Beginning of year reading level

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by bek3, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2013

    Just curious what everyone uses to get a reading level on their students at the beginning of the year. I have used the QRI, DRA, Burns and Roe IRI in undergrad and grad school, but do not give an assessment like this to every kid. We have other assessments that are quicker but not as accurate.

    Which assessment do you use and how long does it typically take per child? I remember the more formal assessments taking a large chunk of time, maybe even more than one session. It seems overwhelming to do a formal assessment on every kid. :eek:
     
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  3. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2013

    I do F & P's. It takes me less time because my co-teacher and I can split them, but generally we spread them out over a few days. The other kids can only sit quietly so long and it's not fair to the kid you're testing if you're constantly stopping to re-direct the class. The kids are pretty good during it, or they try to be, because they all actually LOVE getting tested. They're always asking to get tested to see if they've moved their level.

    It always takes longer in the beginning of the year because you don't know exactly where to start. Their 2nd grade teacher says they were an O at the end of the year. But maybe she bumped them up a little bit because she wanted to make herself look good, then they dropped a level or two over the summer. So you're trying the O, N, M, before you figure out the kid is actually an L or whatever.
     
  4. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2013

    Also wanted to add that I think it's important to have a good idea of where they are at the beginning of the year with a formal assessment. Otherwise how can you measure how much progress they've made throughout the year?
     
  5. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    We are not allowed to do any running records, etc. We rely strictly on DIBELs scores. In August, I go by their EOY scores from the year before. Of course, if I see that someone has actually progressed over the summer (as opposed to the normal regression), then I'll change it up. Fortunately, despite the fact that my district determines "Dibels week" district wide, lately it has been in early September.:blush:
     
  6. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    It may be helpful to distinguish between getting a "reading level" and doing more diagnostic reading assessment. Your reading level is really just a child's instructional range with frustrational and mastery levels on either end. DIBELS is probably the most quick in this category as it doesn't give tons of overt diagnostic info (you can get a decent amount from an error analysis, but that's on the backend - not while being administered).

    Depending on your population and what you're going to use the info for, you may or may not do a thorough diagnostic assessment on every student, but you definitely would want to get reading levels as you'll also use that data (WCM) to progress-monitor over the course of the year.

    Personally, I would do my DIBELS benchmarking, and if there were any child that either appeared to be in any way dysfluent or scored below the threshold for more assessment/support, I'd do more diagnostic assessment until I had a good grasp on where reading skills were breaking down. This diagnostic phase is where assessments such as the QRI, DRA, etc. can come into play. Personally, I don't use those particular assessments, but do a general assessment with DIBELS followed up with customized "CBA" assessments which assess specific reading skills. I also use the S.P.I.R.E. curriculum and their corresponding assessment.
     
  7. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 15, 2013

    We do DRA2, but not immediately...we wait a few weeks and then administer them. We also started using the online STAR assessments, so that will be an additional assessment for reading and math 3 times a year for my 2nd graders (in place of Aimsweb).
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I use Teachers College leveled passages. (free online):D

    Takes about 5-7 minutes per kid. I get to 4-5 kids a day, I'm done in a week.
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Do you choose to use them because they're free and easy to access or is it a school wide thing?
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    We were a Columbia University Teachers College project school for years....it's still the foundation of our literacy work. Free is just a bonus.:thumb:
     
  11. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2013

    I agree. We currently track progress using DIBELS, STAR and other classroom assessments, but I'd like something more in depth.
     
  12. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Wow! This is what I need. Do you have a link to resources? Thanks!

    I remember DRA2, QRI etc. taking upwards of 30 minutes a kid. :dizzy:
     
  13. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2013

    Thanks for the replies everyone! Those who do a DRA or the like, do you get an instructional level for both fiction and nonfiction?
     
  14. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    I agree, this makes sense. However, It makes me think of another area I want to improve upon. We use DIBELS, STAR and other classroom assessments to track progress. Every year (grant it I am talking about the last four years) my low and middle kids make good progress, but not all of my higher kids do in terms of reading level ( based on STAR which is "multiple guess" so take it or leave it) and on DIBELS WCPM. I differentiate the vast majority of the time, have guided reading groups with leveled text. Yet I always have one or two of my higher kids that just seem to camp out around the same level improving by 10-15 WCPM from the beginning of the year to the end! Even though these scores are significantly higher than the benchmark, I feel terrible that they do not have a big jump like the others.

    Does anybody else have this problem? I want to be more proactive about it this year, but I'm not sure what to do that won't take time away from my learning support kiddos.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2013

  16. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    We do running records using the Fountas and Pinnell kit. It takes FOREVER. Some kids slide back 3 levels (or more!), so it sometimes takes an hour or more to assess a child (I break it up, though).
     
  17. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2013

  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    If the kids are reading at above benchmark levels, and are continuing to read a variety of material, I wouldn't worry too much. The texts they are reading should be increasing in complexity, so it is natural that the speed would not increase as fast as students reading lower level material.
     
  19. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    We use the F&P benchmark assessment system. Takes sooooo long.
     
  20. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I use the PM Benchmark assessments. In grade 1 it doesn't take too long because most are level 1 or 2.
     

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