How and When to Administer the TPRI in Kindergarten

In this unit, we will focus on how and when to administer the TPRI and provide practice opportunities. We will use portions of the participant packet throughout this unit.

There are eight sections in this unit.

  1. When Do I Administer the TPRI?
  2. Giving the Assessment: Overview
  3. Moving from the Screening Section to the Inventory Section
  4. The Phonemic Awareness (PA) Portion of the Inventory Section
  5. The Graphophonemic Knowledge (GK) Portion of the Inventory Section
  6. The Listening Comprehension Portion
  7. Summary Sheets
  8. Additional Information


When Do I Administer the TPRI?


The beginning-of-year (BOY) TPRI is administered six weeks after school begins. The middle-of-year (MOY) is administered mid-January, and the end-of-year (EOY) is administered mid-April. The Screening Section is given in the BOY and EOY administrations only. There is no Screening Section in the MOY. 

These are recommended administration windows; schools and districts set the actual dates they assess. A school or district may adjust their testing window based on particular needs and schedules. However, the TPRI administration should be completed within a two week window and should be administered to all students in the classroom.

Additional Information

Students receiving special education services take the TPRI unless specifically noted by their Individual Education Plans (IEPs). All students should complete the screening at their current grade level. However, tasks in the Inventory Section can be given out of grade level for the purpose of planning instruction. Additional information can be found in the Teacher’s Guide.


Take a moment to complete the exercise below. 



Importance of Accurate and Reliable Administration

When giving the TPRI, it is important to be both consistent and accurate. Accurate information is critical because TPRI identifies students as at-risk and determines how much and what type of instruction to provide. Also, because scores are reported to parents, the TPRI provides a framework for communicating student goals and progress. Texas Education Code 28.006 requires that schools report scores to their local school board, the Commissioner of Education, and to parents/guardians.

To be consistent, it is important to read the directions in the Teacher’s Guide each time you assess a student. The directions ensure that each student receives the same information and, consequently, the same experience when completing the assessment. Do not prompt students or review tasks previously taught during the administration of the TPRI. Be positive and encouraging with all students, but do not praise individual answers.

Remember, the purpose of the TPRI is to provide information to help teachers teach. Accurate and reliable administration of the assessment helps in planning effective instruction and in meeting the needs of all students.


Complete the reflection exercise below. 

Giving the Assessment: Overview


The way you progress through the TPRI will be different depending on whether students are identified as at risk by the Screening Section, which is indicated by a score of Still Developing (SD). Review the graphic above.

Additional Information

If students score Still Developing, or SD, on the Screening Section, it may indicate that the students are struggling and may be considered at risk. For these students, we want to gather as much information as possible about their specific needs. These students will go from the Screening Section and complete tasks on each portion of the Inventory.

Students who score Developed, or D, on the Screening Section are likely not at risk for struggling as readers. Spending valuable classroom time administering all of the Inventory portions for these students is not necessary unless your school or district specifies otherwise. With these students, jump to the Listening Comprehension portion of the Inventory. They do not need to be given the Phonemic Awareness (PA) and Graphophonemic Knowledge (GK) portions of the Inventory.


For the Beginning-of-the-Year (BOY), the Screening Section is administered to all students in the class. Student scores on the Screening Section will determine what Inventory task to administer next.

The Branching Rules at the bottom of the page tell you what task to administer next. All students will start with Screening 1, the Letter Sound task. We will discuss further how the Branching Rules help guide you through the assessment, ensuring that you select the next, appropriate task based on student results.


Locate the Teacher's Guide sample on page 7 in your participant packet. Notice the top of the page has a list of materials for you to gather. Every task on the TPRI lists the materials needed. Before you start the task with a student, be sure you have all necessary materials.

The teacher directions for the task are provided next. Read the directions aloud to yourself. As you read through the the page, notice how what you say to the student is written in bold text. For each task in TPRI, the Practice Items are listed separately in the Teacher's Guide. It is important to always do the Practice Items so the students will know what is expected.

Watch the Screening 1 video, TPRI Grade Kindergarten Screening Section Task: SCRI-1 Letter Sound, before you practice this section on your own.


Practice Screening 1

Now that you have watched the video clip, you will have an opportunity to practice. Locate Slide 25 Practice Screening 1 on page 6 and the Teacher’s Guide sample on page 7 in your participant packet. You can review and practice the screening alone or with a partner. Remember to carefully follow the guidelines in the Teacher's Guide.

Additional Information

On this task, you are looking for the short vowel sound. You may not provide the letter name or sound if the student answers incorrectly. However, you may ask for the letter’s sound if the student gives the letter name, and you can also ask for alternate sound if the student gives a long vowel sound instead of a short vowel sound. If you ask the student for the letter's sound or for the letter's alternate sound, use the language provided in the Teacher’s Guide.

All items are scored with a 1 if they are correct or a 0 if they are incorrect. Give a score for each item immediately after the student answers. If you are ever uncertain about what score to give, mark the answer as wrong. Marking it as an error may increase the instructional attention you give a student later, but it is better to increase attention than to potentially miss a gap in student understanding of the skill. Also, since TPRI is used for instructional purposes and not to label students, we want to identify any areas where students may potentially have difficulties.



