DD just took the DORA test and scored in the upper 8th grade, which I find difficult to believe, honestly. Is this one thought to be accurate? Are there alternatives that can be taken online? It seems that she is not being challenged in the reading department at school, and would like something that has widely-accepted accurate results, so that I can advocate for her. TIA!
- topicGifted Childtagged by System, 1/9/12
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Online Reading Assessment for 2nd-grader?
Is there evidence other than the DORA that she is not being challenged in reading? After about 3rd or 4th grade reading level has been achieved there's really no more need to "teach reading." The ability to decode fluently has been learned, and what improves thereafter is vocabulary, complexity of grammar, stamina and comprehension. All of which tends to come with maturity and experience.
If the DORA is what the school uses to assess kids, it will be a far more effective advocacy tool than some test you find on the internet. If you feel she needs something different at school, if perhaps she's not getting access to a wide range of books to read in a self-directed fashion, then her 8th grade score on the DORA is the one you'll get mileage with when dealing with the school. After all, those are their results!
That's my issue. I don't think she's being challenged because the librarian tells them which books are their grade level (a 2nd grade level book is not going to appeal to her). It seems like the teachers are busy trying to get everyone up to grade level, and ignoring those who need deeper instruction. She doesn't need to learn more decoding. She understands what she reads at home (I work at a bookstore and chose higher level books for her). It just seems like she's stagnating. She has always loved to read and now is losing motivation. I did the DORA assessment with her at home. She did take a standardized test in October and tested in the 99th percentile in everything. I'm not sure she's gifted, but if she is, gifted education doesn't start until 3rd grade at her school. I guess I just need to supplement at home, read the same books she is reading and have discussions, anything to engage her.
I would speak directly with the librarian, if you haven't already. S/he may not have access to test results for individual students. Unfortunately, many librarians are struggling with very little support to manage the library collection and technology resources, provide research support within the curriculum for each grade (a big undertaking in a K to 12 school), offer curricular support for book clubs, remedial reading programs, and extra-curriculars and at the same time, deal with huge expectations to know the individual abilities of several hundred students. If s/he is just offering books that suit a grade level generally, or pointing students toward the shelves for lower primary students, then she may not realize that your dd is such a capable reader. I know there are stories about librarians who restrict books based on whether they are "appropriate" reading level, but I've never met one in real life and especially not after it's established that the child is capable of handling more difficult material.
What kind of books? There are a lot of good books that require advanced vocabulary but really are appropriate for young kids as well, in terms of what happens in the book, etc. You can look into the public library or buy books to supplement her reading currently. Look into Percy Jackson, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Dear America series, Little House on the Prairie(?) series, uhhh..... There are a lot of good books I know!
You might want to check this website out- helpful for finding books according to skill: http://www.lexile.com
My favourite example of a book appropriate for young advanced readers is "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame. The subject matter suitable for preschoolers, but a reading level somewhere around 8th grade -- considerably beyond "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" and much of what passes for YA literature these days. Lots of early 20th-century classic children's novels (George MacDonald, E. Nesbitt, eg.) are similar.
I'm not familiar with the DORA test. If you really have a driving need to know her level, you could test her with something else. I've been planning to try administering an "Informal Reading Assessment" to my kindergartener, partially out of curiosity and partially because I'm in a teaching program and the experience would be useful. I'm going to use this one but there's also this one which includes instructions. I've only glanced over the second one but I think you can use the instructions for either one.
BTW, thanks for the link to the wiki, olly! Love it.
LynnS6 deserves all the thanks, since she created it. I'm kind of ashamed that I haven't actually contributed to it myself. I confess I'm a little worried that I'll make a suggestion but forget about some distressing scene or situation or language. I've done that in a thread, but often someone will point it out. On a wiki, it could stand uncorrected forever.....
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