PALS is designed as a teacher-friendly tool, so you can directly see the correlation between what you observe your students doing with each PALS task, what they currently know about reading and spelling, and what you need to teach starting tomorrow.
Getting started can seem daunting in the beginning, however, because PALS has so much to offer in terms of rich data, reports, and instructional resources, that it may take time to learn all there is to know. Please know that our team of PALS literacy specialists is here to support you, beginning with this handy Quick Start checklist for the basic tasks of getting started with PALS:
Quick Start Guide for Teachers
Step 1: Once you are assigned a class for this school year in the PALS Online System, log in to your account.
- Go to the PALS Online System home page at palsk8.com.
- Once you are logged in, you will see your Teacher Home Page.
Step 2: Click on the Student List tile to validate each student’s information.
Students whose information has not been validated will have a red circle icon in the Validate column. This will only be required by the system the first time after a student is added to a class.
Be sure to check with your school’s Special Education Coordinator to make sure disability status is correct for each student, and that you are aware of any accommodations or modifications required by each student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Step 3: Prepare to assess your students.
- Check with your PALS District Representative (the main contact for PALS in your district) to find out your school’s assessment schedule, including the screening window dates and the score entry deadline for PALS.
- Determine which 2-week window (ten consecutive school days) you will use to administer PALS within your school’s PALS assessment schedule. See the PALS Assessment Calendar for 2018-19 link on the right side of this page.
- Check with your PALS District Representative to find out which assessment form you’ll be using this school year: Form A or Form B (not applicable to PALS-PreK, which has only one form). Your PALS District Representative may have already set the Form for your district in the online system.
- Prepare your assessment materials (make any copies needed, and cut apart sorting cards), assessment setting(s), and any accommodations or modifications needed.
- Attend PALS training if your school/district provides it, or watch the online tutorials, found on the lefthand menu, to review how to administer PALS for your grade level.
- Determine which type of score entry you will use. (We recommend Regular Score Entry, which results in item-level reports.) Visit the score entry page for more information.
- If you are using consumable score sheets, check with your administrator to find out if your district ordered them; otherwise, you may download and print them from the Materials section in your PALS Online account. If you are entering scores directly into the PALS Online System, consumables are not necessary except for the kindergarten Student Booklets and Spelling Sheets (PALS-K and PALS español K).
Step 4: Assess your students.
- Click on the Give Assessment tile, and then set the form (if not already set) and assessment date (the first date on which you will administer PALS).
- Click on the first student’s name to make the Task List appear, and administer the assessment.
Step 5: View reports and take action based on what the data tells you.
- Teachers have immediate access to both student reports and class reports as soon as required scores are entered.
- Refer K-8 students who do not meet the Summed Score benchmark for literacy intervention instruction.
- Use the Sorting Function and/or the Grouping Function (PALS Plus) to group your students for small-group literacy instruction, and explore the many instructional resources available in your account.
- Visit the PALS Resource Center to learn more about what PALS instructional resources and reports are available, and about data analysis and planning instruction using PALS data.
Take the time to explore your PALS Online account and everything that’s available to you!