What Is a Content Area Reading Inventory?

A teacher uses a content area reading inventory to assess students' reading levels and comprehension with the assignment of a textbook passage in a specific subject area, such as math or science. This inventory provides insight on additional reading instruction students will need to read the textbook successfully, and the passage assessed is typical between 250 to 500 words.

When assessing students' reading skills, a teacher may ask students questions about letter and sound recognition and phonological awareness. A teacher may also test students on phonemic awareness to determine if students can isolate sounds in words and recognize words by the sounds with which they start. Vocabulary, oral reading accuracy and fluency are some factors included in an informal reading inventory, and teachers also check whether students understand vocabulary words.