of literacy fundamentals, monitor progress, and plan instruction that targeted students' needs. Student data collected from PALS provided a direct means of matching literacy instruction to specific literacy needs. Schools were also required to report the screening results to the parents or guardian of each student and to provide interventions or remedial reading services to each student that was identified as being at risk of reading difficulty.

The three main PALS assessments being used in Wisconsin Public Schools were:

  • PALS-PreK - Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for Preschool measured:
    • Name Writing
    • Alphabet Knowledge
    • Beginning Sound Awareness
    • Print and Word Awareness
    • Rhyme Awareness
    • Nursery Rhyme Awareness​
  • PALS-K (for 5K students) - Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for Kindergarten measured:
    • Phonological awareness
    • Alphabet knowledge
    • Knowledge of letter sounds
    • Spelling
    • Concept of Word
    • Word recognition in isolation​
  • PALS 1-3 (for grades 1 and 2) - Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for first through third grades measured: 
    • Spelling
    • Word knowledge
    • Letter Sounds
    • Oral Reading in Context
    • Alphabet knowledge (for students who have more basic literacy skills)
    • Phonemic Awareness (for students who have more basic literacy skills)

 

For questions about this information, contact osamail@dpi.wi.gov