Can your 1st grader read this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a practice DIBELS test that my son's 1st grade teacher sent me.  We homeschool through k12/our school district and the DIBELS is mandatory reading testing. 
 
Just curious as to how many other similarly aged kids would be able to read a passage like this. 
 
[QUOTE]The morning light filled the room. Mel jumped out of bed and put on
her clothes. She had a busy Saturday planned. She could not wait to get
started.
First, Mel and her mom made Mel’s favorite food. Her mom cut
a banana in half. Then Mel spread peanut butter on both sides. She
brought the two pieces together and ate her banana sandwich outside
in the sun.
Soon Mel’s big brother came out with some chalk. They drew a line
on the driveway. After putting on helmets, they skated along the line. Mel
went very slowly. She was just learning to skate. Her brother helped her
skate in a straight line and not fall down.
Now it was time for art. Mel went to the art box. Her mom often
filled it with fun things. Mel got an idea when she saw some socks. She
made a dog puppet and a bird puppet out of the socks. Then she wrote
a play about them. She asked her brother and mom to come watch.
They liked the show and clapped when it ended.
That night, Mel helped her mom make dinner. Then she read a book
until it was time for bed. When Mel turned out the light, she thought
about all the fun things she had done.[/QUOTE]

Vanessa... Happily married to a paramedic - celebrating 10 years of marriage!  Mama to one crazy 6 year old transformer and one chatterbox 4 year old princess.  Daycare provider to many jumping beans  I'm expecting my third in late November. 

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#2 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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No, my current first grader could not read this; he's six.

 

My oldest could definitely have read it when he was in first grade.


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#3 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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Yeah, both of my kids could have read that in 1st grade.


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#4 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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Nope!! Not one of mine could have read that and I wouldn't have asked them to!  LOL

 

I wanted them to read at their own pace and what they wanted to read!

Of course k/12 isn't offered in NY or I might have considered it! LOL


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#5 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 06:01 PM
 
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My 7 year old could not read that.

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#6 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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Yes, my 1st grader could read that.

 


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#7 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 07:07 PM
 
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Not my nearly 7yo, not without lots of help.  However, when I was her age I could easily read something like this.  

 

The question I think of is, is this something that is expected to be read easily?  Or that this is a good challenge that a first grader might be ready for?  What kind of ability on the test are they looking for?  Perhaps they don't expect the typical 1st grader to read it perfectly?  Personally, I would think this is a good challenge for readers who don't melt down if they can't read a book perfectly, but much too hard for the "typical" first grader.

 

My daughter did try reading it, not easy on a screen, but she had trouble in all the places I thought she might.  So, lots of help.


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#8 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 07:13 PM
 
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My 6 1/2 yr old 1st grader (we homeschool obviously) would not be able to read that.  My oldest wouldn't have been able to read it in 1st grade either. 

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#9 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 07:34 PM
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DIBELS is a standard test that is used in public schools.  My own opinion is that that is why our reading instruction isn't very flexible in the schools.  The dibels requires many words to be taught as "high frequency" or sight words rather than introducing things through phonetic decoding (with a sprinkling of sight words).  

 

To answer your question though, my oldest could read that in 1st.  My second could not.  My third is in kindy and not yet able to read it.  However, if you download all the dibels samples (free online), you will notice that there isn't a huge jump between 1st and 2nd grade and even 3rd grade selections. 

 

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#10 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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By the end of first grade, my two oldest would have been able to read it.  My youngest - not a chance and not until about 8.

 

I wonder if different kids learn to read differently? - my youngest took a long time to progress, but once she did she was reading books at an appropriate grade level very quickly (it was like a lightbulb was switched on)

 

I don't think these reading tests or any tests, really, take into account those kids who learn in lightbulb bursts instead of incrementally.

 

 

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#11 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 07:47 PM
 
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This is about right for my 7yo's reading ability if I was looking for something to challenge her.


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#12 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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That was pretty full of sight words.  If they have learned all the sight words then it shouldn't be a problem.  DD2 Probably would have a pretty difficult time.  DD1 would have read that in kinder.  

