Reading Assessments

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by luvin2teach, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. luvin2teach

    luvin2teach Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2013

    This year I have stepped away from teaching in the classroom fulltime. I am currently the Reading Specialist. My principal wants to do a reading assessment on the entire school next year to chart progress of their reading. We are a small private school so free would be the best, but I understand there are not many free things. Any ideas of Reading assessments that can be preformed at least three times a year to show progress? I am aware of DIBELS, but seeing if anyone uses anything else.
     
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  3. Jlyn07

    Jlyn07 Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2013

    My school uses AIMSweb, however it's not free.
     
  4. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Apr 23, 2013

    Unfortunately I don't know of any free programs, but at our school we administer a very useful, effective assessment called the "DRA". It's helpful because it really lets you see where the child is and the areas they are weak in. Our reading specialist uses the DRA results to create intervention programs for students and to help the teacher know what the child needs improvement in.

    According to the company website (here: http://tinyurl.com/c8zkmzd) it's about $350 for the K - 3 kit ad $258 for the 4 - 8th grade kit. So that's, what, about $700 (give or take) once you throw on tax and shipping and handling.

    Personally, I would be a little leery using a free program just because a parent could argue that it's not legit and doesn't have much endorsement, so how do you know it's a true reflection of their child's reading score (parents are so tech savvy these days. they google everything we do :lol:)
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Apr 23, 2013

    I know you're aware of it, but for free you probably won't get any better than DIBELS :)
     
  6. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Apr 23, 2013

    Next year we will be using DIBLES, I'm not sure how high we are going to go with it, at least K-2. We also do NWEA MAP testing.
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Apr 23, 2013

    All the teacher's college running records are online on their website and you can print them out for free. (I think- I mean I know I can access them and print them out from home without using my login)
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    Apr 23, 2013

    We do DIBELS for our K-5 kiddos.
     
  9. howema22

    howema22 Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2013

    If you are looking for a reading assessment that is free and great for students K-3, then PALS would be great for you. I know that many of the previous teachers who have posted to this question have mentioned DIBELS; I have found in my experiences that DIBELS doesn’t truly test the students’ fluency and comprehension while they are reading. It’s just reinforcing the students to read as quickly as they can. Therefore students are taught that reading is suppose to be a fast, quick, easy process and that you must only decode. We don’t want our students to become mindless machines, so I recommend that you do not use DIBELS.
    PALS is easily accessible to use and very convenient for teachers to use. On this website, pals.virginia.edu, they provide the directions and implementations are provided for all of the grades K-3. There are also activities in which teacher can use to provide the students with more instruction and fun engaging activities that focus on specific topic areas for reading like the following: phonological awareness, beginning sounds, blending, rhyming, word recognition, and many more. On this website they also have a tab for the parents to check out incase they are weary or concerned about the assessment tools being implemented in their school, or they can even print out activities for their children to complete at home. This website also has a tab for RTI quick check. Many of the schools are implementing RTI and this is a great way to bridge a connection with this in the schools. I hope you check this website out and are able to find a reading assessment that works well for your school district.
     
  10. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Apr 29, 2013

    I haven't actually administered PALS, but it looks like it can only administered 2x/year, which is not really an option for progress monitoring as the original poster had mentioned. The materials also aren't free, though I checked and they are only $125, which isn't terrible for what it looks like it comes with. I have worked with some folks who have used PALS, and it does seem like it would provide some good information.

    I'd also suggest that PALS doesn't really seem to avoid the limitations you see in DIBELS - PALS still uses timed fluency tests, and appears to use largely the same general structure of assessments, though it does appear to have a few additional assessments DIBELS doesn't have (comprehension, word reading in isolation).

    Finally, I'd disagree with your arguments against DIBELS, or really any assessment of fluency. I do see what you are saying in that if a teacher ONLY emphasizes timed readings as fast as a child can, that's all you'll get. However, there really is no other way to assess reading fluency in isolation other than through timed oral reading as quickly as a student can. It would then be up to the teacher to communicate and reinforce that reading as fast as one can isn't the end goal of reading.
     
  11. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 30, 2013

    I would just do a good old fashioned running record.

    If you could get SOME money, then buy a BAS kit.
     
  12. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Habitué

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    May 2, 2013

    Our school dropped the DRA when it was learned through university studies that, due to reliability/validity issues, it shouldn't be used to monitor progress or plan instruction.

    http://www.natalierathvon.com/images/DRA_Review-08-25-2006.pdf
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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