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Someone PLEASE tell me...
Old 07-26-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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why there is a cap on DRA testing??? Why would you want to stop testing a K kiddo at a 16 (end of year 1st grade) when, truly, she can read and comprehend at a 24?


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Old 07-26-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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I didn't pay attention to the cap. I was curious so I kept testing.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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We were always told to continue testing until you hit their frustration level. When we form our GR groups it's based on where they are not containing them to books within their specific grade. Defeats the purpose of small group instruction.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:29 PM
 
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I didn't realize there was a cap, but I think it defeats the purpose of the assessment. I use the DRA to determine a student's instructional reading level. I see no reason to stop if the student is truly decoding and comprehending at an independent level.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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I think it's very unusual for a kindergartner to be able to comprehend that high. Usually they can decode just fine, but they don't have enough life experience to make the inferences required for more complicated text.


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Old 08-09-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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The cap is to prevent k kids from reading first grade levels, first grade from reading second, etc. Otherwise it is not a cold read when (for example) beginning second graders have already read level 18 and isn't an accurate assessment. I don't necessarily agree, but I've heard teachers complain when they give their beginning of the year DRA and the kids have already read the passage.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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I'm Canadian and we use PM levels to test reading in my board; leveled texts that go from level 1 to level 30. Generally, K's will read no higher than 5ish, Grade 1's to about 18, Grade 2's to around 22, Grade 3's to about 26, and Grade 4's to 30, if they aren't already past 30.

BUT, students are to be tested until they can no longer retell what they have read with good comprehension, AND until they decode with less than 95% accuracy. The last level that they can both read independently AND demonstrate true comprehension is the PM level that is reported to the board. We report officially twice per school year. If a grade K student demonstrates accuracy and comprehension up to level 30, we would be required to test them at level 30. That would be exceeding rare, but not unheard of. (My gifted best friend's daughter, who is gifted herself, entered grade 1 at a grade 5 reading level. As long as the book is informational, or fictional but not dealing with life issues that she didn't have experience with (crushes on boys!), she had perfect comprehension.)

Forgive me for asking a perhaps unintelligent question, but, why would a Grade 1 teacher give a DRA at a lower level than what the student read in K? For us, the PM level follows the student to the next grade. If I know that StudentA read to level 20 independently in K I will start my September assessment at a level 20 or 21 to see if they retained their reading level over the summer. I am expected to plan for meeting the needs of all of my students, those reading at level 0, and those reading at level 30. Yes it's hard with many levels, but they never said that teaching was going to be easy!!

I agree that if you are truly testing students for the purposes of providing instruction at the appropriate level, then stopping at some arbitrary level completely, 100%, defeats the purpose. At all ages and grades, students should be accessing text that is at their instructional level (around 92-95% accuracy) during instruction, and independent level when reading independently (95% accuracy and above). It's hard when kids are either way above their expected level, or way below it, but that's the purpose of assessment for learning. What does the child know, so I know what to teach them next?
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Cap DRA
Old 10-13-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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I know that DRA looks for their Independent Reading Level but I'd rather TEST for their Instructional level! If we know then what their instructional level is then it's easy to tell the students when it's time for independent reading to to choose a book below their instructiional level! Therefore, we don't do what DRA wants us to do. I want to know exactly where their difficulties lie so I can address those gaps to make them better readers and super independent readers!
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:50 PM
 
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If you have a cap it is because your school/district has put it in place. My district did because we were running into issues where kids read so high the year before there was nowhere left to go by the time they got to 3rd. There are many levels in the younger grades by few once you reach 3rd. The end of the year can also vary by school. Our end of 1st is an 18.

The DRA is very good at testing decoding and retelling, but there is so much more to comprehension than just retelling. If your student can retell at a 24 work to be sure they can also infer, synthesize, and discover the meaning of unfamiliar words at that level. We recently discovered that some of our really high young readers could retell beautifully, but didn't know the meaning of many of the words in the story.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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We have a cap also. I have never worried about it, because I can always find ways to extend and work with my higher level readers. Like another poster said, you can work on all elements of comprehension, add vocabulary, compare/contrast, and nonfiction, etc. Does it really matter to have a number to assign to them for a level? I find those higher readers need to slow down some and actually think more about the texts they are reading most of the time anyway.


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Old 04-14-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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I had a company rep. explain to me that the purpose of using DRA assessing was to find which students were not reading at their grade level so we know where to begin interventions for them. She explained that we needed to find those students that are low to help and it was not really designed to find actual levels of those who are reading above grade level.

I, too, have found that students may be able to read at a high level but they may not be actually comprehending what they are reading. At 3rd grade, I use the DRA2 because I want to see just how much the students comprehend and how well they can write (answer questions) about what they read. I find that the 2nd grade teacher may test the student at a 40 but when I test them at a 30 in the DRA2, they do not even pass a 30.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:23 AM
 
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At our school we can test one level higher than end of year benchmark. BUT, I try to keep going so I know exactly what level they are on. Plus, it is easier for next year's teacher to get started at an appropriate level.

DRA2 is better at testing for comprehension and inference.

The problem we run into in second grade is that if you try to test a child at 28 early in the year they often don't pass because they have to write their responses. They could answer orally, but that didnt count. This used to bug me, but I have come to realize it makes sense. A level 28 is a bit more complex and they need the maturity to think through their responses and go back into the book for support. Usually, a child who couldnt pass in September will be able to pass in January.

As an aside, does it frost your cookies that after you spend all that time testing 25 kids, you then have to spend a few more hours of your own time inputting all their responses into the system? So you can run a report that tells you what you already know?
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