Student scores will determine what task to administer next. This is why the Branching Rules exist. Refer to page 7 in your participant packet and locate the Branching Rules at the bottom of the page. The Branching Rules also reference a page in the Teacher’s Guide to find further information, including the appropriate task to administer next on the Student Record Sheet.

Moving from the Screening Section to the Inventory Section


The Branching Rules will take all students to the Inventory Section once they are finished with the Screening Section. Students who score Still Developing (SD) on the Screening Section may be considered at risk. On the screen above, notice the Branching Rules give a choice for these students:

  • Go to the start of the optional warm-up task on Book and Print Awareness.


  • Go to the start of the Phonemic Awareness portion.

Students who score Developed (D) on the Screening Section are likely not at risk of being a struggling reader. These students will be branched to the Listening Comprehension portion of the Inventory. For this training, we will review all components of kindergarten TPRI and follow the path of a student who scored SD on the Screening Section.

Additional Information

When there is a possibility that students have limited experience with books or written language, the Book and Print Awareness optional activity may help to explore what students understand about the basics of books and print. This activity may also be useful with students who are especially nervous. Teachers will use a book from the classroom and ask students to show where to start reading and to show a sentence, a word, a lower case letter, and a capital letter.


Take a moment to complete the activity below. 


The Phonemic Awareness (PA) Portion of the Inventory Section

The Phonemic Awareness (PA) Portion of the Inventory Section covers five tasks of increasingly difficult skills. Review the slides and the interactive.

Each PA task consists of five items. If students are correct on four or five of these items, they have demonstrated mastery of the skill and receive a D for Developed. Once a student scores D on a PA task, they don’t have to complete that task again at either MOY or EOY. After scoring D, the Branching Rules tell teachers that the student moves on to the next task.

If students score SD on a PA task, mastery of the skill has not been demonstrated. Since students have not shown mastery of the easier skill, the Branching Rules do not move on to the next harder PA task. Instead they take students to the first task of the next portion of the inventory, which is GK-1.

These Branching Rules keep students from growing frustrated. They also save valuable time by not making students try tasks with which they are unlikely to be successful.

Even though rhyming is easier than the PA tasks that follow it, students can often be successful with the next PA tasks, usually because they have received more instruction blending sounds in words than they have in rhyming. Students who score SD in rhyming will still benefit from additional rhyming instruction and practice, even if they are successful with harder PA skills.

Take a moment to complete the drag and drop activity. 


PA Task 1: Rhyming

The following PA-1 excerpt uses exact language from the Teacher's Guide. When administering the tasks, please read scripts and follow administration instructions carefully.

Listen to these words: hat, gnat. These words rhyme. Can you tell me another word that rhymes with hat, gnat? If the student does not know a word that rhymes, say, That’s not quite right. Another word that rhymes with hat, gnat is mat.

  1. Listen to these words: sat, cat. These words rhyme. Can you tell me another word that rhymes with sat, cat?
  2. Dog, hog. These words rhyme. Can you tell me another word that rhymes with dog, hog?

Watch the following video clip showing the administration of the TPRI Grade Kindergarten Inventory Section Task: PA-1 Rhyming


PA Task 2 and PA Task 3: Blending

PA-2 and PA-3 are both oral blending tasks.
PA-2 is Blending Word Parts (for example: /f/ /ox/).
PA-3 is Blending Phonemes (for example: /c/ /a/ /t/).
PA-3 is a harder task since the units of speech students have to blend are smaller, and there are more of them.

Watch the following video clip showing the administration of the TRPI Grade Kindergarten Inventory Section Task PA-2, Blending Word Parts.

Practice PA-3 Blending Phonemes

Locate PA-3 Blending Phonemes handout on page 11 in your participant packet. This handout is a sample of the Teacher’s Guide and Student Record Sheet.

Look at the directions for this task.

“Say the sound for the letter or cluster of letters, not the letter name, at approximately ½ second intervals.”

Notice the wording for the Practice Items is also on the Teacher’s Guide page. On the Student Record Sheet (at the bottom of the page), there is a reminder to pronounce letter sounds, not letter names, and to say the word silently to yourself first.

Watch the video TPRI Grade Kindergarten Inventory Section Task PA-3, Blending Phonemes.


PA-4 and PA-5: Deleting Sounds

The last two PA tasks are the hardest. Students have to delete initial sounds on PA-4 an final sounds on PA-5. 

When administering these tasks, it is important to isolate the sound you want students to delete. If not, it will be difficult for many students to answer correctly.

Look at the following examples.


Say the word nice. Now say nice without the /n/. (ice) If the student is unsuccessful in saying the word, say, That's not quite right. The word is ice.


Say the word rain. Now say rain without the /n/. (ray) If the student is unsuccessful in saying the word, say, That's not quite right. The word is ray.

Now, watch the video TPRI Grade Kindergarten Inventory Section Task PA-5, Deleting Final Sounds.


Let's review some important tips when administering the PA tasks.

