DRA Assessments

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by bforr11, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. bforr11

    bforr11 New Member

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    Mar 20, 2017

    Can anyone explain what is done to assess a child's DRA reading level in Kindergarten? We are trying to assess our child and what we see at home is vastly different from what our child's teacher is assessing at (she has assigned a reading level 'A', but we are reading 1st and 2nd grade books at home with little help). Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 21, 2017

    I'd start by asking for specifics, which is really what you're doing here - asking what exactly is being assessed and what is meant by certain scores. Try to stay away from broad index scores or reading levels if you're finding vast disagreements or differences in observations. Drill down to the specifics.
     
  4. bforr11

    bforr11 New Member

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    Mar 21, 2017

    Thank you for your reply. We are scrambling at this point because the intent is to repeat kindergarten because of the 'below grade level' assessment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  5. SaraFirst

    SaraFirst Cohort

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    Mar 21, 2017

    In a DRA, teachers do a "running record" recording any errors students make. After reading, students are asked comprehension questions about the story. Maybe the teacher would show you the DRA so you could see if the problem was reading the words or answering the questions.
     
  6. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 22, 2017

    Got it. Yes, feel free to post back what you find out and I'm sure people can help you make more sense of the difference between what you're seeing and what the teacher is seeing.
     
  7. bforr11

    bforr11 New Member

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    Mar 22, 2017

    We are seeing major discrepancies between home and school at this point. The teacher is asking for me to record errors he makes when reading Level A books with me and send them in for her to review. We are not observing any errors with most level 2-3 books (let alone level A). He is reading level 6 books with little help if any at all. When I ask him questions about the books, he answers appropriately (retells the story, recalls details, etc). We had him evaluated with an educational specialist (on a first grade based test) and he scored within the average range or above average range on everything (with his lowest grade equivalent being K.6 - Kindergarten just over halfway through the year and his highest being 1.6 (first grade just over halfway through the year). I'm open to hearing any theories anyone may have.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Mar 22, 2017

    Here is an overview of what a DRA is.

    The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) is an individually administered assessment of a child’s reading capabilities. It is a tool to be used by instructors to identify a students reading level, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Once levels are identified, an instructor can use this information for instructional planning purposes.

    • DRA Testing
      The DRA test is traditionally administered on an annual or semi-annual basis. The test measures nine categories of reading behavior and six types of errors. It was developed in 1986 (and revised in both 2000 and 2003) by a committee of educators and is intended to evaluate certain aspects of your child’s reading level.
    • How DRA Levels and Testing Work Together
      Tasks measured by the DRA test are divided into several skill sets. Rhyming, alliteration, segmentation, and phonemic awareness are tested in the phonemic awareness section. Letter naming, word-list reading, spelling, decoding, analogies, structural analysis, and syllabication are tested in the alphabetic principle/phonics portions. Oral reading fluency or words per minute for contextual reading are tested under fluency. Vocabulary, comprehension, and reading engagement skills are also measured in the test.

      After the test is evaluated and scored, your child is assigned a numeric (or alphanumeric for very early readers) DRA level A1 through 80.
    When you say that your child needs only a little help, please realize that on a DRA, each instant of "needing help" is an error. Reading speed is also taken into account, as is oral fluency.

    Your child's teacher should be able to sit down with you and show you your child's actual DRA -- the running record itself, and tell you each error (what type of error) and discuss comprehension and retelling skills. There is no need to guess what errors happened, they are all clearly listed in the DRA. If the child said the wrong word, that is an error, and the teacher should be able to tell you what word they said instead of the correct word. If your child couldn't get the word, and the teacher had to tell the child, that is teacher-provided word, and it is an error. If the words were read out of order, it is an error. If the words were repeated, it is noted, though it is not an error. If the word was sounded out, but never said as a whole word, that is an error. If they are retelling the story and leave out part of it, that is an error. Just trying to give you some ideas as to what constitutes an error.

    The best person to talk to about the DRA is your child's teacher. Ask the teacher to thoroughly go over the DRA with you so you can understand what she is seeing. Ask what activities you should be doing with your child to help increase your child's reading ability. If your child's teacher can't answer these questions, ask it there is a reading specialist or someone else who can discuss it thoroughly with you.

    I hope this information will help.
     
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  9. otterpop

    otterpop Fanatic

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    Mar 22, 2017

    I haven't done DRA for a few years - can someone share the typical procedure for prompting if a child can't read a word?

    When I was testing with DRA, I had a student who would use good strategies like chunking words or looking at pictures to figure out a word she didn't know. However, DRA is timed, so this made her very slow and thus score low. She would also sometimes pause to add a comment, which again made her words per minute score low.

    I agree that it would be good to talk to his teacher to see what types of errors he's making and how you might be able to help.

    For what it's worth, I hated DRA. I never felt like it was a good measure of where students were actually at.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  10. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2017

    I don't remember the exact amount of time (3 or 5 seconds), but generally if a child can't get a word - no matter what strategy is used - you'd just provide the word to the child after that amount of time.

    Also, I also personally don't use or suggest the DRA, but the issues you've brought up could really be due to any timed assessment. Generally, if you suspect a child would perform differently under a non-timed condition. you'd first administer the timed version, then "test the limits" by removing various constraints you think may be affecting performance. You wouldn't accept the new version as the standardized score, but when you communicate results you'd be able to suggest that results may be different in different conditions.
     
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  11. bforr11

    bforr11 New Member

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    Mar 23, 2017

    OK. That helps a bit. I had never heard of it being timed. But I also don't see a limited time being an issue for him. To respond to rainstorm, when I said he had few errors, I meant on level 6+ books. We don't see any errors at home on the lower level books (A - 2), maybe if he isn't familiar with a word on a level 3 or 4, he will say the wrong thing or pronounce it wrong. And he reads many level 6 library books with very few (if any) errors in about 2-3 minutes (cover to cover). But his DRA level assessed by the teacher is an A. The fact that the teacher thinks he's making errors on the level A makes me wonder what is going on at school vs at home.

    I didn't think the teachers could share the assessments. I will ask at our next meeting.
     

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