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Question about reading groups/evals in school

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

My 5 yo dd is in kindergarten this year and her teacher told me last week that she is in the highest reading group and she evaluated her at a DRA level of 10. She did say 'luckily there are 2 other kids in the reading group' as if to say she's glad that my dd isn't alone in her reading abilities. Although according to my dd says she's the best reader in the class. 

 

What I'm wondering is how teachers go about assessing the reading levels. I ask b/c at home dd is currently reading a Junie B Jones book that is at a DRA level of 28. 

 

ETA: And I'm kind of surprised that the highest reading level is 10. While my dd is a good emergent reader I really assumed there would be even more advanced readers in her class and ahead of her. 

post #2 of 17

I have two thoughts.

 

one, your district might have a ceiling at which they stop testing. It's possible that the highest level that a kindergartener being tested this month CAN score is 10. They just stop testing at that point.

 

two, the DRA test several different reading skills, and on one or more of those, your DD didn't do as well as you would expect based on what she reads for pleasure.   This quote is from the Scholastic website

 

"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."

http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/dra-reading-levels/

 

 

You could just ask the teacher. She might be able to give you more/better information.

post #3 of 17

our school doesn't do DRA, but our kindergarten son tested higher than the highest group in first grade. So, the teacher stopped testing him, and he goes to the first grade teacher for language arts--where they are still individualizing parts of the instruction for him.

 

the PP is right that many schools don't test beyond a certain point, either to keep the kid from getting bored and non-compliant, or to preserve the test for later administrations. if the test isn't going to give them usable information, there is no real reason to continue testing. We don't really care if DS is reading at the 3rd grade level, or the 4th grade level, or the 5th grade level right now. His skills in writing and focus and attention aren't strong enough to put him into a second grade class, so even if we knew, we'd still be doing what we are doing now.

 

post #4 of 17

DRA actually sets a limit in their testing guidelines for how high a child can be tested. I just looked this up, but can't find the info now. They're not, according to DRA guidelines, supposed to test more than a year ahead of chronological age. So, our dd is in 2nd grade, and the highest they're supposed to test her is Level 40. She reads far beyond that level (up to at least level 60), but her teacher had to stop at Level 38 this fall, so that his paperwork could show "growth" at the end of the year when he tested her at 40 (end of 3rd grade). For dd, it's a moot point, and the teacher knows it. He had her write her own learning goals this year, and DRA did not play a part.

 

Obviously teachers can test higher, but most don't because of the guidelines. Basically, if your child is above grade level, DRA isn't a great system for finding out where they are. It's intended to catch struggling readers. As long as your K child is reading Junie B. Jones with fluency and understanding, I wouldn't assume that your child is reading at a DRA of 10, but that's where the teacher stopped.

 

 

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by minkin03 View Post

 

 

ETA: And I'm kind of surprised that the highest reading level is 10. While my dd is a good emergent reader I really assumed there would be even more advanced readers in her class and ahead of her. 



There may be with the 'top' readers all in one group even if they vary in levels a bit. The teachers try to avoid groups of one so often will combine a bunch of kiddos that may be in a high range of skill.

 

I also would  take your DD saying she is the best reader with the idea that she is 5. She very well may be the top reader, but she may not be-- 5 yr olds will be aware of the skills of their peers, but not always accurately judge the skills. Not saying she is not talented (which sounds like she is fairly advanced) and/or really could be the best reader. 4/5/6 yr olds often will assume the most vocal, fastest, etc reader is the 'best' which is not always the case. Or there may be several talented kiddos that are good at different sub skills which may make them all 'best' at something. Or a single child that rarely speaks up may be the best reader, but slide under the radar of their peers. Or your DD may be the top reader and that group IS the only place to put her---- if so advocate she go to 1st for reading to make sure she is learning and moving forward.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

"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."

http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/dra-reading-levels/

 

 

 

 

I agree with this too. Some kiddos can and do read above the levels given at school. Often, to be honest kiddos fail to progess to higher reading levels at school due to comprehension or retelling portion of the assessment portions. It is not due to true comprehension, but rather the set answers to the set stories offered for the assessment. I am often frustrated that I *know* a child understood the text, but fails to answer within the parameters of the 'answers' given in the assessments. (they often to have a certain percentage or use accurate phrasing). Or the child is unable to retell the 'key' ideas....at that age they are still learning what is key and what is not and either give too little or too much information to the assessor. Fluency and word attack skills also can play a part in level placement.
 