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#13 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 07:59 PM
 
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My two girls would have been able to read that in first grade, but my ds would not.  But it really doesn't matter much.

They are now 13, 12, and 10 and they could all read it just fine now. orngbiggrin.gif

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#14 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 08:11 PM
 
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I in first grade would have been able to read that (I started reading at three) however my sister who had severe dyslexia would have struggled with that until age 18. At 18 she asked for a private tutor and now can read like a dream. But it took her a LONG time.

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#15 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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Yes, my first grader could read that.

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#16 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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My 6 year old (who would be in kindergarten just based on age, but would probably fit better in a first grade class) can read that, but he's a very good reader for his age.  At this point in her first grade year my DD would have had trouble with it (but she may have a learning disability.)  Here is a link to the DIBELS benchmarks goals.  As you can see, a first grader at this point in the year is only expected to be able to read 20 words of a sample like that in one minute.  The way it's administered, the child has 3 seconds to read each word and if she can't get it in that time, the test giver tells her the word and she continues on until a minute has passed.  The number of words that were read correctly in that minute are counted.  So a first grader wouldn't need to be able to read the whole thing to "pass" the assessment; she would just need to read 20 words successfully in a minute, and those 20 words could be mixed in with ones she couldn't read and had to get help with. 

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#17 of 48 Old 01-03-2012, 08:48 PM
 
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My oldest would have been able to read that at the end of first grade, but reading has always been easy for him, and a favorite subject. My youngest is in the second grade, and wouldn't be able to read that now.  In first grade it would have simply frustrated him. 


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#18 of 48 Old 01-04-2012, 06:12 AM
 
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Nope! But then again my 1st grader dd(6.5) is just working on sight words. She's not really interested in reading herself yet, we think she'll be a late reader.


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#19 of 48 Old 01-04-2012, 08:34 AM
 
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My 5yo 1st grader could read it easily, but she has been reading for well over a year and currently is reading chapter books on a 2nd/3rd grade level. She has inherited my love of reading and reads above her grade level. 


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#20 of 48 Old 01-05-2012, 01:57 AM
 
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My 1st grade DS could read that easily.  My 5th grade DD could not read that.


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#21 of 48 Old 01-05-2012, 05:44 AM
 
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My 5.5 year old could not read all of that, she would be tired and discouraged after a few sentences (perfectionist). However having read through the thread, I'm certain she would pass the DIBELS test. She would get through more than the first 20 words in one minute and it would take a little longer than that for her to give up.

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#22 of 48 Old 01-05-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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My now second grader could have read that in first grade.  My current first grader (public school) would struggle with it.  He is currently reading a bunch of "Henry and Mudge" books--and is, according to his teacher, in one of the more advanced reading groups.  That seems like it's a bit harder.


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#23 of 48 Old 01-05-2012, 04:47 PM
 
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My 1st-grader can read it.


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#24 of 48 Old 01-05-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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Yes and no... DS is 6 and can read the lightening thief by rick riodan, but dd#1 would have been in tears if someone suggested she read that. Each kid is so unique.. It will come in time.

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#25 of 48 Old 01-06-2012, 06:55 AM
 
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I was curious so I showed it to my daughter, who just turned 5.  I think her reading level is about first grade, so I was interested to see how she'd do.  She was fine for most of it and had trouble with 12 words, ones you might expect like "brought" and "thought" and "wrote" and "pieces".  But she got words like "sandwich" and "favorite" and "driveway" and "learning".

 

I know she gets a lot of her words from context clues.  She knows intermediate phonics but doesn't usually 'sound out' a whole tricky word.  You can see her stop when she gets to a tricky word, look ahead a few words, and come back to the tricky one with a (usually correct) guess based on the overall letter patterns.  In this passage, when she got to "she read a book" she initially said "she rode..." then corrected herself, "she READ a bike..."  Whoops!  "I mean, she read a BOOK!"  She had obviously initially scanned the whole phrase, saw the R-D and the B-K and guessed/filled in "rode a bike", but then noticed the phonics and corrected her first guess.  It was a VERY interesting and enlightening view into her process!!  :)

 

But since she is looking at the whole context and not just sounding out as she goes, she does read out loud with a good degree of fluency/meaning/sentence intonation.  Which sometimes doesn't happen when phonics is OVER-emphasized at the expense of 'natural' reading.  Ideally IMO it should be a blend -- phonics for decoding, sight words, and context clues (heck even when we're mature and literate readers, some words still depend on context... many words change pronunciation depending on whether they're being used as a noun or a verb, for instance).