  • When making single consonant sounds, be careful not to add a vowel sound.
  • Practice saying the PA tasks out loud before giving the assessment to a student.

Before administering the TPRI, review and practice all PA tasks. Practicing with a colleague who can listen and offer feedback is also a good option.

The Graphophonemic Knowledge (GK) Portion of the Inventory Section


The GK tasks assess student knowledge of letter names and sounds. The Letter Name Identification task involves showing the student a list of letters, one letter at a time. The student gets a point for each letter correct. A score of 20 or higher counts as "developed." If students are developed on the Letter Name task, they move on to the Letter to Sound Linking task.

Watch a video clip of the TPRI Grade Kindergarten Inventory Section Task GK-1 Letter Identification.

GK-2 Letter to Sound Linking: Practice

Locate GK-2 Letter to Sound handouts on pages 13 and 14 in your participant handout. You'll want to practice this activity with a colleague.

With the Letter to Sound Linking task, you will see if students can match sounds and letters.

For example, you will ask, What is the first sound in the word "man"? After the student answers, you will ask the student to look at a set of three letters and point to the letter that makes that sound.

Now, watch the following video clip showing TPRI Grade Kindergarten Inventory Section Task GK2 Letter to Sound Linking

Before you begin practicing this task, review the three pieces necessary to give the task.

  • The description of the task on the task page of the Teacher’s Guide
  • The scoring box from the Individual Student Record Sheet
  • The Task Card for the student to look at while completing the task

Remember that on this task, you can only give feedback on the practice items but not at any other item.


The Listening Comprehension Portion


After a student has completed the PA and GK portions of the Inventory, the next section is Listening Comprehension, where the student listens to a story and then answers questions about the story. There is only one story at BOY, MOY, and EOY, and all students hear the same story. There is a different story for each administration time point.

Scoring the Comprehension Questions
Ask the comprehension questions listed on the student record sheet. Score 1 for correct and 0 for incorrect. There are no ½ points given for responses.

Sample answers are provided but are not exhaustive. Rely on your professional judgment in scoring responses. Very often, students will give an answer that is correct but that is different from the sample answer provided.

If the student’s answer makes sense to you and seems correct to you based on the information in the story, then score the answer as correct. If you are not sure, err on the side of caution, and score the answer as wrong.

We will now watch the video clip showing the Listening Comprehension portion.

Click here to watch video, TPRI Grade Kindergarten Inventory Section Task COM-BOY Listening Comprehension Story 1—The Day the Prince Lost His Tooth.

Comprehension Question Types
There are 3 types of comprehension questions:

  • Recalling details
  • Linking details
  • Inferring word meaning



Summary Sheets

As you administer the TPRI, score the student using the Individual Student Record Sheet.

The Student Summary Sheet is a page in the Individual Student Record Sheet on which you transfer all of the student’s scores to one place for easy review.

The Student Summary Sheet provides a quick review of the student’s performance on three parts of the TPRI. The parts are as follows:

  • The Screening Summary, which tells whether the student is likely at-risk for difficulty in reading
  • The PA, GK, & Word Reading scores, which demonstrate student understanding of sounds and of sound/spelling relationships
  • The summary of the Listening Comprehension portion, which provides information about the student’s ability to comprehend a story that is read aloud

This sheet can be a useful tool during parent/teacher conferences.


Filling in the Class Summary Sheet is the first step in the process of analyzing TPRI data to plan instruction. There is a column to indicate whether students were D or SD on the screening. There is also a column to indicate how many tasks each student scored "developed" for the PA and GK portions. For example, if a student was Developed on PA-1 Rhyming and PA-2 Blending Word Parts and Still Developing on PA-3 Blending Phonemes, write a 2 in the PA column.

As you fill in the sheet at MOY and EOY, previous scores can be carried over if students score Developed on certain tasks.

In summary, there is a Student Summary Sheet for each student. It is included as a separate page of the Individual Student Record Sheet.

There is also a Class Summary Sheet for collecting the scores for your whole class.

It is important to complete the summary pages.

Additional Information

Word Reading: Optional EOY Task

There is an optional Word Reading task that can be administered for the End-of-Year administration. The list consists of two sets of five decodable words.

Use this task with students if it will provide useful information. However, if students are not successful with the first set of words, do not attempt the second set. It is up to you to determine what it means to be “successful” on Set 1.


When giving the TPRI at MOY and EOY, the assessment does not need to be given from start to finish again. The MOY administration does not include a separate Screening Section. At EOY, however, start with Screening 3.

The PA and GK portions of the inventory include skills that students may have mastered. If a student demonstrates mastery on a task, a score of D is given. So, any PA or GK task in which the student scored D does not have to be given again.

On the PA and GK portions of the Inventory, the student should “jump-in” at the first task with an SD score from earlier in the year.

When giving a task where students were Still Developing, always administer each item in the task, even if the student got the item correct earlier in the year.

At the EOY administration, use the same "jump in" procedure. Begin with the first task with an SD score.


Take a minute to review the information provided on the Quick Review Sheet. Place it in your Teacher’s Guide for reference while administering the assessment.