Often ,teachers are getting three levels on kiddos. A independent (which is reading with few errors and almost complete comprehension/retelling rather than the gist of a story. often the text in enjoyable and completely known to the student), instructional (which allows for some reading errors and usually answering fairly accurate comprehension with a few errors that allow for vocabulary or comprehension instruction to further enhance learning ), and frustration (many reading errors and little comprehension).

 

A student may pleasure read at a higher level than the teacher tests at for many reasons:  poor assessment, need more practice articulating their understanding, high interest allows for sustained efforts even with lower knowledge of the subject, enjoyment of the general concepts in the storyline but inability to retell or answer comprehension questions due to exposure or prior knowledge, sustainable attention, ability to 'read'  text but needs to work on comprehension or fluency and another is to reflect what their peers are doing (if peers are reading Biscuit books--- a child often will go to those since they are seen as 'desirable' in the classroom even if a few kids are beyond it).


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

DRA actually sets a limit in their testing guidelines for how high a child can be tested. I just looked this up, but can't find the info now. They're not, according to DRA guidelines, supposed to test more than a year ahead of chronological age. So, our dd is in 2nd grade, and the highest they're supposed to test her is Level 40. She reads far beyond that level (up to at least level 60), but her teacher had to stop at Level 38 this fall, so that his paperwork could show "growth" at the end of the year when he tested her at 40 (end of 3rd grade). For dd, it's a moot point, and the teacher knows it. He had her write her own learning goals this year, and DRA did not play a part.

 

Obviously teachers can test higher, but most don't because of the guidelines. Basically, if your child is above grade level, DRA isn't a great system for finding out where they are. It's intended to catch struggling readers. As long as your K child is reading Junie B. Jones with fluency and understanding, I wouldn't assume that your child is reading at a DRA of 10, but that's where the teacher stopped.

 

 


ditto above:

 

Teacher have to show growth, so often they are capped at what they are allowed to do. Some schools are more proactive than others: talk to your curriculum staff member and see what your options are.

 

 

I am surprised since level 10 is mid-1st. It is likely that there are a few readers in K at that level since it is one year or so ahead of expectations. I would expect one or two in a class of 20, if not more depending on your school community demographics and the age of your K kiddos (with one or two kiddos behind grade level and the rest in the middle somewhere).

 

I would talk to the teacher, ask to see the assessments. Share what your DD is reading at home. They may be able to adjust accordingly (and a good teacher will).

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

As long as your K child is reading Junie B. Jones with fluency and understanding, I wouldn't assume that your child is reading at a DRA of 10, but that's where the teacher stopped.

 

 


I don't think I would says she's fluent on all the Junie B Jones books. She may have 3 words on a page that she needs help with sounding out. She definitely understands what she's reading b/c she's cracking up at appropriate times. And when a character is speaking she will actually say that part as though she is the character and she does it really well (she's quite the little performer). She still doesn't get 'reading in her head' yet so all her reading is oral. So I wouldn't really say she is reading at a DRA level of 28 but she's definitely above 10 imo. 


Edited by minkin03 - 11/7/11 at 9:38am
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post



There may be with the 'top' readers all in one group even if they vary in levels a bit. The teachers try to avoid groups of one so often will combine a bunch of kiddos that may be in a high range of skill.

 

I also would  take your DD saying she is the best reader with the idea that she is 5. She very well may be the top reader, but she may not be-- 5 yr olds will be aware of the skills of their peers, but not always accurately judge the skills. Not saying she is not talented (which sounds like she is fairly advanced) and/or really could be the best reader. 4/5/6 yr olds often will assume the most vocal, fastest, etc reader is the 'best' which is not always the case. Or there may be several talented kiddos that are good at different sub skills which may make them all 'best' at something. Or a single child that rarely speaks up may be the best reader, but slide under the radar of their peers. Or your DD may be the top reader and that group IS the only place to put her---- if so advocate she go to 1st for reading to make sure she is learning and moving forward.