 

I had her read it before I read the comment above about the '3 second rule' and timing how many words in one minute. But 3 seconds is about what we naturally do anyway.  So she definitely would have gotten more than 20 in one minute.  It took less than 5 to finish the whole passage, which is 218 words.  

 

All that being said, I would *not* expect the average first grader to be able to read the whole passage, and I think that's not the intent of the test anyway.  It's a measuring stick, and in order to be a good assessment it needs to be more challenging than the average student would need, so that it can still assess kids who are above the average.  I know that my daughter is a "precocious" reader, it runs in our family heh.  And it's also true that in general, boys are later than girls in reading development, across the spectrum of early-to-later readers.

 

So if you have to give that as a reading test, I would just use it as a marker of "where you're at" and only use it as a comparison against oneself... ie, you can do it again every few months to see how much progress you're making, and as an indicator of what kind of reading material you can expect your child to be able to handle, etc.  But not to use it as any kind of comparison between kids... there is a HUGE range of reading ability in first grade and it is all NORMAL, despite what they try to convince us of in public schools.  Anything from 5-8 is 'average' for starting to read, and outliers from 3-10 are still quite common too.


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#26 of 48 Old 01-06-2012, 06:58 AM
 
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No, there is no way my first grader could read that.  I'm not even sure my oldest could have read that when he was in 1st grade (and I considered him a strong reader).

 

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#27 of 48 Old 01-07-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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My 2nd grader could have read that last year.


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#28 of 48 Old 01-07-2012, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I don't think these reading tests or any tests, really, take into account those kids who learn in lightbulb bursts instead of incrementally.

 

 


 

Reading for my son has been in bursts, and he exceeds grade-level standards by about 2.5 years in reading. I don't know how it looks if you're an average reader, but it's definitely possible for kids who don't learn in a gradual progression to do fine on the tests.

 

To answer, yes, my 1st grader could read that passage. My 4YO could read some of it but not all. I don't know, however, that it's typical of the level of most first graders. Our district teaches both phonics and to read sight words, and it seems to go okay. My daughter definitely has a more intuitive understanding of reading whereas DS does not. He knew his letters and their sounds for probably 2 years before he was able to turn them into words. Once he did, he learned to read basic readers in about 4 weeks. We saw a huge leap again this year when he jumped 1.5 grade levels over the course of a 6-week period.


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#29 of 48 Old 01-07-2012, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post


 

Reading for my son has been in bursts, and he exceeds grade-level standards by about 2.5 years in reading. I don't know how it looks if you're an average reader, but it's definitely possible for kids who don't learn in a gradual progression to do fine on the tests.

 

 


DD is an average for year reader, which means if she is before a burst it look like she is behind, after a burst it may look like she is ahead.

 

Obviously, if you are ahead of the curve it is not going to matter if you learn in bursts or not.

 

 

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#30 of 48 Old 01-07-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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Hi there,

I have fraternal twin 5 yr old girls.  Neither one "reads" and I doubt they will read at this level next year.  My best guess is that they will read at this level sometime between 7 and 8 years old. 

 

However, they LOVE books, language, foreign languages, lyrics, books on tape, family stories, plays, etc.  I "worry" now and then about academics (whether or not I'm getting enough math and music in their lives) and I really never think about language arts.  We spend about 30 minutes each morning reading to the girls before the day starts (they choose the books), read poems to them at breakfast a few days a week, they have a "required" book time for an hour a day each afternoon (my oh my do I love that quiet time!), and we read three books a night before bed (or the equivalent 30+ minutes of a chapter book).  Needless to say, they are in a "language rich" environment. 

 

My biggest hope is that all these kiddos enjoy the written word!  And, at some point, I know I'll appreciate the testing to see if I'm doing my part as a guide to their learning process.  Thanks for bringing up the topic!

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