 

I agree with this too. Some kiddos can and do read above the levels given at school. Often, to be honest kiddos fail to progess to higher reading levels at school due to comprehension or retelling portion of the assessment portions. It is not due to true comprehension, but rather the set answers to the set stories offered for the assessment. I am often frustrated that I *know* a child understood the text, but fails to answer within the parameters of the 'answers' given in the assessments. (they often to have a certain percentage or use accurate phrasing). Or the child is unable to retell the 'key' ideas....at that age they are still learning what is key and what is not and either give too little or too much information to the assessor. Fluency and word attack skills also can play a part in level placement.
 

Often ,teachers are getting three levels on kiddos. A independent (which is reading with few errors and almost complete comprehension/retelling rather than the gist of a story. often the text in enjoyable and completely known to the student), instructional (which allows for some reading errors and usually answering fairly accurate comprehension with a few errors that allow for vocabulary or comprehension instruction to further enhance learning ), and frustration (many reading errors and little comprehension).

 

A student may pleasure read at a higher level than the teacher tests at for many reasons:  poor assessment, need more practice articulating their understanding, high interest allows for sustained efforts even with lower knowledge of the subject, enjoyment of the general concepts in the storyline but inability to retell or answer comprehension questions due to exposure or prior knowledge, sustainable attention, ability to 'read'  text but needs to work on comprehension or fluency and another is to reflect what their peers are doing (if peers are reading Biscuit books--- a child often will go to those since they are seen as 'desirable' in the classroom even if a few kids are beyond it).


 


ditto above:

 

Teacher have to show growth, so often they are capped at what they are allowed to do. Some schools are more proactive than others: talk to your curriculum staff member and see what your options are.

 

 

I am surprised since level 10 is mid-1st. It is likely that there are a few readers in K at that level since it is one year or so ahead of expectations. I would expect one or two in a class of 20, if not more depending on your school community demographics and the age of your K kiddos (with one or two kiddos behind grade level and the rest in the middle somewhere).

 

I would talk to the teacher, ask to see the assessments. Share what your DD is reading at home. They may be able to adjust accordingly (and a good teacher will).


I agree, it's totally her own assessment that she is the best reader and she is 5 so that has to be taken with a grain of salt. LOL

 

There are only 2 others in her reading group and I have noticed the majority of the kids are still learning letter sounds. I volunteer once a week and do activities with them and they still can't pick a word out of a sentence. For instance if I ask them to point to the word star out of the sentence 'twinkle twinkle little star'. I'm just really surprised b/c while I do think she is advanced with reading I just assumed there would more kids reading at her level and above. Maybe I just read this forum too much and expect that there are more kids out there reading at a 3-5th grade level than there really are. 

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I have two thoughts.

 

one, your district might have a ceiling at which they stop testing. It's possible that the highest level that a kindergartener being tested this month CAN score is 10. They just stop testing at that point.

 

two, the DRA test several different reading skills, and on one or more of those, your DD didn't do as well as you would expect based on what she reads for pleasure.   This quote is from the Scholastic website

 

"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."

http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/dra-reading-levels/

 

 

You could just ask the teacher. She might be able to give you more/better information.


This. My son's kindergarten teacher only had access to materials to test up to a certain level. She could get books at a higher level from the resource room but not testing materials. So she just moved on to giving him harder and harder books each time she went to check some out for him. She never did reach his celing and finally just gave him all non fiction as that satisfied him.

 

It may not matter if his AR level is higher. If this is the highest group and they don't want him in a group alone there just may be no point to testing him higher at this point.

 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by minkin03 View Post


I agree, it's totally her own assessment that she is the best reader and she is 5 so that has to be taken with a grain of salt. LOL

 

There are only 2 others in her reading group and I have noticed the majority of the kids are still learning letter sounds. I volunteer once a week and do activities with them and they still can't pick a word out of a sentence. For instance if I ask them to point to the word star out of the sentence 'twinkle twinkle little star'. I'm just really surprised b/c while I do think she is advanced with reading I just assumed there would more kids reading at her level and above. Maybe I just read this forum too much and expect that there are more kids out there reading at a 3-5th grade level than there really are. 

 

 

 

 


What are the age range and demographics you are in?

 

I only ask because we have moved around a lot in the past year. My girls would be in K in 80% of the states, but are in 1st (having skipped K due to a move) due to the late age cut-off in the current state (they just turned 6 in Oct). So in most areas they would be in K and stick out like a sore thumb since they are reading Rainbow Magic Books (DRA 24-30), but in 1st they have some peers that are at the same level.

 

In the last state we were in: most if not all kiddos were 5.5 at the start of all day K, redshirting was high and early entry non-existant. Most of the kids in my DDs preschool class had words/letter sounds down pat (they were ages 4-5, a preK class) and out of 20 : one or two were fluent readers, two or three were emergent readers and likewise about 2 or 3 had no idea of letter sounds/letters---the rest were somewhere in the middle. I toured out local K and they stated that many kiddos upon K entry had basic reading skills in place and were 'reading' by the holiday break. They had a set group of K kiddos already formed that my girls would have joined that were reading at 2nd grade or higher. They had GT programming starting with pull-out in K. State had free Preschool for ALL kids, so many if not all kids that would attend public school had prek experience.

 

In my girls 1st grade class: ages range from 7y 4-6 months to newly 6. personal observations ( so completely approximating based on my own observations and prior teaching experience) put that out of 22 kids.....4 or so are reading at 2nd grade or higher (DRA 18+) , 2 or so are  K level or lower (below DRA 3), 8 or so are at grade level right on ( DRA 5-7)  and the rest (8 or so) fall between DRA 7-18 (mid to late 1st).

 

 

In current state: My kids are among the youngest, starting 1st at age 5y9m. We had them assessed for K placement (based on non having been) or 1st (age for here). The assessor stated that they could not service them in K academically and they were likely reading at late 2nd when assessed at 5.5 y . The K programs here are 1/2 day and a full quarter of kiddos are still 4 or newly 5 upon school starting. They do offer a JK program for 'young fives' that is popular, but you can only participate if your child qualifies.The classrooms learn letter/letter sounds and only a handful of kiddos across the 3 K classes are reading upon entry. A few had no 'school' experiences prior to K.

 

Both areas are higher socio-economic areas and award winning schools, both had high ESL populations. So the difference???

 

The program itself. You will likely find that your demographics and curriculum have a big impact on what K looks like....the age of kids, the background (have they done prek?), the day length, GT access, curriculum, etc.

 

 

Also a 5 yr old reading at a 2nd grade level is vastly different statistically (and on standardized testing) than an almost 7y old even if they are in the same grade. That  18 month age spread  is actually very big since most kids learn to read during that time. An almost 7 yr old would be via the testing 'slightly above grade level', since on most standardized tests (since an older 6 yr old or early 7 would likely be in late 1st grade statistically speaking), but if that child was in a K class would look 'advanced'. Likewise a young 5 yr old would be considered 'far above grade level' (since they likely would be  preschool or early early K on standardized test age grouping).Even if they both were in the same grade (1st or K).  Standardized testing is age based, so it behooves parents and teachers to recall that when looking at scores. Does that make sense? So if you have a 'young' class or an 'older' class it may present differently when  looking merely at DRA levels and grade. Age , though should not be a reason for sending or holding a kiddo early/late to school, is a factor in standardized testing and should be considered on a one-on-one basis when looking at where a kiddo truly is (vs grade).

 

Many kiddos on this board (though not all) are 'young' for grade or accelerated or have parents that advocated for early placement so the comparison is skewed even more than usual! A 4 turning 5 yr old walking into K reading  a chapter book is vastly different than the 6.5 yr old that walks in reading the same book (in my area a 6.5 yr old could be FINISHING 1st grade-- where in some areas the same child might be s STARTING Kindergarten). This will impact what  your DDs classroom looks like.

 

You are likely , as the year, goes on to see a big jump in some of your DDs peers reading. I've seen kiddos go from a 3 DRA to 12/14 fairly quickly since once they 'get' the code it is more a matter of practice and building vocab and fluency.

 

Below is a good chart to see reading DRA and guided reading levels if you want to see where levels fall.

 

http://www.riverview.wednet.edu/curric/elemglance/readingbenchmark/DRA-BookLevelChart.pdf

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 17

I hope this isn't a tangent, but I personally would take away the Junie B. Jones books.  In my opinion they could impede correct language development.  After a quick search, I found the following sample from the first page of "Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying":

Mrs. has short brown hair.  And long skirts of wool.  And she smiles a real lot.  Except for sometimes when I'm noisy, she claps her loud hands at me.  It used to scare me very much.  Only then I got used to it.  And now I don't even pay it any attention.  I wish Mrs. lived next door to me.  Then me and her would be neighbors.  And bestest friends.
 

{shudder}

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post

I hope this isn't a tangent, but I personally would take away the Junie B. Jones books.  In my opinion they could impede correct language development.  After a quick search, I found the following sample from the first page of "Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying":

Mrs. has short brown hair.  And long skirts of wool.  And she smiles a real lot.  Except for sometimes when I'm noisy, she claps her loud hands at me.  It used to scare me very much.  Only then I got used to it.  And now I don't even pay it any attention.  I wish Mrs. lived next door to me.  Then me and her would be neighbors.  And bestest friends.
 

{shudder}



LOL, I thought the same thing!! I dont have them in our house since I can not stand the grammer/naughtiness/sass of Junie. Much prefer the repetitive plots of sugar sweet Rainbow Magic or the fun adventures of Ivy & Bean.

 

But for some kids they really really engage them and get them reading....so it is all dependent if it is worth the grammar/speech patterns to encourage reading or not! I know some teachers use/read them and some will not due to the speech/grammar/writing.

 

 

 

post #12 of 17


Off Topic
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

Also a 5 yr old reading at a 2nd grade level is vastly different statistically (and on standardized testing) than an almost 7y old even if they are in the same grade. That  18 month age spread  is actually very big since most kids learn to read during that time. An almost 7 yr old would be via the testing 'slightly above grade level', since on most standardized tests (since an older 6 yr old or early 7 would likely be in late 1st grade statistically speaking), but if that child was in a K class would look 'advanced'. Likewise a young 5 yr old would be considered 'far above grade level' (since they likely would be  preschool or early early K on standardized test age grouping).Even if they both were in the same grade (1st or K).  Standardized testing is age based, so it behooves parents and teachers to recall that when looking at scores. Does that make sense? So if you have a 'young' class or an 'older' class it may present differently when  looking merely at DRA levels and grade. Age , though should not be a reason for sending or holding a kiddo early/late to school, is a factor in standardized testing and should be considered on a one-on-one basis when looking at where a kiddo truly is (vs grade).

 



Really?  I have never heard that before (that all standardized testing is aged based).  I know some is.  But aren't others done based on grade in school?

 

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpToSomeGood View Post

I hope this isn't a tangent, but I personally would take away the Junie B. Jones books.  In my opinion they could impede correct language development.  After a quick search, I found the following sample from the first page of "Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying":

Mrs. has short brown hair.  And long skirts of wool.  And she smiles a real lot.  Except for sometimes when I'm noisy, she claps her loud hands at me.  It used to scare me very much.  Only then I got used to it.  And now I don't even pay it any attention.  I wish Mrs. lived next door to me.  Then me and her would be neighbors.  And bestest friends.
 

 

Personally, I dislike the Junie B. Jones books on many levels. However, as a linguist who studies child language development, I can assure you that they will not impede correct language development! Variation in the input may actually help them focus on what's right. Kids have a much greater capacity to figure out the correct rules for language that most people give them credit for. If other kids saying "taked" at ages 3-5 doesn't impede them from learning that the past tense of 'take' is 'took', neither will Junie B. Jones.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post


Really?  I have never heard that before (that all standardized testing is aged based).  I know some is.  But aren't others done based on grade in school?

 


I'm pretty sure DRA is based on grade level, as are the DIBELS (another early reading assessment, but focused on phonics). There's no adjustment for age. (My kids have taken both of those frequently and there's never any age recorded, and the norms are not based on age.)

 

Most intelligence tests or test of vocabulary are based on age.

 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


I'm pretty sure DRA is based on grade level, as are the DIBELS (another early reading assessment, but focused on phonics). There's no adjustment for age. (My kids have taken both of those frequently and there's never any age recorded, and the norms are not based on age.)

 

 

Here are the DRA, QRI, and DIBELS. They are all criterion referenced tests and done by grade. Criterion testing often 

 

 

The DRA is a research‐based assessment used to determine the child’s independent

reading level. It enables teachers to systematically observe, record, and evaluate change in student reading performance and to plan for and teach what each student needs to learn next. The DRA helps teachers pinpoint students’ strengths and reading abilities in a one‐on‐one conference. Why? The classroom teacher will have the opportunity for all students to read independently and to process texts.

 

 

QRI – Qualitative Reading Inventory The QRI is an individually administered informal reading inventory designed to provide diagnostic information about conditions under which students can identify words and comprehend text successfully.

 

What type of assessment is DIBELS?
DIBELS is an assessment tool used primarily to identify children who are at risk for reading failure.  It is not a diagnostic tool; it is an indicator of student progress in basic early literacy skills.

 

To quote Hoagies:

 

 

 

 Criterion-referenced tests measure how well the child has mastered the expected content, generally including all the expected content at a single level.  Criterion-referenced tests cannot measure how well a child has done on any level except the level it is written to measure, usually a single grade level, or even a half of a grade level.  Particularly at younger grades, tests may be normed for "spring" or "fall" administration.  State grade-level achievement tests are nearly always criterion-referenced tests.

 

Individual achievement tests give many grade levels of questions, but only a few questions, well selected to differentiate levels of ability, at each level; they compare the child to a nationally normed "average" of children of the child's age;

 

Curriculum based assessments assess the child compared to the exact curriculum the school offers.

 

 

 

Most intelligence tests or test of vocabulary are based on age.

 

Yes, most are. That is what I was thinking of : WJR, WISC, Otis Lennon, etc. Testing used for evaluation for state standards, learning disabilities, and giftedness, etc. The testing that is used for diagnostic purposes ARE age based (though you can get grade information on most of them since they are computer generated, but from my experienced our county is not allowed to use them for diagnostic purposes)

 

This was my thinking in my earlier post about a 5 and 7 yr old both reading at a 2nd grade level. I tend to think diagnostic purposes since that is what I do- the criterion based testing is used as a guide at times but most areas require age normed tests to definitively qualify a kiddo as learning disabled or gifted. We have had parents 'shocked' that kids did or did not qualify at times for Special Education services: a student that is 'young' for grade will seem behind when going by grade they come up on testing as performing where they should be for age and the reverse happens as well.  

 

 

Sorry, last post got interrupted several times and I was not as clear in the post as I was in head!

 

 



 

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post


What are the age range and demographics you are in?

 

I only ask because we have moved around a lot in the past year. My girls would be in K in 80% of the states, but are in 1st (having skipped K due to a move) due to the late age cut-off in the current state (they just turned 6 in Oct). So in most areas they would be in K and stick out like a sore thumb since they are reading Rainbow Magic Books (DRA 24-30), but in 1st they have some peers that are at the same level.

 

In the last state we were in: most if not all kiddos were 5.5 at the start of all day K, redshirting was high and early entry non-existant. Most of the kids in my DDs preschool class had words/letter sounds down pat (they were ages 4-5, a preK class) and out of 20 : one or two were fluent readers, two or three were emergent readers and likewise about 2 or 3 had no idea of letter sounds/letters---the rest were somewhere in the middle. I toured out local K and they stated that many kiddos upon K entry had basic reading skills in place and were 'reading' by the holiday break. They had a set group of K kiddos already formed that my girls would have joined that were reading at 2nd grade or higher. They had GT programming starting with pull-out in K. State had free Preschool for ALL kids, so many if not all kids that would attend public school had prek experience.

 

In my girls 1st grade class: ages range from 7y 4-6 months to newly 6. personal observations ( so completely approximating based on my own observations and prior teaching experience) put that out of 22 kids.....4 or so are reading at 2nd grade or higher (DRA 18+) , 2 or so are  K level or lower (below DRA 3), 8 or so are at grade level right on ( DRA 5-7)  and the rest (8 or so) fall between DRA 7-18 (mid to late 1st).

 

 

In current state: My kids are among the youngest, starting 1st at age 5y9m. We had them assessed for K placement (based on non having been) or 1st (age for here). The assessor stated that they could not service them in K academically and they were likely reading at late 2nd when assessed at 5.5 y . The K programs here are 1/2 day and a full quarter of kiddos are still 4 or newly 5 upon school starting. They do offer a JK program for 'young fives' that is popular, but you can only participate if your child qualifies.The classrooms learn letter/letter sounds and only a handful of kiddos across the 3 K classes are reading upon entry. A few had no 'school' experiences prior to K.

 

Both areas are higher socio-economic areas and award winning schools, both had high ESL populations. So the difference???

 

The program itself. You will likely find that your demographics and curriculum have a big impact on what K looks like....the age of kids, the background (have they done prek?), the day length, GT access, curriculum, etc.

 

 

Also a 5 yr old reading at a 2nd grade level is vastly different statistically (and on standardized testing) than an almost 7y old even if they are in the same grade. That  18 month age spread  is actually very big since most kids learn to read during that time. An almost 7 yr old would be via the testing 'slightly above grade level', since on most standardized tests (since an older 6 yr old or early 7 would likely be in late 1st grade statistically speaking), but if that child was in a K class would look 'advanced'. Likewise a young 5 yr old would be considered 'far above grade level' (since they likely would be  preschool or early early K on standardized test age grouping).Even if they both were in the same grade (1st or K).  Standardized testing is age based, so it behooves parents and teachers to recall that when looking at scores. Does that make sense? So if you have a 'young' class or an 'older' class it may present differently when  looking merely at DRA levels and grade. Age , though should not be a reason for sending or holding a kiddo early/late to school, is a factor in standardized testing and should be considered on a one-on-one basis when looking at where a kiddo truly is (vs grade).

 

Many kiddos on this board (though not all) are 'young' for grade or accelerated or have parents that advocated for early placement so the comparison is skewed even more than usual! A 4 turning 5 yr old walking into K reading  a chapter book is vastly different than the 6.5 yr old that walks in reading the same book (in my area a 6.5 yr old could be FINISHING 1st grade-- where in some areas the same child might be s STARTING Kindergarten). This will impact what  your DDs classroom looks like.

 

You are likely , as the year, goes on to see a big jump in some of your DDs peers reading. I've seen kiddos go from a 3 DRA to 12/14 fairly quickly since once they 'get' the code it is more a matter of practice and building vocab and fluency.

 

Below is a good chart to see reading DRA and guided reading levels if you want to see where levels fall.

 

http://www.riverview.wednet.edu/curric/elemglance/readingbenchmark/DRA-BookLevelChart.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

There is one boy I know of who is repeating but I don't know when his bday fall so he may have been young for his grade (close to the cut off) and the mom decided to redshirt him instead of going on to 1st. The rest of the class was 5 by Oct. 1st. The youngest I know turned 5 in September and my dd's friend turned 5 in August, so they are very young. My dd has a December bday and was one of the oldest in her pre-k class, but in this class there are at least 8 who will have turned 6 before she does. 
 

 

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

 

Personally, I dislike the Junie B. Jones books on many levels. However, as a linguist who studies child language development, I can assure you that they will not impede correct language development! Variation in the input may actually help them focus on what's right. Kids have a much greater capacity to figure out the correct rules for language that most people give them credit for. If other kids saying "taked" at ages 3-5 doesn't impede them from learning that the past tense of 'take' is 'took', neither will Junie B. Jones.


I'm pretty sure DRA is based on grade level, as are the DIBELS (another early reading assessment, but focused on phonics). There's no adjustment for age. (My kids have taken both of those frequently and there's never any age recorded, and the norms are not based on age.)

 

Most intelligence tests or test of vocabulary are based on age.

 


I don't care for Junie B Jones either (avoid them as much as possible) however, dd really likes them and feels she can relate. My grammar isn't perfect but whenever I hear it spoken incorrectly it's like nails on a chalkboard for me. 

 

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well, my dd informed me today that they learned about compound words in their reading group (granted she already knew what compound words were). That's is something typically introduced in 1st grade right? If that's the case it sounds like the teacher is working on a higher level with them than just reading.

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